Deciding a baby is one of the most significant decisions a couple makes in their lives. There are lots of factors you have to keep in mind before bringing a new life to this world. Like, are you financially ready? Are you emotionally prepared? Do you have a good space and time for the new baby? If both the parents are working, then how would you manage your baby, work, and home? Well, there are few answers we know, and few unfold when we begin the journey of parenthood.
There is one question for which we all must have answers, i.e., is your body ready for conception? Every parent wants to give the best to their child, but the best thing you can give to your child is a healthy start. Every woman should provide at least 6-12 months to prepare for pregnancy, depending on how healthy you are. Here’s a list of what you can do in the coming months to prepare yourself for pregnancy.
START PRENATAL VITAMINS
Ideally, you’ll start taking prenatal vitamins Before conception. It’s generally a good idea for women of reproductive age to regularly take a prenatal vitamin. The baby’s neural tube, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy — perhaps before you even know that you’re pregnant.
During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than usual. Here’s why:
Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are severe abnormalities of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Ideally, you’ll begin taking extra folic acid at least three months before you become pregnant.
Iron supports the development of the placenta and fetus. Iron helps your body make the blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
Being too thin can makes it harder to get pregnant and increases the risk of delivering a low birth-weight baby.
Being too heavy can also cause problems: It raises your chances of diabetes and high blood pressure, increases your risk of complications during pregnancy. It can also make labor last longer — and you don’t want that!
Talk to your doctor about what weight is healthy for you.
CUT BACK ON CAFFEINE
This is also the time when you cut back on your intake of caffeine. It is best if the intake is limited to around 1 cup a day of your preferred beverage so that your system is prepared to conceive. Though moderate caffeine consumption is unlikely to hurt your chances of getting pregnant, stress can have a real impact on fertility. Since quitting coffee can cause stress, it hardly seems worth cutting out your daily cup. A cup or two won’t hurt your chances of getting pregnant.
Although there is no evidence that caffeine affects sperm, so dads-to-be can keep drinking coffee.
QUIT SMOKING AND DRINKING ALCOHOL
Cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol can all hinder fertility for both females and males for different reasons, making the way to conception a bit more difficult.
Alcohol and fertility: Go easy on the alcohol as it will only serve as a blow in your plan to become a mother. It’s best to give up on drinking alcohol as soon as you are starting to chart your ovulation cycle as the results tend to get disappointing in the interim. Although occasional or moderate drinking is considered fine while you’re trying to conceive, you’ll want to avoid excessive or binge drinking at this time. And once you’re pregnant, you should stop drinking. The possible damage to your developing child is serious enough to cease for nine months
Smoking and fertility: Those who smoke may be at a greater risk of experiencing ovulation problems or other general health issues that may affect fertility. Cigarette smoke can also adversely affect male fertility, as it may lower sperm count and make it difficult for the little fellows to make their way to a fallopian tube and fertilize an egg.
Because smoking and drinking certainly aren’t good for your health – fertility health or general health – quitting is recommended. Many studies have shown that smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies. So don’t hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider about this if you have any of the habits and thinking of planning to have a baby.
GET A CHECKUP
Caring for your health before you become pregnant is good for you and your baby. You must get a preconception checkup before pregnancy. It helps your doctor make sure you’re healthy and that your body is ready for pregnancy. This checkup will help your doctor treat and sometimes prevent Underlying health conditions that may affect your pregnancy. For example, your doctor checks to make sure your vaccinations are up to date and give you any you need before pregnancy.
A preconception appointment is a perfect time to ask your doctor all the things that are on your mind — whether it’s your diet, prenatal vitamins, your weight, or any health concerns that run in your family.
Make sure to get one even if you’ve already had a baby. Your health may have changed since you were last pregnant.
CHOOSING A RIGHT OB/GYN
This is one such decision that should be made that which healthcare provider you prefer even before you have conceived. Some people look for OB/GYN after they have conceived, but choosing the right one before is one of the best decisions you will make. A right OB/GYN will guide you during your preconception and will help you sail smoothly through your pregnancy, which is very important.
Finding an OB/GYN is essential, but choosing one can feel overwhelming. Selecting the right OB/GYN is in your hands because you would want a doctor you feel comfortable with. When selecting a doctor, visit few of them to check if your personalities will gel, ask them a ton of questions—such as his rate of cesarean deliveries, how many patients he attends, track record, after-hours availability, or access to a specific hospital and find out for some genuine reviews from real patients.
So if you are planning to have a baby, do not hesitate to take recommendations from your regular Gyno or your friends who’ve given birth recently for the inside information on the doctors they felt in sync with; maybe her doctor will be right for you, too.
SEE YOUR DENTIST
It may sound unrelated to fertility, but it’s best to stop in to have your teeth looked at, too. Pregnancy causes your hormones to change tremendously, and in turn, can raise your chance of gum disease. Oral health can play a significant role when it comes to conceiving a child. Having your teeth examined now gives you time to get gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) under control and get x-rays (which should be avoided during pregnancy) if you need them.
Be sure you receive a dental checkup before you conceive to uncover any issues and resolve them promptly so that you can have the healthiest mouth before your baby comes along and help yourself prepare for motherhood. So have your teeth cleaned and checked, and brush, floss, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
TRACK YOUR CYCLE
Women’s cycles can vary in length and from month to month, but the average is around 28 days. It’s normal to have regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this (from 20 to 40 days).
It doesn’t matter how long your cycle is, most women will ovulate around 10 to 16 days before the start of their next menstrual cycle.
Charting your cycle, cervical mucus, and basal body temperature are some manual ways to track your ovulation. Still, some people find this method cumbersome, as I do, especially when you have irregular periods. Then the best way to track your ovulation is with Ovulation predictor kits.
As ovulation predictor kits help you identify and confirm when you are ovulating, you should record these dates on your calendar. You are most fertile when you ovulate, so this is when you’re most likely to get pregnant. Understanding your cycle and knowing more about what is happening month during the month can help you learn the best days to get pregnant.
STOP BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
If you want to conceive, you’ll need to discontinue any form(s) of birth control you’re using. You can get pregnant right away after stopping some types of contraception like birth control pills. But, it’s a good idea if you speak to your OB/GYN about this as he/she would guide you better that when to stop these pills.
TAKE A TRIP BEFORE GETTING PREGNANT
A lot of people take “Baby-moons” a few months before the baby arrives, but who knows if your health or your doctor would allow you to travel, depending on how your pregnancy is going. If you are having a healthy pregnancy, then you can certainly travel to relax, but not in the same carefree and unrestricted way as before you are pregnant. Traveling while pregnant raises additional concerns, and there are safety precautions that you must take. – You must choose a destination that is a safe place for you and your baby to be; Your timing has to be right, talk to your obstetrician, Check out nearby medical facilities, and lots more to keep in mind.
So I firmly believe that the best baby-moon is one you take before you are pregnant when you can go where you like and do what you wish while feeling your best, go somewhere with your partner or your friends that you wouldn’t take a baby. This is an excellent chance to have a good time before you’re too uncomfortable, you can’t travel, and you’re focused on being a parent. Traveling before conceiving won’t have any travel restrictions due to potential medical issues, not feeling well, or being too far along in your pregnancy, and you will be free to take full advantage of the food, drinks, and activities in the destinations you visit.
STOP BUYING CLOTHES
We women’s are shopaholics, we just cannot stop buying clothes because every time we open our wardrobes, we find nothing to wear, but if you are planning a baby then now is the time you should stop buying clothes because you will grow out of these fitted tops and skinny jeans within a couple of months of your pregnancy. Try and save some money because pregnancy and baby cost you lots of money and soon you will have to invest in maternity clothes.
If you are a person who can’t stop buying stuff for yourself, then direct your urge to invest in things like bags, shoes, and other accessories that’ll fit no matter your pregnancy or postpartum stage.