When it comes to women’s health, preparing for pregnancy is as important as the lifestyle and dietary changes you make during pregnancy. We strongly believe that if you prepare yourself both physically and financially before conceiving a child, you will be able to give birth to a happy, healthy baby. Pre-pregnancy considerations take into account a number of steps you can take to ensure that when you’re ready to get pregnant, everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Ready to welcome a new little miracle into the world? Planning for pregnancy is an important step in your journey to motherhood. We’ve outlined some of the key steps you can take before becoming pregnant to help ensure that you are as ready as possible for all the changes that are about to take place in your life. Continue reading to learn more about pre-pregnancy considerations.
1. Limit Your Intake Of Alcohol And Caffeine
One of the best things you can do for your body when planning for pregnancy is to limit your intake of caffeine and stop your consumption of alcohol altogether. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during your pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant. Additionally, experts recommend limiting your caffeine intake while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy.
2. Find Your Healthiest Weight
Another one of our key pre-pregnancy considerations is to find and maintain your healthiest weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, having a high BMI can interrupt regular ovulation, sometimes leading to difficulty falling pregnant. To assess your weight, visit your healthcare provider, or check out this resource.
3. Hit The Hay
Sleep is incredibly important for anyone, but especially for those getting ready to host a baby for the next nine months. Sleep affects fertility and hormone production, and a lack of it can result in producing less of certain hormones and too much of others. The same part of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep-wake hormones like melatonin and cortisol also regulates reproductive hormones. Sleep deprivation will signal the body to produce more stress hormones, which is bad for overall health and can throw off levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other reproductive hormones. For more on how lack of sleep can affect your fertility, reference one of our earlier blogs: Can Lack Of Sleep Affect Your Fertility?
4. Get Moving
Exercising is one of the best pre-pregnancy considerations, as it not only can help balance hormones, improve insulin, and ward off levels of stress but can also help you get a better night’s rest. Some of the best ways to get moving before trying to conceive are running or walking, resistance training, yoga, pilates, pelvic floor exercises, and more.
5. Visit Your OB/GYN
Visiting your OB/GYN for a preconception appointment is an important step for pre-pregnancy considerations. At this appointment, your doctor will review your medical history, medications and vaccinations, lifestyle behaviors, and complete a physical exam. If you are at risk of a medical condition that can make pregnancy dangerous or difficult, such as diabetes, heart disease, or certain birth defects/disorders, then your doctor may recommend additional tests or treatment in preparation for pregnancy.
Pre-pregnancy considerations have the ability to set you up for a happy and healthy pregnancy. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey— from making a plan to execution. If you have questions about pre-pregnancy considerations, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.