Starting to plan a family is one of the most exciting and rewarding times in a person’s life, but there are ways that you can prepare for this time to heighten your chances of a healthier pregnancy.
We’ve gathered some tips for before you start trying to conceive from babycentre.co.uk for you (and your baby’s) well-being.
Take Medical Tests
Getting tested for STIs (hepatitis B, syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia) is worth the process in the long run. Getting tested for these diseases can help to rid you of any stress about the possibility of having them, and getting treated would increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Also, blood tests are important to know if there are any disorders you might have that could be passed to your baby (sickle cell, thalassemia, anemic). By knowing these conditions about yourself, you can take preventative actions to protect your baby.
Stop Alcohol Consumption, Smoking, and Any Drugs
Since most people do not know that they are pregnant instantly, it is important to cut out these substances ahead of time before conceiving — just in case.
Smoking, drinking, and drug use increases the risk of health problems for you and your child. These are also common practices that can result in miscarriages, so talk to your GP for how to handle (and ween off) of these substances.
The article says to start taking a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid when you decide to start trying. This can decrease your chances of your baby having spina bifida and other defects, and helps to develop your bay’s brain and nervous system.
Taking a Vitamin D supplement (10 mcg) can help your prenatal heath, but too much Vitamin A can harm your baby.
Try to Reach a Healthy Weight
You don’t need to be completely perfect when it comes to your body before conceiving, but it helps to be the healthiest you can be. A healthy BMI is between 19 and 25, so talk to your doctor about how to achieve this.
Losing weight (if you are overweight) can lessen the chances of certain health problems and can also improve your fertility. Gaining weight (if you are underweight) is also important due to the need of having regular menstrual cycles — having a healthy weight can get it back on track.