You’ve decided to start, or add to, your family. To help the process go as smoothly as possible, there are many steps you can take to prepare.
At Bay Area Physicians in Mobile, AL, our board-certified OBGYNs have pulled together a list of nine tips to help get your body ready for pregnancy. By spending a little time on your body before you conceive, you can give your unborn child the tools for a healthy and happy start to life.
If you don’t smoke, you may skip to #2. If you’re a smoker, please indulge us for a moment. We’re sure you already know that smoking is bad for your health, but if you’re hoping to bring a healthy child into the world, your tobacco use can affect that goal. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to low-birthweight babies, preterm deliveries, and even infant deaths. If you’re struggling with smoking, we’re happy to point you in the right direction to get the tools you need to quit.
Second, only to smoking, obesity poses a significant danger to your health and the health of your child. Women who carry extra pounds are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and sleep apnea. And these conditions can affect your growing child. For example, if you develop gestational diabetes, your baby is more likely to have specific problems after birth and may even develop diabetes later.
Every bit counts, so any effort you make to lose weight before your pregnancy is time well spent.
The adage that you’re eating for two is one that applies even before you get pregnant. You want to make sure that your body functions optimally by feeding it nothing but nutritious foods. By weaning your body from processed foods and sticking to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, dairy, and proteins, your system will be teeming with the proper nutrients for your child when the time comes.
Exercise is a great way to shed some pounds before you add them back on during your pregnancy, and it also helps boost your cardiovascular health. Your heart’s health is paramount during your pregnancy as it works overtime to help you create a new life. You’ll have more energy and resources to devote to your growing baby by starting relatively fit.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, we want to work with you beforehand to make sure it’s well in hand before you get pregnant. Whatever the condition, if it affects you, it will affect your baby.
Certain things are off-limits during pregnancy, so why not start weaning yourself now? Cut back on your coffee and limit your alcohol intake while getting ready for pregnancy to save yourself from going cold turkey once you get the good news.
If you’re planning on pregnancy in earnest, you can help your body prepare by adding some folic acid to your daily intake. We can also determine whether you might benefit from a boost in other vitamins and recommend the appropriate supplements.
Trying to conceive and then going through a pregnancy can be highly stressful, so practice some relaxation techniques now to be mentally prepared. Stress doesn’t do your body or your baby any favors, so learn to relax, breathe, and meditate to lower your heart rate and stress levels.
We want you to get off on the right foot. Schedule a visit with us so we can talk about areas where you might need to do a little work to best prepare yourself for pregnancy.
To start creating the family of your dreams, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment with the team at Bay Area Physicians For Women.