Plan Ahead for Pregnancy

If you plan on becoming pregnant in the near future, now is the time to start planning. Pregnancy puts stress on your body. Taking care of yourself can influence both your health and your baby’s health during your pregnancy. Prior to trying to conceive, evaluate your lifestyle and make any necessary changes.

Diet:

Pay attention to your diet. If you consume a lot of caffeine, start to cut back. Caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop suddenly. Gradually cut back and eliminate it from your diet. While you’re at it, cut back on junk food and snacks. Concentrate on replacing these with healthier alternatives.

Evaluate your overall diet. How healthy are the foods you regularly eat? Start now to improve your diet. Increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Include calcium and other essential nutrients in your diet.

Many doctors recommend taking a prenatal vitamin prior to getting pregnant. Your doctor can prescribe these, or you can get them over the counter. The folic acid is thought to be important for preventing some birth defects in the fetus. Some problems, such as neural tube defects, develop before you know you are pregnant. Taking vitamins prior to becoming pregnant is good for you and your baby.

Medications:

Take stock of the medications you are currently taking. List both prescription and over the counter medicines you use. Discuss these with your doctor. Even some over the counter drugs are considered unsafe for a growing baby. Your doctor can help you determine which are safe and suggest alternatives for the others.

Exercise:

During pregnancy, you are preparing for the marathon of your lifetime, childbirth. Labor and delivery are frequently compared to running a marathon. The longer you train and the better your physical condition, the better you will handle labor. Get in shape before you work out. Start a workout routine you will be able to continue during your pregnancy.

Other Habits:

Evaluate other potentially dangerous habits, such as smoking, drinking or recreational drug use. All of these are unhealthy and potentially dangerous to your growing baby. If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Your doctor can help you. The American Lung Association has a smoking cessation program. The same is true for alcohol or other drugs. If you use or abuse these, it’s important to stop before you get pregnant.

By evaluating your overall health and lifestyle now, you will give your baby a better chance at a healthy life. If you are already pregnant, it’s not too late to make the necessary changes. If you plan a baby in the next year or so, now is the time to improve your health and your chances for a healthy pregnancy later.

This entry was posted in The First 9 Months and tagged , , by Pattie Hughes. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pattie Hughes

Pattie Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four young children. She and her husband have been married since 1992. Pattie holds a degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. Just before her third child was born, the family relocated to Pennsylvania to be near family. She stopped teaching and began writing. This gives her the opportunity to work from home and be with her children. She enjoys spending time with her family, doing crafts, playing outside at the park or just hanging out together.

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