Pregnancy is a great step to take for all women. Looking for ways to prepare yourself before actually taking the plunge is a smart first step in ensuring both you and baby have the best, healthiest ride. Before you conceive, you might want to give yourself at least a month to get everything in order. Below are a few things to consider having in place for the best pregnancy possible:
Get your nutrition in order
Most mothers-to-be are not sure of when to start taking prenatal vitamins, most of them starting when they are a few weeks along. However, you will be surprised to note that the best time to take your supplements is a month before conception! Nutrients like foliate are required within the first four weeks of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects, a time when most women are not even aware that they are pregnant. Stock up your cabinets with approved supplements with folic acid, Vitamin D, calcium, iodine, iron, and omega-3 DHA fatty acids and start taking them as required.
See your ob-gyn
It is essential to schedule a preconception visit with your ob-gyn or family doctor for a general check-up. The doctor will check your past and present medical and family history, consider any meds you are taking and advise you accordingly. Your doctor will recommend the best foods to take, test your immunity for childhood diseases like chicken pox. Seeing them will get you all the answers you need and advise you on how best to handle preexisting conditions like hypertension, bipolar or asthma.
See a genetic counselor
Both you and your partner might want to get screened for serious genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and other possible mutations. You may not exhibit the signs of any, but both of you could be carriers, which exposes your child to a 25% chance of having them. Your genetic counselor will evaluate you, explain the results and give you the reproductive options available. This will ensure your child is at their healthiest and has a high quality of life.
Avoid consumption of drugs, alcohol
Now is the time to quit binge drinking, smoking, and drugs to avoid harming the fetus. These habits can predispose your baby to Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome (FAS), addiction, low birth weight, and other severe defects. You need to realize that some drugs are absorbed in your fatty tissues and thus they will impact your baby even after you aren’t exhibiting their side effects. You might also want to avoid caffeine to make sure that you can do without it during pregnancy.
Stock up on healthy food
Load your fridge with fresh fruit, vegetables and your pantry with healthy dry food like nuts. You are not be eating for two yet, but making nutritious choices now will go a long way during pregnancy.
Above is a list of the most important things you need to take care of before pregnancy. With a reliable doctor and your partner’s support, you are sure to have a fulfilling experience of bringing a life into the world.