Planning to get pregnant is an exciting time full of hope, expectations, and changes. Pre-pregnancy planning includes selecting the right ob-gyn, asking the right questions, taking prenatal vitamins, and often modifying your diet and exercise plan. There’s lots to do to get ready for baby. Here are some considerations for when you’re planning to get pregnant.
Questions to Ask Your Ob-Gyn Before Getting Pregnant
Selecting your ob-gyn physician or another healthcare provider will be one of your first important decisions when planning for a baby. Choose a doctor you feel comfortable talking to, and whose outlook and treatment of pregnancy are closely aligned with your own. Referrals from family, friends, and other trusted sources are good places to start.
Come to your first pre-pregnancy ob-gyn visit prepared with questions. You should also be ready to answer questions from your doctor, so you will need to have a good grasp of your own health history before your appointment.
We suggest you discuss the following topics with your ob-gyn in your pre-pregnancy planning appointment:
- Menstrual cycle timing and regularity
- Past or current illness that might affect your ability to conceive
- Sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), cysts or fibroids, or other medical concerns about your reproductive organs
- Past miscarriages, prior pregnancies, or birth defects
- Your medical history as well as your partner's
- Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins (especially folic acid and DHA)
- Exercise and eating habits
Now is the time to get started on a high-quality prenatal vitamin.
Seek out and carefully follow your doctor's advice.
Go over your immune status to childhood diseases such as mumps, measles, rubella, etc. with your doctor.
Experts recommend that you stop using the birth control pill at least 3 to 4 months before becoming pregnant. Think about using this time to discuss contraception alternatives.
Embracing a healthy lifestyle is one of the fundamental ways to take charge of your pre-pregnancy planning process. Your physician can help you adopt a diet and exercise plan that will help you be healthier and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Do’s and Don’ts of Pre-Pregnancy Diet
Follow a well-balanced diet containing food from all of the major food groups.DO
Begin taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin containing folic acid and iron and continue throughout your entire pregnancy to ensure that you get the added nutrition necessary for mother and baby. This will help reduce your risk of nutrient deficiency.DON’T
Diet, either to gain or lose weight, because this may affect your reproductive cycle.
Key Nutrients for Pre-Pregnancy Planning and During Pregnancy
As part of your pre-pregnancy diet, begin taking these nutrients now before you conceive:
Folic AcidFolic Acid is an essential B vitamin that is especially important for women of childbearing age who are capable of becoming pregnant or are pregnant. Talk with your ob-gyn or physician about the recommended amount of folic acid you should be taking in your pre-natal vitamins.
DHA (found in Omega-3)Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health, but since the body can't make them, you have to get them through food or supplementation with vitamins.
IronIron is essential for making red blood cells and preventing anemia and fatigue. Make sure to choose a tolerable form of iron to reduce the possibility of constipation, bloating, and nausea.
Exercise When Planning to Get Pregnant
Pregnancy is a marathon. Adopting a regular exercise routine now will help you develop the strength and endurance you need down the road. You'll thank yourself later. Regular exercise will help you:
- Carry the extra weight easier during pregnancy
- Feel less tired and fatigued
- Sleep well
- Reduce muscle and joint pain
- Improve your mental well-being
- Improve posture
- Prevent unnecessary weight gain
- Ease the physical stress of delivery
- Get back in shape faster after the baby is born
Cut It Out: Things to Eliminate When Planning to Get Pregnant
Use your pre-pregnancy planning time as motivation to eliminate unhealthy habits from your lifestyle such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and any illegal drugs. Also, if necessary, why not begin weaning yourself from caffeine because once you become pregnant, your doctor may ask you to eliminate it altogether.
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