You can do numerous things before even trying for a baby to improve your fertility and the baby’s health. Your health before pregnancy can have a lifelong effect on the health of your baby.
By considering the advice listed in this blog, you can:
- Improve your fertility
- Protect your baby’s future health
- Reduce your odds of problems in pregnancy
Once you start trying to conceive or make a baby, you won’t realize you’re pregnant for the first few weeks.
So, make sure you make these changes sooner than later to get peace of mind when you become pregnant.
11 Essential Things To Do Before You’re Trying For A Baby
Without further delay, let us jump into the eleven essential things you need to do before trying for a baby:
Take folic acid
Folic acid helps prevent severe congenital disabilities that can occur before you come to know you’re pregnant. Folic acid is a form of B vitamin found in many food sources, including leafy greens, beans, citrus fruits, etc. However, most women will need to take a pill to get enough folic acid.
Many women get pregnant within one month of trying, so it is good to start taking folic acid at least two months before you stop contraception. If you’ve already stopped contraception, begin taking a 400 mcg folic acid supplement regularly until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Doing moderate exercise regularly before and after you try to conceive will aid your fertility and benefit your pregnancy and the health of the baby in the long term. Research says that active women are more likely to have kids that are physically active too. So, get in shape ahead of time to make your pregnancy and delivery easier.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity that gets your heart pumping on all or most days of the week. Walking, swimming, bicycling, etc., are some of the great ways to get a workout. You can also choose to join a prenatal exercise class.
You can improve your odds of pregnancy by taking a healthy, balanced diet every day. You’ll need lots of protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on unhealthy foods such as soda, chips, baked items, and other fast foods with empty calories. You may ask your partner to join you to make the journey a little easier.
Your diet before and during pregnancy affects your baby’s health and development in the womb and also in the long term. A healthy diet for pregnancy is on a par with a healthy diet for life. A dietician or nutritionist will help you if you have a condition that requires specific diets or health supplements, such as diabetes.
Watch your weight
Being underweight can make it challenging for you to get pregnant. Being overweight or obese can also cause enormous problems – it elevates your odds for high blood pressure and diabetes. It can also make your labor last longer than usual – and definitely, you don’t want that! Consult your doctor to determine what weight is healthy for you.
Cut back on caffeine
Research suggests that consuming too much caffeine when trying for a baby can increase the risk of miscarriage, which applies to both women and men. Excessive caffeine in pregnancy has also been shown to be harmful to the developing baby.
Some health experts suggest you and your partner consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day while you’re trying to become pregnant and during pregnancy. That’s about a 12-ounce cup of coffee and 8 ounces of tea. Switch to decaffeinated beverages like warm, spiced milk instead. If you can’t start a day without your morning brew, just drink one cup and keep it small.
Among its several other drawbacks, smoking can make it difficult for you to get pregnant. Moreover, smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth. It also puts your baby at significant risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Ask your partner to quit smoking, too, because secondhand smoke is also dangerous and can affect male fertility.
Since you’re not sure when you will become pregnant, give up alcoholism when you’re trying for a baby. Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk for birth defects and learning difficulties. Alcohol can also sometimes make it harder to conceive.
Please don’t panic if you’ve had a shot of beer or wine the day before you got to know you’re pregnant. One alcoholic drink is generally ok. But because even doctors don’t know what amount of alcohol can cause problems, the safest thing to do is give up alcohol altogether if you’re trying for a baby. It can be very challenging for some people to stop drinking alcohol together, but contact your doctor and find a way out.
Have a sexual health checkup
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can affect your fertility, in addition to your future pregnancies and baby.
If you believe you or your partner has an STI, make sure you both get tested before trying for a baby.
Check if you’ve had your MMR shot
MMR stands for Measles, Mumps, Rubella. Rubella is a rare condition but can be detrimental to a baby’s development, particularly during the initial stages of pregnancy.
The MMR shot will protect you and your baby. It is usually given to children in two injections before they get six years old.
If you’ve not received your MMR shot or are not sure whether you have been vaccinated, call your healthcare provider to see if they have a record. If you can’t find it, schedule an appointment and get vaccinated. Even if you got MMR shot previously, it isn’t harmful to have it again.
Have a cervical screening test
If your age is between 25 and 49, you need to have a cervical screening test once every three years. It would be best to get tested before trying for a baby because pregnancy can make the results of your cervical screening test harder to interpret.
Talk to your doctor about your medical history
Talk to your general practitioner if you’re trying to conceive and have unknown, chronic health conditions for which you take medication, such as asthma, diabetes, or any mental health condition.
Some medical conditions or medications used to treat them can make it difficult for you to get pregnant. There may also be certain risks associated with your illness or your medication used to manage them or pregnancy.
You mustn’t stop taking any of your medications before talking to your healthcare specialist about your plans to conceive. They will help you make the safest choices to protect your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy.