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Preparing your body for pregnancy
Financial, Practical and Emotional Considerations
Trying to Conceive
Difficulty Conceiving
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Preparing For Pregnancy


How To Prepare Your Body and Mind for Pregnancy

You need to be physically and mentally fit to prepare yourself for pregnancy. You need to have a healthy lifestyle, with good eating habits and the emotional maturity to commit to the demands of parenthood.

Before you conceive, you need to make your doctor or midwife aware of these and other health conditions: arthritis, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Also, if you have an inherited condition that could be passed down to your child such as sickle cell anemia, you need to let your health care professional know. Usually in this case you'll be referred to a genetic counselor. Chronic conditions such as frequent urinary tract infections or asthma need to be investigated by your doctor or midwife before you conceive.

Stop Smoking For Your Health

Smoking is dangerous for your fetus, and every cigarette does damage. Research has shown that women who smoke throughout their pregnancy have a higher chance of having a baby with low birth weight. Your risk of suffering a miscarriage, having a baby with a cleft lip or cleft palate, or your baby dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is much higher. It's better if you quit smoking before you get pregnant, rather than waiting until you've conceived.

Vitamins and Supplements

At least 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended each day for women who are trying to conceive or have become pregnant. Studies have shown that folic acid can greatly reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. Most doctors recommend taking a supplement at least two months before you conceive and a prenatal vitamin as soon as you know you're pregnant.

Eat A Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important, and you should focus on foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish. Try to cut out artificial sweeteners, high fat foods, and sugary snacks from your meals before you try to conceive. If you are overweight or underweight, you need to lose or gain before you become pregnant; dieting during pregnancy is not safe.

Stop Your Birth Control Pills

You should stop taking your contraceptive pills at least one month before you begin trying to conceive. You may have irregular periods or not ovulate at all until your body returns to its normal cycle, so it's a good idea to stop your pills a month before you hope to conceive. Birth control pills don't cause defects, even if you take them right up until the time you become pregnant.

 


 
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