by Jennifer Taubel, CNM
So you made the big decision to proactively try to get pregnant. (Congrats!) Now what?
Making healthy choices a month or two before you become pregnant is an important step to a healthy and happy pregnancy. This is a good time to focus on getting your body into its most healthy state. A few things you may want to consider are:
• Start taking a prenatal vitamin with .4mg of Folic Acid included – It’s recommended to take .4mg of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive and during your first trimester. This reduces your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 70 percent.
• Eat a healthy diet and keep fit with regular exercise – Eating healthy will stock your body full of nutrients you will need for a healthy pregnancy. Staying fit will help you create a healthy body for your child to grow in.
• Maintain a healthy weight – You may have an easier time conceiving if you are at a healthier weight. Talk to your health care provider about the best way to proceed.
• Stop smoking and illicit drug use – Numerous studies have shown that smoking or taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight babies.
• Minimize alcohol intake – Alcohol can get in the way of getting pregnant so try to cut back when you start trying.
• Check with your OB/GYN provider to see if you should stop taking any
medications you are on.
• Recording your body’s menstrual cycle in order to pinpoint time of ovulation – sites like babycenter.com have an ovulation calendar you can use to get an estimate.
If you take these steps you will be well on your way to getting your body ready for pregnancy. Consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have. Good luck!