Are you ready to “get started” on making a baby? Before you subject your body to the rigors of pregnancy, it’s important to make certain you’re in the best possible health. This is even more important if you are committed to a natural delivery. If you have properly prepared for the process of pregnancy, you increase the likelihood of a joyful, safe birth and a happy, healthy mom and baby at the time of delivery.
At the ObGyne Birth Center for Natural Deliveries in Forsyth, Georgia, our doctor and midwife team are here to support you throughout your childbearing experience, from conception through pregnancy to delivery and beyond. Here are seven tips to get your body prepared for a healthy and safe pregnancy.
Before you start trying to conceive, make sure your body is in good health and you are physically, emotionally, and mentally ready for pregnancy. Having a preconception checkup can help you highlight health areas you can improve to help assure your conception process leads to the best chance of a healthy baby.
At this visit, we’ll ask many questions about your personal and family health histories and make a comprehensive assessment of your current health status. We can go over any chronic health conditions you may have and discuss how to manage them and any medications you are on during your pregnancy. We will also discuss any factors that could lead to a high-risk pregnancy.
We typically advise women who are trying to conceive to start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, starting at least 30 days prior to conception. By taking folic acid before and during the first trimester, you can decrease the chance of your baby having spina bifida or other neural tube birth defects that can develop during early pregnancy.
It’s easier to get pregnant if you are at a healthy body weight, and a good weight can make your pregnancy run more smoothly as well. Being underweight can lead to an underweight baby, and being overweight can lead to an overweight baby. Both can also lead to childbirth complications.
Getting on a healthy preconception diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables (including green, leafy ones), low-fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fat (like seeds, nuts, and avocados) can prepare your body for pregnancy and give your baby good nutrition as well. You don’t have to give up comfort foods and treats completely, but try to keep them in moderation.
You don’t need to become a marathon runner or a champion weightlifter, but getting fit can help you carry and deliver a baby with more ease. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, even if it’s just a walk. Look into flexibility and core strengthening exercises, as well as for well-rounded preconception and prenatal exercise programs.
Make sure you get enough quality sleep and do your best to reduce stress in your life. Many women who struggle with anxiety over fertility end up getting pregnant once they relax and stop worrying so hard. If you have trouble conceiving, our team is here to help, and we can refer you to a fertility specialist if needed.
Before you conceive is the best time to stop smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or putting other risky substances in your system. Bad habits can lead to birth defects, early- or late-term miscarriages, premature births, and low-birthweight babies.
To learn more about improving preconception health and increasing your chances of having a healthy baby, call our office at 478-772-3779 or use the easy online booking tool to schedule a preconception visit today.