A healthy body makes conception more likely and means you are less likely to experience complications when you do get pregnant. But what exactly does it mean to be “healthy” for pregnancy?
Here at FemmPro OB/GYN in Garden City and North Massapequa, New York, we are highly experienced at supporting women through pregnancy and delivery. Here’s what we want you to know about getting your body ready for conception, nine months of pregnancy, and delivery.
Your focus on pre-pregnancy health should begin at least three months before when you start trying to get pregnant. Of course, if you have a preexisting health condition that could affect pregnancy -- like high blood pressure or diabetes -- you may take a little more time to get your body ready.
Start taking a vitamin supplement
Your body needs extra folic acid to protect your baby from congenital disabilities of the brain and spine. Even if you’re not yet pregnant, we can recommend a prenatal supplement that offers at least 400 micrograms of folic acid as well as other micronutrients that support you and your future baby’s health.
Quit smoking, drinking, and drug use
Tobacco, alcohol, and street or prescription drugs can harm a baby in the womb. Quit now, before you try to get pregnant, to optimize your health. Once you’re carrying a child, you don’t want to have to struggle with the side effects of quitting.
Achieve a healthy weight
Being under- or overweight can affect your chances of conception and put you at greater risk of complications when getting pregnant. You’re at a higher risk of having a premature birth, having a baby with congenital disabilities, or developing gestational diabetes.
We can help you determine a healthy weight for you and your pregnancy.
Understand your health history
A thorough review of your family and personal health history can help you prepare for pregnancy. It’s best if you understand any health conditions that run in your family or your partner’s family and that may potentially pass on to your unborn child. We offer screenings to help you know if your baby will be at risk.
If you’ve been pregnant before and had a miscarriage or complications, we can help you understand why and how to avoid it this time around.
You also want to get any health problems under control before conceiving. This includes issues like lupus, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Of course, these are chronic conditions and can’t be cured, but the symptoms can be managed, so they have less of an impact on your unborn baby and your comfort during pregnancy.
Reduce your stress levels
Living with a lot of stress can impact your pregnancy. Start habits now like prioritizing sleep, self-care and delegation of tasks so you can reduce your stress levels. If you think you may need someone to talk to about issues causing you stress, ask us for a reference. We can help you find a counselor or therapist to help you manage your stress.
Get physically active
Follow the minimum recommendations for exercise put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week and strength train a couple of times per week. You can gradually amp up your exercise levels and find activities you like -- consider dance, walking, yoga, gardening, or tennis as options.
If you’re already physically active, keep up your habits. If you have an extra intense training regimen, talk to us about how you might need to modify it slightly to encourage conception.
Eat a healthy diet
Many processed foods, artificial sweeteners, fried items, and sugar don’t support a healthy body. Shift to a well-balanced diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives.
A quality diet helps you get the folic acid, calcium, iron, and other nutrients that support your body for pregnancy. If you’re not sure where to start with healthy eating, talk to us. We can help you make dietary changes gradually so new habits stick.
If your goal in the next year is to add to your family, contact FemmPro OB/GYN today. We can help you optimize your health to make your experience as joyful as possible! We offer expert prenatal care once you conceive, too. Call one of the offices today or use the online tool to set up an appointment.