Planning for Pregnancy

Today’s post is geared towards Planning for Pregnancy.  If you’re not pregnant but are thinking about getting pregnant in the future you should be aware that there are various things you should do before!

  1. Reach a Healthy Weight – Being underweight or overweight can lead to troubles getting pregnant and can cause complications for mom and baby.
  2. Start Eating a Healthy Diet – Just because you are at a healthy weight does not mean you consume a healthy diet.  Make sure you are getting in all nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water).  Most Americans (according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans) do not get enough: Calcium, Fiber, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Carotenoids, and Potassium.  Additionally women who may become pregnant should monitor her intake of Iron and Folic Acid.  It may be smart to start taking a multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps that you may have in your diet.  Then switch to a prenatal vitamin a few months before you start trying.  If it happens by accident, don’t worry just start taking a prenatal asap!
  3. Go for your yearly Physical – It is important to know what your current health condition is, and if there are any problems to take care of them beforehand.  Iron deficiency anemia, diabetes, high cholesterol and thyroid issues are all common problems that you want to have a handle on prior to getting pregnant.
  4. Take Good Care of your Teeth – Germs enter your body through your mouth, and periodontal disease has been associated with pre-term birth and low-birth weight.  Pay a visit to your dentist and maintain good dental hygiene.
  5. Ask your OB about Medications – Before you start trying, talk to your doctor about the medications you are on to find out which ones are safe and which ones need to be discontinued.  Also talk to him/her about any other dietary supplements you are taking.
  6. Mind your Mercury – Women of childbearing age should monitor how much mercury she consumes.  Do not eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish.  Consume approximately 12 ounces of varied fish each week.  Some good choices are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish, cod, scallops, crab, flounder or sole.  White albacore tuna is higher in mercury than light tuna, so limit your consumption to 6 ounces per week.
  7. Monitor Caffeine & Alcohol – If you are a heavy drinker, be that caffeine or alcohol you may want to start to cut back.  High intakes of both may interfere with fertility and can have negative effects on the baby.  Some doctors recommend completely cutting out alcohol while trying to conceive while others recommend keeping it moderate.  Either way, try not to have large quantities while you’re trying.  In terms of caffeine, start cutting back and limiting yourself to about 1 caffeinated beverage each day since you’ll need to limit your intake to 200 mg/day during pregnancy.
  8. Quit Smoking! If you smoke, make sure you have quit before you start trying.  Not only is it harmful for you and the baby, but also it can interfere with fertility.
  9. Get Active – You’ll want to start exercising before you begin trying, so that you’re body is used to it and you’ve developed some sort of a routine.  Exercise is incredibly beneficial to both the mom and the baby for health reasons and it makes you feel so good!
  10. Relax – With so much information out there, you surely can go crazy.  Talk to your medical professionals about any concerns you may have.  Remember pregnancy is different for every woman, so try not to compare yourself to others.

4 Responses

  1. Great post Eve! and perfect timing 😉

    We are a year away from even trying but it is never to early to know the important factors. I actually plan on having a full blood work done in the next month or so to make sure everything is in good shape and re-do it again when we decide we are ready.

  2. Hope everything is going well with your pregnancy! I’m at 20 weeks and exactly half way through my pregnancy … had my morphology scan today and he is a cutie!!!

    Are you planning to have a vaginal delivery or C-section??

  3. […] did a couple of very informative posts a while back: Planning for Pregnancy and Are you really eating for two?  that I thought I would share with […]

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