Preconception Health: The Best Ways to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

For many women, being pregnant is something they’ve dreamed of for a long time. Deciding you’re ready to welcome another life into the world is a big step. There are some ways you can help prepare your mind and body months before you get pregnant.

Our OB/GYN, Dr. John Paul Roberts, can help you navigate the road to a healthy pregnancy. He can help you get prepared for all of the physical changes that your body will go through after conception.

Preconception health

A woman’s health actually plays a large role in trying to conceive a baby. Preconception health is the shape your body is in, both inside and out, before you’re pregnant. A healthy body and mind is essential for a healthy pregnancy.

When you and your partner decide it’s the right time to try for a baby, you should first make an appointment to discuss your plan with Dr. Roberts. He can give you a checkup to discuss any preexisting conditions you may have and assess your overall health.

We recommend preparing your body about three months before you begin trying. This may include:

Good nutrition and other healthy habits can improve your chances of conceiving. Being healthy ahead of time also decreases your chances of complications after you do get pregnant.

How to get your body in shape for pregnancy

There are many things you can do to get your body healthy for your upcoming pregnancy. After making an appointment to discuss your plan, there are some options for you to get as healthy as possible.

Cut out the bad stuff

The first thing you can do is to get rid of or limit certain substances:

The best thing for you is to stop all three as soon as you know you want to become pregnant. By changing these habits, you decrease your risk of several complications, including low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome, and miscarriage. 

Do the good stuff

Preparing for pregnancy isn’t just about cutting out bad habits though. It’s also about cultivating healthy habits. 

Eat well and exercise. Eating healthy can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight before the baby. This can reduce complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes. Exercising keeps your body strong and prepares you for carrying a baby for nine months as well as the rigors of delivery.

Another tip to keep in mind is to watch how much fish you are consuming. Some types of fish contain mercury, which can cause some birth defects if eaten during pregnancy.

Take a prenatal vitamin. Dr. Roberts will recommend a prenatal vitamin for you to begin taking several months before you start trying to conceive. Typically, it will contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Folic acid is vitally important, especially in early pregnancy. It helps to prevent neural tube defects, which affect the fetal brain and spinal cord. These birth defects usually develop within the first month of pregnancy, which is why it’s critical to start taking folic acid before you begin trying to conceive. The recommended dose of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day.

Calcium is another important nutrient for you and your baby. As your baby grows, it draws on your calcium stores to help with its bone growth. By taking supplemental calcium, you reduce your risk of losing bone density while the baby is developing.

Iron is important because it helps the blood carry oxygen to both you and the baby. Proper oxygenation is vital to a growing baby and also to you as oxygen demand increases.

Manage stress. One of the best things you can do to get ready for a baby is to relax and reduce stress. This is obviously easier said than done, however is vitally important to a healthy body and mind. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for your body to welcome a healthy pregnancy.

If you’re ready to get pregnant, call our office in Plano, Texas, at 972-591-8826 to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online today.

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