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What You Need to Know BEFORE You Get Pregnant

Thinking of having a baby? If you are contemplating the wondrous adventure of motherhood and are considering having a baby, here are a few important things that you need to do before you get pregnant so that you and your baby will have a happy and healthy pregnancy

Get a Check-Up!

Pregnancy is a very normal and natural thing; however, it can take quite a toll on your body, especially on your heart and kidneys. So it is a good idea to have a physical and get the “ok” from your health care provider that you are in tip top shape. Additionally, speaking with your health care provider will also make sure that you are aware of any problems or potential problems that could arise during your pregnancy, for example, if your blood glucose levels are border line and you are on the verge of becoming a diabetic this is something that you will need to inform your OBGYN about and to be very mindful of during your pregnancy.

Visiting your physician will also give you an opportunity to discuss any medication that you may be taking and whether or not it poses a health risk for your soon to be developing baby.

Change Your Unhealthy Habits

There is never a better time to make a healthy change in your life than when you are ready to become a mom. Everyday vices such as smoking, alcohol, and caffeine not only have negative health consequences for you but they can be dangerous to your baby once you become pregnant. 

  • Smoking while pregnant can cause serious consequences from low birth weight to premature labor. Smoking can even kill your baby, leading to stillbirths or miscarriage.
  • Consuming alcohol during pregnancy is also very dangerous and can leave your baby with fetal alcohol syndrome, a permanent developmental disability which impairs the central nervous system. Drinking during pregnancy can also be fatal to your baby, resulting in stillbirths and miscarriages.
  • Just like other substances, caffeine not only circulates through your system but your baby's as well when you become pregnant. Consuming even 200mg or more of caffeine while pregnant can double your risk of miscarriage. So it is a good idea to start cutting back now, before you become pregnant.

Your baby is at his/her most vulnerable in the early weeks of pregnancy, so far before you may even realize that you are pregnant these bad habits could be harming your baby. Changing them now and adopting a healthier routine of well balanced nutrition and exercise can make a world of difference from a healthy new baby or a pregnancy that ends in tragedy.

Take Folic Acid

Your body needs folic acid to function properly and it is extremely important for your baby right from the very moment of conception. A lack of folic acid can result in several severe birth defects including spina bifida. Since folic acid plays a vital role in the function and repair of DNA it is important that you have a rich supply of it in your body before you become pregnant so start taking a supplement now and enhance that with a well balanced diet with foods that are rich in folic acid as well such as orange juice and broccoli. Keep in mind that your diet alone will not supply the amount of folic acid that your baby will need so you will need to take a supplement even if you are already eating a healthy diet.

 

Take Your Vitamins!

You can find prenatal vitamins that are available in most stores over the counter. If you are considering becoming pregnant now is a good time to start taking them to make sure that both you and your baby will have the vitamins and nutrients that you will need for your baby to grow and develop.

While you may not be prepared for everything that you will experience in your pregnancy from the very beginning, getting your body and lifestyle in a healthier state will make sure that you are physically ready to embark on the new pregnancy.