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Wanting to Get Pregnant: Preparing for Conception

Wanting to Get Pregnant: Preparing for Conception

There are those of us who like to plan and be prepared, for everything- no surprises please. And then there are those of us who let life happen and enjoy the ride. Whichever category you fall under, becoming a parent is a big and exciting decision. It’s important to be informed of the changes that will take place in your body. As you forge ahead here are a few tips to help you prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy.

Preconception Check-up
Before you and your partner conceive, you should pay a visit to your healthcare provider to secure a clean bill of health.  Be sure to inform your doctor about all medications and not just prescription drugs.  Herbal remedies can also impact your fertility.  You will want to find out if:

-Your medications could interfere with your attempts to conceive
-Whether or not they are safe to take while pregnant
- If there is a waiting period that you should observe before you try to get pregnant if it is recommended that you stop any medications beforehand 

Ditch Your Vices
It’s no secret that smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby, but it may also interfere with your ability to conceive.  Smoking can cause damage to both your ovaries and your uterus.  If your partner is a smoker you should encourage him to kick the habit as well since smoking has been linked to low sperm count which can make getting pregnant that much more difficult.

Alcohol consumption should also be scaled back. Excessive drinking can disrupt your cycle and interfere with ovulation.  We know that alcohol crosses the placenta and can harm a developing fetus and since there is no way to tell the exact moment you become pregnant, it’s a better plan to start avoiding it altogether as soon as you decide to start trying.

Get Fit
No, you don’t need the physique or stamina of an Olympic athlete but regular exercise and an ideal body weight are both beneficial to your conception plans.  Not only does exercise promote healthy circulation, it also helps get your body in to optimal shape to support a healthy pregnancy.  Exercise may also boost your fertility as it is known to reduce stress levels which can often interfere with conception.  When it comes to working out though, it’s important to strike a healthy balance.  Extreme fitness can disrupt your menstrual cycle having the opposite effect on your efforts.

Minimize Stress
Stress can interfere with ovulation because if its ability to disrupt the menstrual cycle.  Stress is also said to promote uterine contractions which can make it difficult for a fertilized egg to successfully implant.  If you find that you suffer from stress and have a difficult time shaking it, you could take a yoga class, try some deep breathing techniques or opt for some light exercise like walking or swimming.  All will work wonders to release tension and lower your stress levels.

Nutrition
In order to prepare your body to support a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to ensure that all of our nutritional requirements are being met. This means making healthier choices.  If you haven’t already, try to add more whole grains, fruits and vegetables in to your diet.

It is also a recommended that you start taking a prenatal vitamin prior to conception.  Not only will this ensure your body is getting the vital nutrients required to support a developing fetus; prenatal vitamins containing folic acid have also been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly by 50 – 70%.  These types of defects most commonly occur within the first 30 days of pregnancy.  At this early stage, many women have yet to realize that they are pregnant which is why most physicians recommend that you start taking a prenatal vitamin at least six weeks before becoming pregnant.

 A healthy baby starts with a healthy Mother so taking care of yourself first is the best way to prepare your body for pregnancy, and provide your baby-to-be with the healthiest start.  All of us here at Promise Prenatal wish you the best of luck as you embark on this exciting journey into motherhood!

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