Planning a pregnancy is all about preparing your body for conception. And this is something that every woman should do, particularly if you are opting for a planned pregnancy. As your body is all set to support a baby, the chances of a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery increase manifold. So it definitely makes sense to invest some effort in preconception planning. For the first-timers, it can be overwhelming because you will probably be overloaded with advice from everywhere. Surprisingly, it is as easy as making some healthy lifestyle changes. Here are some simple healthy lifestyle tips that can help prepare your body and mind for this amazing journey.
Clean up your diet
Everyone will have a lot of suggestions about what to eat but what you really need to prioritize is cleaning up your diet. Essentially, you need to cut down the intake of unhealthy foods and load on healthy ones. The cleaner you eat, the healthier and stronger your body will be and the better it will be able to support a healthy pregnancy. Stick to organic, hormone-free whole foods that offer ample nourishment. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds are great for a preconception diet because they are high in antioxidants and nutrients.
Limit your exposure to toxins
While eating right is something that every would-be mommy should prioritize, don’t forget the importance of eliminating toxins from your system. These chemicals are extremely harmful because they reach the unborn baby through the mother’s bloodstream. Ideally, you should start a detox routine at least three months before planning conception. At the same time, avoid exposure to toxins in food, water, air, medicines, cosmetics, and household cleaners. Cut down smoking and alcohol intake as well.
Start taking a folic acid supplement
A tip that every doctor would have for you is to start taking a folic acid supplement at least three months prior to conceiving. You will also need to take it during your pregnancy as well. Folic acid is essential to minimize the risk of neural defects such as spina bifida. Beans, cereals, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and rice are the food sources of folic acid. Besides taking a supplement, you can make conscious efforts to include these foods in your daily diet.
Listen to your body
Your body experiences hormonal changes during pregnancy, which may be visible as certain signs and sensations. First-time mommies may be pregnant without even realizing, thinking that they have a late period. You should be vigilant about signs such as nausea, fatigue, constipation and mood swings as they are early indications. Taking a Pregnancy Test at home before seeing your doctor is a good idea. You can check out a home detection kit that gives results early to get the news you may have been waiting for.
Keep stress at bay
When you plan to conceive, you may get stressed when results come negative month after month. And this could be one reason why you may not be successful. Stress boosts cortisol levels, which can hinder ovulation and decrease the sperm count in males as well. So you must absolutely keep stress at bay with techniques such as meditation, yoga, massage, and deep breathing. Not only do these techniques reduce stress but also elevate energy levels and improve your blood circulation.
Exercise and stay active
Another healthy lifestyle tip that you must follow while planning your first pregnancy is to exercise and stay active. A sedentary life often causes weight gain, which can lower your fertility and cause conception-related problems. Maintaining a healthy weight, on the other hand, boosts fertility and keeps your hormones balanced as well. Choose exercises you enjoy because they keep you fit and bring down your stress levels too. Also, make sure that you do not go overboard with exercising because you may have conceived at some point in time, without being aware until the confirmation.
Visit your gynecologist
While eating healthy and following a healthy lifestyle will make your body ready for conception, a complete health check-up is equally essential. Visit a gynecologist and get all the health checks and vaccinations needed at this stage. This becomes all the more important if you have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes, hypertension or obesity. The specialist can prescribe medications if needed and also give you some useful tips.
Preparing your body for conception is a good idea, particularly if you are planning your first pregnancy. It will make you a more aware and sensitive mommy, who cares for the health of her baby even before birth.