Did you know that you could provide your bundle of joy with good care even before you welcome him/her into the world? Making self-care a priority can help with a healthy conception, pregnancy, and baby. Here’s how you can take care of yourself – and, therefore, your baby – even if you’re yet to conceive!
If a couple is planning on becoming parents, they should schedule a pre-conception check-up for themselves to test their reproductive health. A visit to the doctor will also tell them whether the mother-to-be is caught up on vaccinations that can keep her and her baby healthy. A 3-month wait to conceive is recommended on immunization with a ‘live’ vaccine, which is prepared from living virus or bacteria (for e.g. Rubella vaccine, Chickenpox vaccine, etc.).
Pregnancy hormones can cause or worsen tooth and gum complications, which might affect the baby’s health. If a woman takes care of her oral health (by brushing and flossing regularly) before getting pregnant, she can cut down her chances of experiencing gum disease and cavities during pregnancy.
Being at a healthy weight improves the odds of conceiving. Besides affecting ovulation, an abnormal body mass index can also jeopardize the pregnancy and lead to delivery complications. Light-to-moderate exercise helps prepare the female body for pregnancy but indulging in strenuous workouts or heavy lifting isn’t advised as that can lead to fertility problems and possibly a miscarriage. A father-to-be can support his partner by encouraging and accompanying her on her fitness journey.
Couples trying to have a baby should stock their kitchen with nutrient-rich foods. Consuming more of green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli, eggs, and beans helps prepare the female body for pregnancy. The father-to-be can join in on the necessary dietary changes to make the move easier for his partner.
Even if there’s no pregnancy yet, prenatal vitamins can boost a woman’s health and immunity significantly. Besides prenatal vitamins, medical experts advise taking folic acid (400mcg) daily for a month before getting pregnant and during the first trimester to help prevent serious birth defects.
Couples trying to conceive should stay away from saunas and hot tubs as they interfere with both female and male fertility. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and consuming over 500 mg of caffeine can also make it harder for a woman to get pregnant or have a healthy pregnancy. (For a quick pick-me-up, choosing fruits over coffee is recommended.) A mother-to-be should also keep away from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can be hazardous to her and her baby. Moreover, she’s advised to steer clear of unpasteurized dairy and undercooked meats in order to prevent catching infections caused by dangerous bacteria found in these foods.
Practicing stress-relief activities (like taking a relaxing walk or a restful nap, listening to music, and doing breathing exercises) is believed to be good for fertility and pregnancy. The father-to-be can assist his partner in coping with and reducing stress by being there for her emotionally and talking through things that might be troubling her.
Simply by taking care of yourself, you can ensure that your body supports easy conception and is able to carry a pregnancy to term without any serious complications. So, maintain good health by following the above self-care suggestions to take the first step towards caring for your expected baby.
Wondering if you’re pregnant?
1) Get a home pregnancy kit (over-the-counter pregnancy test kit) to take a pregnancy test at home.
2) Use a pregnancy test calculator to find out when a pregnancy test might be most effective. A pregnancy test calculator maps your cycle to let you know the right time to take a pregnancy test at home.