Most women begin taking good care of their bodies and following their doctor’s advice as soon as they find out they’re pregnant. Everyone, of course, wants to have a healthy baby. But did you know that you could take steps before you conceive to help your pregnancy go smoothly?
At the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, we want you to know that taking good care of your body before pregnancy can:
- Increase your chances of getting pregnant
- Improve your chances of having a healthy baby
- Reduce your risk of pregnancy complications
To that end, we provide you with these five important tips to help get your body ready for pregnancy.
Quit smoking, doing drugs, and drinking alcohol
In other words, the party’s over. It's time to quit any vices that could not only harm your baby but also make it difficult to get pregnant. You may not know the day you conceive, so if you’re trying to have a baby, cut out any substances that could harm the health of your child months before you conceive.
Take prenatal vitamins and folic acid
Before you’re pregnant, give your body a boost of vitamins that it will need during pregnancy to ensure your body is well-prepared. Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to provide all the vitamins and minerals your body needs during pregnancy in one pill.
Folic acid is essential because it helps prevent birth defects in your baby’s brain and spine. Most prenatal vitamins come with the recommended 400 micrograms. If your preferred brand of prenatal vitamins doesn’t have enough folic acid, add a folic acid supplement to your daily routine.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being underweight or overweight may interfere with your ability to get pregnant. So eat a healthy balanced diet to help you reach a healthy weight for your height and body frame. And if you’re overweight, you have an increased risk for certain pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes.
In addition to helping you get to a healthy weight, exercise can reduce stress. Stress makes it harder to get pregnant and creates problems during your pregnancy. Exercise also helps you stay or get strong so you can carry the extra 20-40 pregnancy pounds.
See your doctor
See your OB/GYN before you get pregnant. At the Center for Women’s Health, Sharon Breit, MD, helps you understand how your health and family history may influence your ability to get pregnant, as well as your pregnancy and the health of your baby.
Dr. Breit discusses your diet, exercise routine, and other lifestyle habits as they relate to pregnancy. She also advises you whether your current medications or health issues may affect your pregnancy.
Are you ready to start trying to have a baby? Call us or request an appointment through our online tool to find out how to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.