The fact that the world is battling the COVID-19 omicron variant should not stop your desire to conceive. So 10 things to do before pregnancy are steps you take to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and a healthier baby. The following 10 things to do before pregnancy will help you get your life and body into baby-making shape safely.
Take Precautions Against COVID-19
If you and your spouse have decided to take a shot at parenthood, you must be informed about Covid-19 prevention. And you should be thorough about taking the necessary precautions against infection. This means washing your hands frequently, shunning large crowds, and video chatting more instead of in-person socialising. When you go out wear your mask and keep your physical distance of six feet from people. Also most importantly, in view of the recent Covid omicron variant, take the vaccine, and boosters, when offered.
Increase Your Intake Of Folic Acid
Even if you do manage to eat a balanced diet, it can be difficult to get all of the nutrients you need from food alone. Folic acid reduces your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects by 70%. And if you do take a multivitamin, ensure it does not contain more than the RDA of 2,565 IU vitamin A. Unless it is all in a form called beta-carotene. This is because getting too much of a certain kind of vitamin A can cause birth defects. If you are unsure about what to take, ask your doctor to recommend a supplement.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits
If you smoke or take drugs, this is the time to stop. Since some drugs can stay in your system even after their effects have worn off. Numerous studies have shown that smoking and taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies. Plus, research suggests that any tobacco use can affect your fertility and lower your partner’s sperm count. In fact, even secondhand smoke may affect your chances of getting pregnant. Alcohol also can get in the way of getting pregnant. So it’s a good idea to cut back during the last two weeks of your cycle in case you have conceived.
Resist That Cup Of Coffee
Research shows that too much caffeine can reduce your ability to absorb iron, which you need a lot of for pregnancy. As well as increase your risk for stillbirth. So start weaning yourself off coffee, tea, and colas. Or switch to decaf before conception. If you are a real coffee addict, try cutting back to a cup a day. Most experts think that amount is safe. Once you have acclimated to life with little or no caffeine, you may find that steamed milk with a drop of coffee syrup is a nice coffee substitute. By adding the calcium you’re doing your body good.
Monitor And Manage Your Weight
If you are a healthy weight, you will probably have an easier time conceiving. Studies show that women whose body mass index (BMI) is below 20 or above 30 have a harder time getting pregnant. Hence, it’s a good idea to try to get yourself into the 20 to 30 range before you start trying. If you’re not healthy, losing or gaining weight may give you the boost you need to conceive. Talk to your doctor about the best way to achieve your weight goals.
Stock Up On Healthy Foods
This is the time to make nutritious food choices and stock up on nutrients your body needs for a healthy pregnancy. In view of this, try to get at least two cups of fruit and two-and-a-half cups of vegetables each day. As well as plenty of whole grains and foods that are high in calcium. These include milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, and yogurt. If you love fish meals, begin to pay attention to your consumption. While fish is an excellent source of protein, king mackerel tend to contain too much methyl mercury. High doses can be harmful to your baby’s growing brain. So avoid mercury fish while you are making effort to conceive. Instead, eat about two servings (12 ounces) of lower-mercury fish such as salmon and canned light tuna a week.
Be Involved In An Exercise Program
Another one of 10 things to do before pregnancy is exercise. Start and stick to a fitness plan now, and you will be rewarded with a healthy body that can take on the challenge of pregnancy. Plus, working up a little sweat is a great way to relieve the stress that can get in the way of getting pregnant. A healthy exercise program includes 60 minutes of activity, such as walking or cycling and weight training, on most days of the week. Add in exercise to increase flexibility, such as daily stretching or yoga, and you’ll have a really well-rounded fitness program. Once you are pregnant, remember that it is fine to continue exercising.
Make A Date With Your Dentist
Making a date with your dentist is one of the 10 things to do before pregnancy. One large study found that pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a premature baby. Another study showed a link between gum disease and an increased risk of preeclampsia. This is a pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure, fluid retention, and protein in the urine.
But if you take care of your oral hygiene before you get pregnant, you reduce your chances of gum complications in pregnancy. So see your dentist for a checkup and a cleaning if you have not done so in the last six months.
Get To Know Your Medical History
The most important thing to ask is whether anyone in your family has any genetic or chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome, sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis, or bleeding disorders. You will also want to find out if any relatives have mental retardation or other developmental delays. Or if they were born with an anatomical birth defect, like a cardiac or neural-tube defect. As such, your doctor will ask questions during your preconception visit or first prenatal checkup. And your answers will help determine whether specific prenatal tests should be done, or if you or your partner should consider genetic testing before you even start trying.
Stay Away From Harmful Foods
It’s important to stay away from certain foods that could harm your baby-to-be. Such foods include unpasteurised soft cheeses and other dairy products, packaged luncheon and deli meats. As well as raw and undercooked fish and poultry. These foods can have dangerous bacteria that cause listeriosis. Listeriosis is a food-borne illness that can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. You should also avoid unpasteurized juices because they can contain bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli. Furthermore, raw fish, especially shellfish, can contain harmful microorganisms.
Enjoy The Dizzy Moments Of Intimacy
Enjoying your last “dizzy moments” of intimacy before conception is one of the 10 things to do before pregnancy. Some experts say that if a woman is highly aroused while she is having sex, the sperm has a better chance of fertilising her egg. Others say it makes absolutely no difference. Ok, maybe we will never really know. However, there is no harm in setting the mood for baby-making with some sexy new outfit. Or illuminate a room with soft candlelight. Or take a shower with your spouse and rob each other down with scented massage oil.
All these intimacy suggestions can’t hurt. They may actually help eliminate that clinical feeling couples complain about when they are having sex specifically for pregnancy. Thus, enjoy the pleasurable minutes of bliss. After all, ecstasy is the best description for baby-making. For that reason make the most of it.
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