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10 tips to prepare for pregnancy

Published in OB/GYN Services, For the Health of It Author: Yvette Rodriguez, Certified Nurse Midwife

Thinking about getting pregnant? Plan ahead to make sure you are physically, emotionally and mentally ready for motherhood.

  1. Start early. About one to three months before you plan to get pregnant, make an appointment with your health care provider for a routine physical exam and preconception counseling.
  2. Check your medications. Clear all medications with your health care provider before you try to get pregnant.
  3. Go to the dentist. Bacteria in your mouth can lead to gingivitis or other issues, which in turn has been shown to result in preterm babies and low birth weight infants.
  4. Reduce your stress. Figure out what is causing stress in your life and do your best to change it. Yoga, meditation, writing, and exercise all help to lower stress levels.
  5. Exercise. A healthy body is more receptive to becoming pregnant. Exercise will give you more energy, which you will need in the coming months.
  6. Cut out the bad stuff. Your body needs to be a shrine of health prior to becoming pregnant for your new baby so no drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
  7. Good food = good for baby. You absolutely need folic acid, which can be found as part of a prenatal multivitamin. If you have low iron levels, you may want to start with an iron supplement. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium and water.
  8. Weigh your weight. Reach a healthy weight before trying to get pregnant. Being overweight or underweight while trying to conceive can have an impact.
  9. Talk to your partner. Having a baby can cause strain on your relationship. Sit down and have a serious discussion with your partner about your hopes and expectations for conception, pregnancy and child raising.
  10. Cross something off your bucket list. If there is one thing that you always wanted to do — do it! Go hang-gliding, learn how to scuba dive or just take a last-minute flight to a sandy beach. Spoil yourself a little!