As with everything in life, a little preparation goes a long way and no more is this true than when you’re planning to get pregnant. Whether it’s your first baby, or you’re adding to your existing family, the team of OB/GYNs at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center in Beverly Hills, California, pulled together the following 10 tips to help you navigate the pre-pregnancy waters with ease and boost your chances of a successful outcome.
Be a good co-pilot
While the purpose of this blog is to help you prepare for your pregnancy, we feel it’s important to understand that Mother Nature is a formidable force, and she’s in your corner. Your body is specifically designed to reproduce, and your job is to make it as easy as possible for nature to run its course. So, while you prepare for this important journey, remember that as the co-pilot, your role is to provide key support.
Get a pre-check
One of the best ways to figure out how much support you need is to start with a thorough pre-pregnancy check-up. The OB/GYNs at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center conduct a thorough exam of your body, gather information about your medical history, and review results of your lab work to pinpoint areas that can benefit from a little attention.
Train for pregnancy
Enough can’t be said about the importance of physical fitness when it comes to getting pregnant. By keeping fit, you ensure that your body’s systems are functioning at optimal levels. When it comes to getting and being pregnant, you need for all of your systems to be up to the task.
Eat for two instead of one
Part of getting physically fit for pregnancy is eating right, and you should tweak your diet where necessary to ensure you’ve got your nutritional bases covered. To get the most out of what you eat, cut out foods that are high in fat and replace them with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Concentrate on foods that are rich in iron and calcium to build your strength from the inside out.
The most important vitamin you should take while trying to get pregnant is folic acid. According to the CDC, 400mg of folic acid, taken daily for at least a month before you get pregnant, cuts down on neural defects in babies by as much as 50-70%. If you’re taking a multivitamin, look at how much folic acid is in this all-in-one vitamin and add that to your total.
Not all vitamins are created equal, however. While a good multivitamin covers your bases, don’t overdo it with any one vitamin, especially vitamin A, which, in excess, has been linked to birth defects.
Shed the vices
If you smoke, drink heavily, or take illegal drugs, now is the time to quit. There’s no gray area when it comes to tobacco and drug use — they contribute to low birth weights, miscarriages, and birth defects. Moderate drinking while you’re trying to conceive is OK, but prepare to stop altogether when you’re pregnant.
We realize that giving up vices is easier said than done, and we’re happy to point you in the right direction for help.
Something else to smile about
Believe it or not, a dental checkup is one of the more important stops you can make on your journey to get pregnant. Poor gum health invites infection, which can have a wide-ranging effect on your overall health.
Pencil it in
As you prepare to get pregnant, keep track of your ovulation schedule, especially if you’re just coming off hormonal birth control. While tailoring your sex life to your ovulation schedule may not seem romantic, it does boost your chances of conceiving.
Slow it down
If you’re a regular coffee drinker, now’s the time to cut back on caffeine. Most experts agree that women should keep their caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day while they’re pregnant because of the effect it has on your heart rate and blood pressure. We recommend that you start now, so you don't suffer from caffeine withdrawal headaches while you’re pregnant.
Relax and breathe
Resist the urge to put “get pregnant” on your to-do list. One of the best ways you can prepare your body is to minimize your stress and to-do lists. A great way to do this is to try meditation or yoga. These practices offer amazing physical and mental health benefits that serve you well on your road to motherhood.
The OB/GYNs at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center are excited to guide you through this amazing journey. To get started, call or book an appointment online.