10 Steps You’d Better Do to Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy
1. Take folic acid.
Take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before pregnancy and during early pregnancy when the baby's brain and spinal cord are developing. Eat a healthy foods that contain folate, the natural form of the vitamin.
2. Get a pre-pregnancy checkup.
Your health care provider can help you stay as healthy as possible, explain how pregnancy might affect you, review any medications you are taking and make sure you are up to date on immunizations.
Your doctor or nurse may ask to test you for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as immunity to certain childhood diseases. Also go to the dentist before you get pregnant to be sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
3. Eat right, maintain a healthy weight and get fit.
You'll feel better and start your pregnancy off right if you eat a variety of healthy foods every day. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Also, cut back on caffeine.
If you're overweight, lose weight before you start trying to get pregnant. Once you start trying to get pregnant, don't try to lose weight; you could harm your baby. Exercise is a good way to lead a healthy way of life and reduce stress. If you aren't already exercising, now is a good time to start.
4. Stop smoking.
Smoking not only makes it harder to get pregnant but as widely known can put your baby at risk for certain serious health problems. The best time to stop smoking is before you get pregnant.
! Avoid secondhand smoke before you're pregnant and when you're pregnant.
5. Stop drinking alcohol.
Drinking any category of alcohol (liquor, wine, beer, wine coolers, etc.) puts your baby at risk for miscarriage and serious physical and mental problems.
6. Don't use illegal drugs.
Taking street drugs can put your baby at risk for miscarriage, preterm delivery and serious physical and mental problems. Stop using any illegal drugs before you try to get pregnant and stay clean throughout your pregnancy.
7. Avoid infections.
Some infections can harm a developing baby. Wash your hands frequently. Stay away from potentially unsafe food.
Stay away from children with colds or common childhood illnesses. Discard contaminated tissues and wash your hands afterwards. Avoid sexually transmitted infections. Ask your health care provider for advice.
8. Avoid dangerous substances and chemicals.
Some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents can be dangerous to your baby. Avoid chemicals and paint.
9. Learn about genetics.
Your health care provider will take your health history and ask about the health of members of your family. Based on this information learn about your risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
10. Avoid stress.
Stress isn't good for you or your baby before, during, or after pregnancy. Too much stress may increase the risk of preterm labor, low birth weight and possibly miscarriage.
Don't forget to help Dad get healthy, too! To improve your chances of getting pregnant, it's important for your partner to take care of himself, exercise, eat right and stop smoking, drinking or taking illegal drugs.