If you’re looking forward to having a baby, you know that this is a process that doesn’t come easily to all women. Some women (more and more of them) need to go through extensive preparations to ensure a viable and healthy pregnancy. And of course, all mothers want to have a healthy and strong baby, which is something that only comes with careful nurturing during pregnancy. There are various things all women should think about before conception and while they are carrying their child, all of which strongly affect the health of the mother and the baby. So here are just some of the best ways to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and baby:
Reach or maintain a healthy weight
One way to ensure a healthy pregnancy is to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Conditions like obesity or malnutrition can boost the risks of conception and pregnancy issues—preterm labor, gestational diabetes, etc. Through a balanced diet and regular exercise, it’s possible to reach a healthy weight and bring risks of complications to a minimum. For women, the typical healthy body mass index is between 18 and 25, but it depends on the individual. Also, it’s normal to experience some weight gain during pregnancy. If you struggle with nutrition or maintaining your weight, it’s always possible to seek professional help and talk to a good nutritionist.
Fix your diet
Another crucial thing for a healthy pregnancy, mother, and baby is a healthy and balanced diet. Aim for a diet full of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats, which will ensure you get all the necessary nutrients to prepare your body and feed the baby. Keep your diet colorful, meaning full of different foods from all essential food groups. It goes without saying (but it’s worth mentioning anyway), but try to limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods before and during the pregnancy. While caffeine can be consumed in small amounts (less than 200 milligrams or about 2 cups a day), but alcohol should be eliminated altogether, together with nicotine.
See your doctor about preconception checkups
Before trying for a baby, it’s always smart to see whether your womb is ready to grow a child. During your preconception checkups, your doctor will examine your body and try to identify any pre-existing conditions that might cause issues during the pregnancy. Things your doctor will keep an eye on are high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other hereditary diseases you have running in your family. Women with a history of premature births or miscarriages will receive special attention. This is also the perfect time to ask any questions or receive necessary vaccinations that can protect the baby. After your checkup, your will be sure you’re ready for a potential pregnancy.
During your doctor’s visit, your doctor will probably mention prenatal vitamins, especially for women who can’t meet their daily needs for essential nutrients. Prenatal vitamins such as folic acid, iron, and other vitamins and minerals, are crucial for a healthy pregnancy and proper development of the fetus. Pay special attention to folic acid, which is especially important for the prevention of various birth defects. For best results, start taking your supplements before conception so your child has all the necessary supplies for nutrients in early development.
Do your best to manage stress
Today, managing stress is very hard. Even conception and pregnancy are very stressful both mentally and physically. However, it’s necessary to do your best to minimize stress and work on relaxation as best as you can. Stress is a great motivator in many things, but it’s definitely not good for the pregnancy and the baby. Extreme levels of stress can even cause serious issues like low birth weight or preterm labor. Luckily, there are various ways to manage stress, from practicing yoga and meditation to dedicating time to your hobbies and hanging out with dear people. Proper self-care and plenty of sleep can also be good ways to manage stress or at least deal with it easily.
It takes meticulous planning and preparation to get ready for a healthy pregnancy and healthy child. Women can increase their chances of conception, a smooth pregnancy period, and easy childbirth by following the aforementioned tips and listening to their doctors. Preparing for a healthy pregnancy requires taking a number of important steps, but all of them are more than possible to take slowly. Every pregnancy is unique, so it’s essential to keep in mind that women should always speak with their healthcare provider for specific recommendations on how to get ready for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.