Thinking of Having a Baby? 4 Tips to Prepare Your Body

There’s a vast array of information available on what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant such as avoiding soft cheese and reducing caffeine intake. But what about when you’re trying to get pregnant? 

While you should prioritize your health, a busy life sometimes shoves that goal to the back burner. However, if you’re planning on conceiving shortly, it’s important to start preparing your body at least six months in advance. 

If having a baby is moving to the top of your priority list, it’s good to start preparing now. So, in this month’s blog, our women’s health team at the Center for Women’s Health Richmond offers some tips on how to get ready for pregnancy.

1. Learn about stopping your birth control

Different types of birth control lose their efficacy at varying time windows, so it’s good to know ahead of time when to stop using your particular method. 

If you use barrier birth control such as condoms or cervical caps, you can keep using those up until the day you start trying to conceive. However, if you use birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives, you may want to switch over to barrier methods until you’re ready to start trying to conceive. 

While some women’s cycles resume almost immediately after quitting these contraceptives, for others it can take much longer. The same goes for contraceptives like injections or implants. Our team can review with you how to stop or wean off birth control at the right time.

2. Start taking prenatal vitamins

It’s best to start taking a prenatal vitamin before you get pregnant. The prenatal vitamin you choose needs to contain at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid. Folic acid is a nutrient that helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in early pregnancy.

In addition, most of your nutrients get sent to your growing baby while you’re pregnant, so boosting your vitamin stores is extra important before you even conceive.

3. Achieve a healthy weight

Your weight can correlate with your ability to get pregnant. 

Being underweight can impact ovulation and implantation, and it can also increase your risk of preterm delivery if you can get pregnant. Being overweight can affect your cycle and the quality of your eggs. Carrying excess weight also increases your risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. 

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, make sure you eat a nutritious diet and move your body regularly.

4. Check your lifestyle habits

If you’re regularly stressed, smoke habitually, and consume a lot of caffeine, you may want to think about making some changes in these areas. High stress levels, smoking, and high caffeine consumption have all been linked to issues with infertility and miscarriage.

Find ways to reduce your stress so you can stay in good health and have regular menstrual cycles. Quit smoking to lower your risk of poor egg quality and quantity. Lower your caffeine intake to no more than two caffeinated beverages per day to boost fertility. 

For more information on how to prepare for pregnancy, schedule a preconception appointment with our obstetrics team by calling your nearest office location or booking online. We proudly serve the Sugar Land and Richmond, Texas, areas.

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