Deciding to start a family is exciting. Did you know there are important lifestyle changes you should make before you get pregnant to prepare your body? Many women understand it’s important to take care of their bodies while they are pregnant, but it is equally important to make a few changes ahead of time to help give your baby the healthiest start to life.
So before you start thinking of baby names or designing a nursery, it’s time to think about preparing your body for baby.
Visit your doctor
A few months before you start trying to get pregnant, a visit to your doctor is important. They can help you determine which vaccinations or tests you might need to ensure your health, how to manage any health conditions you may have and discuss medications and foods that are unsafe during pregnancy.
Visit your dentist
Pregnancy can increase your risk of gum disease, so getting your teeth professionally cleaned now can help reduce your risk later. Also, if you are not in the habit of flossing, there’s never been a better time to make it a habit. Practice good oral hygiene with daily brushing after meals, flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.
Stop smoking, alcohol and drugs
Tobacco, alcohol, drug and excess amounts to caffeine can make it more difficult to achieve a healthy pregnancy. These substances can also attribute to low birth weight, premature birth and miscarriage. Once your baby is born, they are also at a heightened risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Improve your diet
It’s time to cut back on snacks like chips, ice cream, soda and baked goods. Too many sugar, fat and carbohydrate heavy meals are unhealthy for you, especially when you’re preparing for a baby. Instead, focus on meals rich in protein, iron, calcium and folic acid (more on this below). Swap pasta and fried or fast foods for a variety of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and whole grains.
Take vitamins and folic acid
If you are pregnancy planning, talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements. Fortifying your body with folic acid now will help prevent serious birth defects of your baby’s brain and spine — which can happen even before you know you’re pregnant.
Women who exercise regularly typically have an easier time during pregnancy and delivery. Set 30 minutes aside each day for physical activity to get your heart pumping. Walking, biking, swimming or lifting weights are fun ways to get moving.
At Summit OB/GYN, we treat each of our patients like family and create pregnancy plans tailored to your specific needs. Contact us to schedule a pregnancy planning appointment so we can give you and your baby a healthy start. Once you become pregnant, we will care for you and your developing baby to ensure your pregnancy, labor and delivery is a positive, healthy journey.
For more information about Summit OB/GYN or to schedule an appointment, call 307-682-6263.