Are you ready to sign up for the mother of all of marathons-that 9 month-long resolution event that ends with the birth of a healthy baby? Before you slip into your running shoes and head for the starting line, you will want to be sure you are up for the race. Here are ten things you can start doing right now to ensure the happiest and healthiest possible outcome to you pregnancy.
1. Understand Your Menstrual Cycle
Knowing about your natural body cycles will give you enough information both to conceive and to avoid conception. Understanding your menstrual cycle is quite important. Most women have menstrual cycles of varying length. After recording your menstrual cycles, say for four months, if you find that the shortest one was 26 days and the longest one was 32 days, then your first fertile days are from the 9th to 21st day of each cycle. For conception, these are the days to concentrate on.
2. Have Sex
It is not correct that frequent intercourse helps conception. The more often your partner ejaculates the less sperm are contained in his ejaculates. The number may drop below the minimum required for conception. If you are trying to have a baby, it is a good idea for your partner to abstain from intercourse for a few days before your fertile period so that the numbers of spermatozoa will rise. You should also have intercourse no more often than once daily during fertile days.
3. If you’re Overweight, Slim Down
Women who start their pregnancy significantly overweight or who gain too much pregnancy weight during pregnancy face a higher risk of experiencing pre-eclampsia, and of requiring a labor induction and/or a Caesarean section. What’s more, overweight women are more likely to give birth excessively large babies, babies with neural tube defects, and babies who are at increased risk of developing diabetes later in life. If you’re BMI (Body Mass Index) is higher than it should be and you would like to lose a few pounds before you get pregnant.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking makes you less fertile. A recent study reveals that smoking 10 cigarettes per day cuts a woman’s likelihoods of conceiving in half. If you are planning to get pregnant in the near future, you owe it to yourself and your baby -to-be to quit smoking now. If a woman smokes ten cigarettes per day, she is fifty percent more likely to give birth a child with cleft palate and cleft lip.
5. Get a Pregnancy Checkup and Schedule Routine Checkups
You have started making some informant lifestyle changes because you are determined to get your body in the best possible shape for pregnancy. Now it’s time to pay a visit to your family doctor to get a clean bill of health. Your doctor may order a range of tests for you, including Pap smear, Rh-factor test, blood typing, rubella titers and mammogram, if you are 35 or older.
6. Visit Your Dentist
While you are scheduling your “Pre-pregnancy Check-up” with your doctor, you need to book another one with your dentist. Dental problems and infections leads to serious concerns for both the mother-to-be and the baby during pregnancy. It is preeminent to ensure your dental health fitness before conception.
7. Take Vitamins
Recent medical research already has proved that if you would start taking the prenatal vitamins a few cycles before conception, it is possible to reduce your risk of genomic problems and especially miscarriage. It certainly makes a sense to know that you can start taking the specially formulated prenatal vitamins three months before your conception.
8. Stop Taking Birth Control Pill
If you are taking the oral contraceptive pill, you should plan to have three normal menstrual periods before you become pregnant to allow your metabolic functions to return to normal after discontinuing the pill. During the intervening months you should use some mechanical form of contraception such as condoms or a cervical cap.
9. Avoid Alcohol
Women who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis while they are pregnant giving birth to a baby with Fetal alcohol syndrome. You should do your best to avoid consuming any alcoholic beverages, while you are trying to conceive.
10. Stay Away From Caffeine
While you might find it hard to imagine starting your day without a steaming cup of coffee, most experts agree that caffeine use during pregnancy may pose some significant risks to the developing baby. Recent studies have linked caffeine to decreased fertility, and increased risk of miscarriage, and lower birth weight. A far greater range of products contain caffeine than you may realize. Not only can it be found in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate milk, and other chocolate based products, it also shows up in a number of non-cola beverage as well.
Maybe you are too late for this topic, but if you are not yet pregnant, then heed this call: obstetrically speaking, the best prenatal care begins before you conceive. And if you can’t exactly predict when you get pregnant, the safest way is to stay prepared, to modify your lifestyle as if pregnancy could happen at any time.