10 Things You Should Do to Start Preparing for Pregnancy
In the United States, there are about 3.8 million babies born each year.
Having a child can be a wonderful thing, but you may have many questions surrounding pregnancy.
Are you preparing for pregnancy? If so, you'll want to do these 10 things before you take the plunge.
1. Schedule a Preconception Visit
If you are planning to try and get pregnant, one of the first things you should do is to schedule a preconception visit with your primary doctor or OBGYN.
At this doctor's appointment, your doctor will go over your's and your family's medical history to prepare for any complications you could have with your pregnancy.
If they think you will have issues getting pregnant, they may recommend you make an appointment with fertility doctors.
They will also tell you what supplements or medications you should stop taking, as some could harm your baby.
Your doctor will also go over basic things that could help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy, like your diet, exercise, weight, and other habits.
2. Take a Genetic Carrier Test
Before you have a baby, you should know what you're getting into. Taking a genetic carrier test can tell you what traits or possible diseases you could pass onto your child.
While this may not deter you from having children, it's best to be aware and be prepared. This test will also screen your partner for any genetic diseases they could pass on as well.
You can take this test by seeing a genetic counselor, and all it requires is to have your blood drawn.
3. Stop Drinking, Smoking, or Taking Drugs
If you are planning on getting pregnant, you should stop drinking and smoking as soon as possible.
There have been many studies done on the harmful effects that drinking alcohol and smoking can have on your unborn baby. You should stop taking them as soon as you decide you want to try and get pregnant because sometimes the drugs can be in your system for a long time after you use it.
You should also stop smoking because there have been studies showing that tobacco can decrease your fertility which may prevent you from getting pregnant.
4. Start Exercising Now
Exercise is great for you, but it will also be helpful for when you're pregnant.
It can take a while to form a new habit, so if you start getting into an exercise routine now, you are more likely to maintain it while you are pregnant. It doesn't have to intense exercise; it could be as moderate as walking or jogging for 30 minutes a day.
You could also do relaxing things, such as yoga or swimming.
5. Create a Budget
Having a child can be expensive, and if you and/or your partner are thinking of having a baby, then you should sit down and look at your financials.
Creating a budget and making sure that you will be able to afford a child is very important.
While you should plan long term, you should also think about if you'll be able to afford the pregnancy and be able to pay the hospital bills. If you do have health insurance, give them a call and see what they will cover, if any.
6. Consider Your Mental Health
It's extremely important to take care of your mental health. There have been studies done that proved that women who suffer from depression had a higher risk of low infertility.
If you are struggling with a mental illness, it may be important for you to reach out for help. Pregnancy can be stressful and definitely act as a trigger that could make your mental illness worse.
Before getting pregnant, talk with a therapist or your doctor about mental health issues and see how they can help you. Doing this could also prevent or lessen the severity of postpartum depression later on.
7. Deal With Your Stress
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, but managing your stress beforehand can be a great way to help while preparing for pregnancy.
Stress can also affect you before your pregnancy because it can mess with your hormones which in turn affects your fertility. Stress can also lead to an increased risk for depression and anxiety disorders, so this will also help you take better care of your mental health as well.
To deal with stress, there are many things that you can do. Try some of these activities:
Listening to music
These could help you manage your stress.
8. Imagine Being Pregnant
This may sound weird at first, but it has worked for a lot of people.
Some people imagine and visualize themselves pregnant and with a family. When the mind is more in tune with the body, some people have found that it can actually help you get pregnant and have a healthy baby.
Imagining yourself being pregnant and acting like you are can also help you when you are actually pregnant because you passed a sort of test if you will.
9. Figure Out When You're Ovulating
You have the highest chance of getting pregnant while you are ovulating. You need to figure out what time of the month is for you.
There are different apps and calendars to help you try and figure out when you are ovulating. There are also different kits that you can buy to find out when these days are for you.
Also, if you are taking birth control, you should also stop taking that and talk with your doctor about it. It will be easier to conceive when you are not on birth control.
10. Think Your Decision Through
Finally, before you think about getting pregnant, you should think your decision through thoroughly.
Having a child can be a big life commitment, and you want to make sure that you are prepared for what's ahead. This will make it easier for you and your child.
Start Preparing for Pregnancy Today</h2>
Having a child can be a big and sometimes difficult decision, but if you follow these ten tips on preparing for pregnancy, it may be a lot easier.
Once you are ready to have your child, there can be a lot of other different challenges.
Read this blog to find out ten tips to take care of your new baby.