Planning for Pregnancy

It is never too early to start planning for pregnancy if you are trying or just thinking about starting a family. Proper planning and health care helps in determining the changes you need to make to get pregnant. This enhances the chances of healthy pregnancy and delivery. It takes a few months for some women to get their bodies prepared for pregnancy while others take a bit longer. Whether you are planning for your first, second, or third baby, it is essential to plan ahead for a healthy pregnancy.  

Be Active

Being active maintains the fitness level, which in turn would make the pregnancy and even the delivery a bit easy. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your routine. Aim for exercises like swimming, bicycling, walking or consider taking part in a prenatal fitness program.  

Have a Balanced Diet

Once you get pregnant, you would be craving for pickles and/or ice creams. However for now, it is essential that you eat healthy. Focus on getting plenty of calcium, iron, and protein. Eat more whole grains, leafy greens, fruits and veggies, and nuts and start avoiding soda, sugary food, chips and other junk and processed foods.  

Eat Folic Acid Regularly

Folic acid prevents the possibility of birth defects. It is recommended that you take about 400 micrograms of folic acid daily if you are planning for pregnancy. You can find it in various foods like beans, citrus foods, and leafy greens or you can take folic acid pills to ensure you are getting enough.  

Go for a Checkup

This is the best way to plan for your pregnancy the right way. Consult a doctor and share your plan, your diet and other lifestyle habits to determine whether you need to make any changes. Inquire about:

Your doctor will be able to help you with your planning and determine whether you need to makes changes, take medications, or any other way you can enhance your chance of getting pregnant.  

Eliminate Drinking and Smoking

Drugs, alcohol and smoking may create problems before and during pregnancy for you and your child such as birth defects, premature birth or in grave scenarios, a miscarriage. If you really want to get pregnant, it is important that you stop taking drugs, smoking and drinking.   

Maintain Your Weight

In some cases, being overweight or being underweight can create issues before and during pregnancy. For instance, it increases the risk of health issues like diabetes, heart diseases, and even some cancers. It is best to reach and maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.  

When you get pregnant, it is important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and go for regular checkups for a safe and smooth pregnancy. Of course, you would experience food cravings and it is perfectly fine to indulge in late night ice cream binge or savoring something spicy but be sure you are also eating healthy so that your baby gets the right nutrition needed to grow and develop.  

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Dr. Shalin Parikh, M.D. is a primary care provider offering skilled, compassionate care for patients in and around Irving and Coppell, TX. 

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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