If you are planning on hearing the pitter-patter of little feet anytime soon, the optimal situation is to be your best, healthiest self before you give life to another. Whether children are on your radar soon or the farthest thing from your mind, if pregnancy is even possible, it is never too early to start preparing your body for it.
Pregnancy or no pregnancy, the actions listed here will certainly make you look better, improve all your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.), give you energy and help you feel great, too! And, here is an added bonus — should a pregnancy occur, your body will bounce back so much faster, too, after the baby is here and be in the best shape for motherhood and give your child the brightest chance.
And, if you need further convincing, check out this post on epigenetics to see the powerful effect you and your actions can have on future generations and their health.
6 TIPS TO BODY PREP FOR A HEALTHY PREGNANCY
So, all you future mommies, take note and get your body ready. But always check with your doctor for what is best for you and your situation:
2. Get a baseline. It’s a good idea to have a basic checkup before attempting pregnancy to chart some numbers like blood pressure and basic blood count like a complete blood count (CBC). The doctor should also obtain a thorough family history as well as details on your medications, allergies, and vaccinations.
3. Move regularly. It’s best to have a regular exercise regimen in place before you get pregnant. It’s hard enough for many to start one and keep at it, and if any fatigue sets in during the pregnancy (like it did for me in my first trimester), it may be even more of a challenge. Most doctors recommend, in most cases, regular exercise within a certain heart rate range and level during pregnancy as well. But, it is always something to discuss with your doctor.
4. Eat best. Eat a balanced diet now and load up on nutrient dense foods like leafy greens daily. To reduce the likelihood of brain and spinal defects for a potential baby, make sure you are consuming lots of folic acid rich foods like beans and nuts. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 400 micrograms of folic acid every day and some doctors even have their patients start taking prenatal vitamins before attempting to get pregnant to ensure their bodies are enriched with the proper levels.
5. Clean up your act. Clear out these unhealthy habits:
- If you have not already, toss the cigarettes and quit smoking.
- Lay off the pretty cocktails, or at least discuss that with your doctor.
- Avoid fish with higher mercury levels as this can be harmful to a baby’s developing nervous system. Here is information on that.
- Watch your beauty supplies. Now is the time to consider going organic or at least researching how your current ones stack up against this list of chemicals to avoid.
- Familiarize yourself with the clean 15 and dirty dozen with regard to pesticide on foods.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics to keep the microbiome of your digestive system in its best shape.
6. Protect your R & R. Create that time off for yourself. Give your body and brain a break and get proper rest and relaxation. Stress can affect hormones and if you are pregnant, create possible pregnancy problems. Find tools to help you relax like yoga, daily walking, meditation, reading, music, etc.Don’t forget Daddy. You future daddies need to take care, too. Many of these same healthy lifestyle changes listed above apply to you as well. And, for even more specific information, here is a link regarding fertility and how to best prepare your body for fatherhood as well.
MORE HELPFUL PREGNANCY SOURCES
If you do become pregnant, here are some great sources to check out to get you started and help you and keep you in the most healthy baby-creating shape:
- I really enjoy this blog and the writer and her colleague just released this pregnancy book on the topic of fertility and creating a healthy and holistic pregnancy.
- I wish these had been available, too, when I was getting ready to have a baby.
- And, you may want to bookmark these as well.
- I have not been pinning long to this board, but lots of healthy pregnancy ideas and links all here.