So you’re ready to start a family. Congratulations! The days and months (and then years) ahead of you are going to be filled with exciting times! But it’s important to remember that getting to those exciting times will lean heavily on your healthy pregnancy. There are things you need to consider before you conceive in order to make sure that your body is a healthy environment in which your baby can develop and thrive.
See Your Physician
Even if you think your body is in top shape – and it might be – it’s always a good idea to do an overall check before becoming pregnant. Your OB/GYN doctor will evaluate your blood pressure to see if it’s within normal ranges. He or she will also check for diseases like diabetes that could complicate the pregnancy for both you and the baby – and determine if you’re healthy enough overall for pregnancy. If they find anything of concern, they’ll work with you to bring it under control before you conceive. While you might not want to wait, it is the best, most healthy option for you and your baby. In fact, in some cases, getting a handle on medical issues might be the only way that you can become pregnant.
Maintain a Healthy Body Mass Index
Being overweight causes all kinds of problems, and infertility is one of them. While you might not have to be down to the weight recommended by your primary care physician to become pregnant, getting pregnant and 40 weeks of pregnancy will be much easier if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is healthy and your diet is rich with the right kinds of nutritious foods. It’s common for women to be tired during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimester, so eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals will give you a little extra energy boost, plus they’ll be good for you and the baby.
It’s no secret that regular exercise is good for you, but this becomes even more important when you’re preparing your body to take on the responsibility of pregnancy. The stronger and more fit your body is, the more likely it is that the pregnancy will be healthy, and it will put you at less risk for complications. As with any exercise regimen, make sure to talk to your physician both before and after you get pregnant to make sure you’re following a routine that is good for both you and your baby.
Make Good Lifestyle Choices
You probably know what these are. If you’re trying to start a family, it’s best to stop doing things that are hard on your body and take care of yourself. This means giving up things like smoking and alcohol and making sure you’re getting enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Talk to your physician about vitamins you may need to start taking. Many women begin taking a pre-natal vitamin full of folic acid that research suggests may help with brain function for your baby. The bottom line is, the better you take care of yourself, the easier your pregnancy will go for both you and your baby, and a healthy, stress-free pregnancy is something to strive for.
Dr. Jagjit Khairah is a board-certified Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist who provides complete maternity care and delivery, including prenatal counseling. He cares for his patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center, where he performs minimally invasive laparoscopic/hysteroscopic procedures. He’s also trained in robotic surgery utilizing the da Vinci® System.