Before you bring a baby into your home, the first place he or she is going to live is inside your womb, and just like you’d be babyproofing your home a few months down the line, there are things you can do to make your body into a more baby-friendly place.
Consider this when preparing your body for pregnancy
Overall physical health during a pregnancy matters. Here are other things to consider when preparing the body for pregnancy.
Stopping birth control is the obvious one, since a baby isn’t going to come along until after you stop taking it, but other medications you might be taking could have an effect on him or her before you even know you’ve conceived. Your healthcare provider should be able to tell you if any medication you’re taking has the potential for side-effects, and to suggest an alternative if something does. If there is a medication that your healthcare provider suggests you stop taking, it may take a few months after stopping for it to fully leave your system, which may push your conception timetable back a little. This is also a great time to start taking prenatal vitamins, so that when you do conceive, you’ll already have a healthy level of all the nutrients a baby will need.
If your pelvis is out of alignment, it could limit the amount of space a baby has to develop in, and interfere with his or her position, which could lead to labor complications. If your healthcare provider thinks your pelvis might be misaligned, they might recommend a visit to the chiropractor.
Childbirth is an intense physical experience, and now that you’ve decided it’s one you’re taking on, it’s never too soon to start preparing for it. Strong abdominal muscles going into your pregnancy will give you a better chance that they’ll heal normally after labor, and pelvic floor exercises like kegels can help you out both with labor and with a faster recovery and less likelihood of incontinence afterwards.
On the other hand, if you already work out, and especially if you follow a fairly intense exercise routine, now might be a good time to tone down your workout a bit, since particularly stressful and intense exercise can hurt your chances of conceiving and carrying to term. If you aren’t sure whether you should take a step back from your regular workout, ask your healthcare provider.
Getting your diet on track is a great way to both improve your fertility and prepare your body to be the healthiest environment for a child that it can be at the same time. Many providers suggest bettering your diet at least three months before trying to conceive. Luckily, the changes they recommend making aren’t complicated, and shouldn’t come as a surprise, since they mostly consist of following a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and other healthy sources of protein, and dairy products. There are certain nutrients, like zinc and folic acid, it’s important to get enough of, but prenatal vitamins can also help with that.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Preconception planning: Is your body ready for pregnancy?” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Jul 7 2015. Web.