Planning for Pregnancy
For those women who have the luxury of planning for their pregnancy, there are many things you can do to help increase your chances of conception.
Your first step should be visiting your family doctor or a preconception specialist. They will discuss with you, your and your partners family history i.e. Illness, possible genetic issues, general health and well-being.
They will also discuss with you and your partner ways you can help prepare your body for a greater chance of conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Preparing your body for pregnancy
- Eat well
Choose healthy fresh foods. Avoid over processed/packaged foods.
- Drink plenty of Water
Keep well hydrated. Drink plenty of water through out the day and avoid too many sugar drinks.
- Take appropriate supplements for general health and well being.
Check with your health care provider first.
- No smoking
Passive smoking is also not recommended as it can affect your well being.
- Avoid large amounts of caffeine
Caffeine can be found in coffee, coke and chocolate. Moderation is key.
- No alcohol
No alcohol should be consumed before or during pregnancy.
- Avoid medication unless advised by a doctor
- Avoid emptying kitty litters
A condition known as toxoplasmosis can be contracted from kitty litters which is potentially harmful to your unborn child
- Avoid direct contact with chemicals
Opt for eco-friendly cleaners and wear gloves when cleaning. Cover your mouth and nose to avoid inhaling smelly fumes.
- Avoid over heating
This is particularly relevant in the hotter months. Saunas and spas should also be avoided.
- Avoid stress
Stress comes in all forms. It could be work related, financial, relationship problems, mental, stress, or physical tiredness. Try to remain calm and composed.
Yoga and meditation are great ways to help reduce stress.
- Engage in regular exercise
If you are not a regular exerciser start light and build exercise into your weekly routine. You will feel better for it and will notice increase strength and higher energy levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight
A healthy diet and regular exercise will help.
- Take folic acid
It is advised to take pre pregnancy and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.
Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of birth defects such as spinal bifida in babies.
The recommended dosage is 500 micrograms per day.