This ultimate list of 15 things to do before having a baby includes everything you need to know before trying to conceive. New moms can use these tips to…
1. Take Prenatals And Folic Acid
Go ahead and start this right away. Taking prenatal vitamins is beneficial for you and your new baby to come. You don’t know when you are going to get pregnant so you might as well start ahead of time with your prenatals. Doctors recommend taking prenatal vitamins before conception so the fetus is nourished right from the start. Doctors recommend taking prenatal vitamins with DHA and plenty of folic acid to prevent spinal defects and other disorders. Another vitamin to ask your doctor about is Vitamin D. Always consult your doctor before taking a new medication.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
It is very important to stay hydrated, but make sure you hydrate yourself with the good stuff- WATER. You are about to start drinking for two!! So make sure you begin to increase your water intake to 10 8-oz glasses of water a day during pregnancy. But for now, while you are trying to conceive, aim for 8 8-oz glasses of water each day.
3. Stop Drinking Alcohol
This is a great time to stop any form of drinking that might be harmful to your health. Why not start now? No one knows when you might become pregnant, so it’s best to be prepared and get your body cleansed from the bad stuff.
We all know how harmful alcohol is to the fetus, but did you know that alcohol affects your fertility? It’s recommended to stop drinking alcohol right away when you decide you want to become pregnant. The main reason is because you won’t find out your are pregnant for about 4-6 weeks and any consumption of alcohol, small or large amounts, can be very harmful to your baby at any stage of your pregnancy.
4. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Doctors also recommend for you to eliminate caffeine from your diet due to it affecting your fertility. Experts recommend having a daily intake of less than 200 milligrams of caffeine (but to eliminate it all together during pregnancy is the safest). What does that equate to? It’s about a 12 oz cup of regular coffee. It’s time to start weaning back and switching to decaf. Or just stick to water and you will be good to go!
5. Quit Smoking
Just like drinking alcohol, smoking is extremely harmful to your body and your new baby. Some of the major risks include low birth weight, miscarriage and premature birth. And a growing problem is SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), which is more likely to occur in homes of smokers.
I have never smoked, so it is difficult for me to understand why someone would want to expose their body to those cancerous/harmful chemicals. Consider reading this link with tips and resources on how to stop smoking. You should speak to your doctor on which ways are most successful in quitting smoking. Try quitting now before getting pregnant so you can be in the clear way before you conceive.
6. Stop All Recreational Drugs and Check Your Prescription Drugs
There is no reason that anyone should be taking drugs to begin with because of the adverse health effects and negative consequences following recreational drug use. But if you happen to be taking any, it’s imperative that you stop before becoming pregnant due to the adverse effects it will have on a growing fetus.
If you are currently taking prescription medicine, call your pharmacist or doctor to see if you need to go off of the medications while trying to conceive. Some prescription drugs can have adverse effects on a pregnant woman and her baby. Please don’t skip this step as it is very important for the health of your baby. And the same goes for over the counter meds; read the label to see if it’s contraindicated during pregnancy.
7. Start An Exercise Routine
Exercise, in my opinion, is the answer to everything. Exercise has so many benefits I can’t even list them all. With all of our medical knowledge in the world, I guarantee they have not yet found out all the positive benefits of exercise.
If you have never exercised before, click on this link for a jump start to an introductory total body workout program. It’s ok to start slow and simple if you have never exercised in your life. Don’t feel pressured to begin this crazy workout regimen where you have no idea what you are doing (there’s always the risk of getting an injury from pushing yourself too hard and too fast at the beginning).
I recommend 20 minutes of light exercise at least 3 times a week to get the benefits of a cardiovascular workout. As you become more familiar with exercising and your body adapts to your program, begin to progress into a more extensive exercise routine.
Find something you enjoy doing. There are so many types of exercise routines, exercise videos, apps etc. It might be a bit overwhelming. If you have any questions on where to begin and how to start an exercise program, write me and I can help guide you along the way.