Getting your Body Ready for Pregnancy
During the preconception period, in addition to getting pregnancy information, one of the more important things you can do is get your body prepared for pregnancy. With all the stretching, shifting and widening that comes along with pregnancy, it's in your best interest to get your body in tip-top shape before the onset of pregnancy.
Get a Full Physical
In addition to a preconception visit to your OB/GYN, you should see your general practitioner. Get a full physical to rule out any health problems that may interfere with or cause difficulties in a pregnancy. It's not a bad idea to have your partner undergo a physical as well, in order to rule out any potential health problems. Inform your doctor that you are trying to conceive so that she will be able to give you informed advice. Your practitioner will review your personal and family medical history, your present health, and any medications you're taking. Certain medications are dangerous during pregnancy because they remain stored in your body's fat and stay in the body for a long time. Consequently, some meds have to be changed before you even try to conceive.
Along with your health history and your partner's healthy history, your doctor should address any other health issues that may affect your pregnancy or your baby. Taking folic acid, often in the form of a pregnancy vitamin, is critical to neural tube health for your baby. Since neural tube defects occur within the first weeks of pregnancy (often before a woman knows she's pregnant), taking folic acid before conception is important. The doctor will test for immunities to childhood diseases such as chicken pox and rubella and make sure you are up-to-date on your immunizations before you become pregnant.
If you have not been exercising regularly, get started! Exercise will help prepare your joints, muscles and tendons for the added weight that you will soon be adding to your frame. Exercise can also help with weight loss, which may improve your chances of conception. If you are a newcomer to exercise, start slowly. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise three times a week is a good way to begin. Try power walking, outside or on a treadmill, bicycling, swimming, or join an aerobics class. Add stretching into your daily routine. Stretching can help prevent unnecessary straining of your joints and muscles, and will help with your flexibility during pregnancy. You can continue with your regimen of exercise
throughout pregnancy, which will help you stay fit. It may also it may help you to have a faster and shorter labor!
One important aspect of having a body ready for pregnancy is to be at a healthy weight. Being overweight is known to be detrimental to pregnancy and to a woman's body during pregnancy. The added stress of additional weight on the body can make any pregnancy a long and arduous time. However, it is equally strenuous on a woman's body to be underweight and pregnant. The baby has specific needs that are adequately met through a healthy diet. If you're underweight, the baby will take whatever he needs from your body and you will be even more depleted. Whether the issue is overweight or underweight, do whatever is necessary to arrive at a reasonably healthy weight before conceiving to ensure both you and the baby have what you need to sustain your health.
Eating for Health
One of the best ways that you can start taking care of your unborn child is by eating right. Not only will you feel great and improve your chances of conception, but by continuing with a healthy diet throughout pregnancy, you'll ensure that your unborn child receives the best nutrition possible. Eat a well balanced diet, and avoid harmful elements such as alcohol, smoking and drugs. Choosing organically grown fruits and vegetables as well as organic meats and fish will help to ensure both you and your baby are getting the best foods available without the harmful chemicals and pesticides.
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