Pregnancy preparation is just as an important step to becoming pregnant as the conception itself. In the tips below, we will discuss:
- How to prepare your body to be ready to conceive a child
- How to become more fertile
- How to avoid preventable genetic disorders
If you are planning to have a child in the next 6 months, continue reading these tips to help you along your journey.
6 months – Stop taking birth control pills to discover your natural menstrual cycle
Six months before you begin to prepare for pregnancy, stop taking your birth control pills to increase your chances of fertility. This allows you to observe your natural menstrual cycle and discover when you are most fertile. Of course, continue to practice protected sex until you are ready to conceive.
5 months – Exercise for a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby!
If you live a healthy life, your children will get a better start in life. Start good habits while preparing for pregnancy to help things go smoother down the line. Whether you are returning to exercise or are currently physically active, a regular exercise regime can improve your posture, relieve stress, and decrease fatigue. Develop a schedule that you can continue when you become pregnant to help with the stamina required for labour and delivery. 30 minutes a day of low impact aerobics such as swimming, walking, or indoor stationary cycling are the best activities to pursue. Exercise at a level that you feel most comfortable, rather than at your former level. Consult your doctor before you begin exercising if you suffer from asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
4 months – Act like you’re already pregnant
By acting like you’re already pregnant, you will be more aware of your lifestyle choices that can affect the outcome of your baby’s health. If you smoke, drink alcohol or coffee, or eat unhealthily, take corrective action to slowly cut down to avoid birth defects. By taking small incremental steps now to prepare your body, you will avoid withdrawal when you begin trying to conceive.
3 months – Check your DNA for personalized guidelines
Everyone is unique, and there are no shortage of pregnancy preparation tips online. But in order to ensure your baby is healthy during and after pregnancy, it’s important to conduct a genetic test to find appropriate guidance that are specific to your genetic profile. Genetic testing allows you to identify if you have a genetic disorder or if you are a carrier of one. If you have this knowledge, it allows you to take preventative action if you are a carrier to increase the chances of having healthy offspring.
2 months – Check your Folic Acid levels
Folic acid (Vitamin B9) helps to reduce the risk of birth defects, such as cleft lips, urinary tract anomalies, and congenital heart defects. Folate deficiency may result in the increased risk of spina bifida and anencephaly. In men, folic acid may reduce chromosomal defects in sperm. According to the U.S. Public Health Service Guideline, women should be consuming between 400 micrograms and 4 milligrams of folic acid daily from eating folate-rich foods and/or taking supplements. Folate-rich foods include: liver, sunflower seeds, edamame, peanuts, and asparagus among others.
1 month – Get lots of sleep and relaxation!
While it’s expected to have sleepless nights once your baby arrives, sleepless nights can occur during your pregnancy as well. Things like having to pee in the middle of the night and heartburn can disturb your sleep. Sleep will help to prepare your body and may help you to become more fertile. Women who don’t get enough sleep tend to have problems ovulating. Start doing meditation or whatever else helps you to relax. Use the time now to discover what helps you to relax and try to make every day stress-free.
Ready to conceive
If you are interested in learning more about how genetic testing can help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy, download our female fertility e-book.”
If you would like to learn more about the role of genetic testing and fertillity, continue reading this related blog post: “Three-Person IVF Can Reduce Risk Of Mitochondrial Diseases”.