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Top Healthcare Tips for Women Planning for Pregnancy

May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024

Have you and your spouse decided that it’s finally time to try for a baby? Although you may have nurtured this desire together for a long time, your efforts to conceive may not happen in an instant. There are various things about planning for pregnancy that you may not be able to control, like the exact timing. But on the flip side, there are several things an aspiring mother can do to increase her chances of getting pregnant faster and to prepare for a safe pregnancy and delivery. 

To that end, here are some points to keep in mind as you plan for this important life stage and adjust your lifestyle to welcome the birth of a little one:

Happy african american couple planning for pregnancy holding hands looking at each other, being reconciled after successful fertility treatment, happy black lovers make peace in therapist office. Saved marriage concept
Couples planning for pregnancy have several options to help.

Once you and your partner have made up your minds, the first step is to visit your doctor. Do this ideally three to six months before trying to conceive. This is so that you can be guided on how to go about conceiving, as well as discuss any possible health hurdles that you may encounter during the process. 

For example, do you have any health issues that might affect your body as you try to conceive? How about genetic conditions that may potentially get passed down to your baby? Your doctor can recommend the right tests to undergo and any vaccines you may need.

Also, consider going to a trusted women’s clinic and getting regular check-ups as you plan for pregnancy. The clinic can also help you get examinations like cervical screening done, which is recommended before pregnancy to avoid further complications. Your check-ups can help you determine what you need to do to stay healthy for your coming baby, and you may also receive the reassurance you need about your progress should it take time for you to conceive. 

Smoking and drinking alcohol can introduce various risks to your body as you plan for pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, or even miscarriage. Alcohol, on the other hand, can be passed onto the unborn child, who can then develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). This can cause mental and physical problems in the baby down the line.

Abstinence is recommended not only for you but for your spouse as well. A 2019 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology has shown that heavy cigarette smoking and alcohol intake are detrimental to male fertility, thus advising aspiring fathers against either practice.  

The best course of action is to abstain from alcohol and nicotine consumption while you’re trying for a baby. On your part, quitting while you’re trying to conceive can help ensure you won’t have a hard time completely abstaining once you’re actually pregnant already. It would also be good for you and your partner to set a precedent for healthier living well before your new family is complete. 

Folic acid is an important vitamin that can do wonders for your body as you prepare for pregnancy, and it also helps during pregnancy itself. For one, it reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect such as spina bifida, a condition wherein the baby has a gap in the spine due to it not developing properly. Coupled with iodine supplements, folic acid can bolster your general health during the conception stage and help ensure that your baby’s brain and nervous system properly develop during the pregnancy.

Although they are readily available at pharmacies, it’s still good to consult first your doctor first to determine the proper dosage you should take every day. There are instances in which your doctor may prescribe a higher dose of folic acid, like if you yourself have a neural tube defect or if you have diabetes.

Next, aim for a healthy weight—either based on your body mass index or as recommended by your doctor. Being either underweight or overweight can have effects on your fertility, which can make it harder to conceive. You’ll also definitely want to keep yourself in top shape when your pregnancy term starts, up until the baby’s birth date. 

A balanced diet is, of course, also needed to ensure your body is getting the nutrients that it needs. You may want to look into this pre-pregnancy guide on HealthHub to check which foods are most recommended for women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant already. It’s also recommended that you exercise, although if you’re already pregnant, you should check with your gynecologist first to see what kinds of exercises are suitable for you. 

Some medicines may pose risks or conflict if you’re trying to get pregnant. Even for meds you’ve been prescribed already for a long time, check with your doctor first to see if they’re safe to take. Once you get pregnant, be more careful of the medicines you take for the safety of your baby. 

Planning for pregnancy and eventually getting pregnant will introduce many changes to your body, which can be both overwhelming and anxiety-inducing at times. Aside from your physical health, take care of your mental health, too. If you find yourself struggling with the adjustment, don’t hesitate to talk to a trusted psychiatrist. Your partner and loved ones should also be happy to support you throughout this exciting, but oftentimes frightening juncture in your life.   

Take that next step towards building a family with a healthy body and a ready mind. With these tips, you’ll find that planning for pregnancy need not be a stressful endeavor, but a rewarding and purposeful journey for you and your spouse.

The information provided in this post is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on our website. Successful Black Parenting Magazine does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in the blog. Reliance on any information this article provides is solely at your own risk.


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