7 Tips to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

To learn other ways you can improve your preconception health and increase your chances of having a healthy baby, call our of

Some women have always known they wanted to have children, while others make the decision after years of careful consideration. No matter which side of the equation you fall on, one thing is probably certain: Once you’re ready to have a baby, you’re ready! 

But before you jump feet-first into motherhood, it’s a good idea to take stock of your health. That’s because preconception health is the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. Taking time to improve your health and prepare your body for this wonderful, demanding journey is one of the best ways to increase your chances of delivering a healthy, full-term baby.

Our providers at Women’s Health Care Center share these simple ways to prepare your body for pregnancy and head toward motherhood on the right foot.  

1. Schedule a preconception checkup 

Even if you’re in good health and ready for pregnancy, having a preconception checkup is one of the most important things you can do to boost your chances of having a healthy baby.  

At this exam, we go over your personal and family health histories, assess your current health status, and consider any factors that increase your odds of having a high-risk pregnancy

A preconception checkup also gives you time to get any chronic health conditions under control, review any medications or supplements you’re taking, and get caught up on important immunizations. 

2. Take a folic acid supplement 

Even if you do little else to prepare your body for pregnancy, taking a folic acid supplement is vital. By taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day starting at least one month prior to conception and continuing through your first trimester, you can protect your baby against spina bifida and other serious neural tube birth defects that may occur during early pregnancy. 

3. Work toward a healthy body weight 

Besides making it easier to get pregnant, being at a healthy body weight when you conceive supports a healthier pregnancy overall. Women who are underweight going into pregnancy are more likely to deliver low-birthweight babies, while women who are overweight are more likely to experience pregnancy or delivery complications. 

If you’re underweight or overweight, our team can develop a plan to help you reach a healthier body weight. 

4. Improve your daily diet 

While many women believe they don’t have to cut the junk from their diet until they’re actually pregnant, filling your plate with wholesome, nutritious foods before you conceive gives your body the fuel it needs to support a healthy pregnancy from day one. 

A nutritious preconception diet includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables as well as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. It also limits processed foods, trans and saturated fats, and added sugars. 

5. Get moving, or improve your workout 

If you don’t already exercise regularly, getting in the habit before you conceive gives your body the endurance, strength, and flexibility it needs to handle pregnancy-related changes and prepare for the rigors of labor and delivery. 

If you’re a beginner, aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Simply going for a brisk daily walk can improve your physical fitness. 

If you already exercise, make sure your routine isn’t too basic. A well-rounded preconception and prenatal exercise program include aerobic activity and strength training as well as flexibility training.  

6. Reduce your stress levels

While carrying a baby can be stressful even when everything is going just as it should, living under the strain of chronically high-stress levels during pregnancy can increase your risk of developing unnecessary problems and complications.

Making quality sleep a top priority, reducing the amount of stress in your life, finding healthy ways to relax, and keeping your mind in balance is just as important when you’re trying to conceive as they are when you’re expecting. 

7. Stop smoking, drinking, or taking drugs

If you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or take any kind of illicit drug, now’s the time to quit. Besides harming your health and making it harder to get pregnant, these habits can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birthweight babies when continued into pregnancy. 

It’s also important to stay away from secondhand smoke when you’re trying to conceive or are pregnant. Routine exposure to secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous to your health — and the health of your baby — as your own smoking habit. 

To learn other ways you can improve your preconception health and increase your chances of having a healthy baby, call our office in Helena, Montana today, or use the easy online booking tool to schedule a visit with one of our preconception specialists any time.

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