What Should You Know Before Getting Pregnant? (Part 2 of 2)
We’ve covered quite a few things to do in order to have THE best pregnancy you can have. Don’t let yourself feel too overwhelmed by all the to-dos and not-to-dos. You’ve got this, mama!
We’re back to cover pre-pregnancy care part 2! Make sure you read part 1 before devouring the rest of our listicle on what to do before commencing the beautiful journey of motherhood.
1. Ditch your Bad Habits
DIET: It is common for women to try different diets to get lean and stay in shape. Low-carb, low-calorie, ketogenic, or vegan - I’m sure at one point you’ve tried one of these. Getting pregnant may mean eating healthy regularly and at the right proportion.
Avoid skipping your meals or eating less than you need to. You should make sure that you are consuming enough nutritious food so your body will be ready to nurture and supply nutrients to your baby from conception.
DRINKS: If you are not aware of the danger a drink may pose, it is safest to drink water as your default.
If your day is incomplete without your morning coffee, then slowly cut back as soon as you decide to have a baby. It may be time for you to limit caffeine intake and search for an alternative that will not affect your pregnancy. Studies show that too much caffeine can cause miscarriage.
You can still have your occasional drink at Starbucks, but some research show that about 100 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe for a baby. However, if your hunch tells you not to, why not go entirely without coffee for the time being?
Avoid energy drinks, teas, soda, and alcohol, too. Perhaps you have to instill self-discipline before conceiving so that you will not long for parties and drinking spree throughout your pregnancy. Drinking alcohol is highly inadvisable. Whether you drink in moderation or on certain occasions only, alcohol intake can lessen your chance of pregnancy. Excessive alcohol consumption can affect your fertility and your spouse’s sperm count.
Since pregnancy can happen anytime, ditching alcohol will help to avoid possible physical deformities and cognitive problems with your little one. Switch to water and fresh fruit juices.
SMOKING: Cigarette smoke is dangerous, but secondhand smoke is, too and it may pose an even higher risk. Social smoking is a sure way to hinder pregnancy, promote miscarriage, premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or cause deformity or physical defects to your baby.
2. Avoid Being Exposed to Toxic or Harmful Substances
MEDICATION: Birth control pills prevent you from getting pregnant. Logically, you have to stop using it a few months before you try conceiving. These pills are meant to disrupt our menstrual cycle and deliberately elude ovulation. So, to get pregnant, you need to restore your normal cycle and try harder while you are fertile or ovulating.
Your medications may affect your ability to procreate. So, consult with your doctor and opt for a prescription drug that can treat you without hindering your plans to have a child. Aside from those you consume orally, you must be aware of the adverse effects of using chemicals in your body.
BODY PRODUCTS: Discontinue using products that contain substances that can be harmful to your baby. Pregnancy happens unpredictably, so be ready anytime if you are expecting.
You may start this by wearing your natural hair color. The chemicals you use for coloring your hair are considered unsafe for the baby in your womb. Certain make-up and whitening products can also pose a threat.
PETS: Your cute pets at home can be your stress reliever sometimes, but they can also be the reason why you are having a hard time conceiving.
Toxoplasmosis and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCMV, may come from your pets. It can affect your pregnancy. LCMV is an infection we may get from living with cats, rodents, mice, hamsters, or guinea pigs at home. So, you may need to keep pets away for a while if you are determined to bear a child.
3. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods
A healthy diet can boost your fertility. It can also help improve your baby’s development as soon as you get pregnant. Try to bank on nutrients that can help you conceive and nurture your little one.
FOLIC ACID – Before and during pregnancy, you need to take folic acid daily. It is the nutrient that is important in the creation of healthy cells. Enough folic acid helps prevent defects in babies like that of Spina Bifida.
You can get folic acid from green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale. Fruits like strawberries and oranges are rich in folic as well.
CALCIUM – You will need a steady supply of calcium once your little one arrives. You must stock up on this nutrient because it helps develop your baby’s bones and teeth.
You may develop osteoporosis if you are providing a lesser amount of calcium from your diet. Since your baby needs calcium, it will get the amount of calcium it needs from your bones. To prevent this from happening, consider drinking milk, or eating yogurt, broccoli, kale, and cheese.
IRON – It is the mineral we need to deliver oxygen to our body. When pregnant, it also supplies oxygen to the baby. Your iron deficiency can lead to premature birth or the baby becoming thin or underweight.
Always include iron-rich foods in your daily meal. Spinach, cereals, and lean meats are some of the good sources of iron.
FIBER - You can avoid having gestational diabetes during pregnancy if you will always include foods rich in fiber on your plate.
Whole grains like oats, quinoa, and wheat bread are rich in fiber. Fruits like corn, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, and pears are good sources of fiber too. You may also cook some beans and lentils or add them to your salad bowl.
PROTEIN - A diet with enough protein supply is also essential for the baby. It is wise to stick to a diet packed with plant-based protein to help you get pregnant. The most popular foods on the list are lean meats, black beans, and salmon.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in your preparation. These fatty acids regulate the hormones that are essential in ovulation, and it also improves blood flow to our body’s reproductive system.
You can get this fatty acid from different kinds of seafood like salmon, sardines, anchovies and herring, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
We’ve covered quite a few things to do in order to have THE best pregnancy you can have. Don’t let yourself feel too overwhelmed by all the to-dos and not-to-dos. A lot of this is common sense and most of it will naturally unfold as you embark and truly embrace this journey for all its peaks and valleys. You’ve got this, mama!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.