Schedule an appointment
You may feel overwhelmed by pregnancy tips from friends and family or podcasters, bloggers, and social media. Scheduling a preconception appointment with your doctor helps keep you focused. Your doctor will evaluate your health and health history, discuss fertility plans and recommend specialists as needed. Ask about the best approach for you – from diet and exercise to home-and-family preparations.
Your husband can schedule a preconception evaluation, too, to spot potential health or infertility problems and start proactive treatments.
A healthy body prepares you for a healthy pregnancy. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend 150 minutes of activity weekly for healthy moms-to-be. To stay motivated, ask your husband or a friend to join you for regular walks or workouts. Scheduling small activities throughout the day can also help reach exercise goals.
Your doctor can recommend prenatal multivitamins and what to eat or avoid when trying to conceive. A good diet limits processed foods and include a healthy, colorful variety of fruits and vegetables. Foods to choose or avoid when trying to conceive include:
- Salty or sugary junk food
- Certain raw, undercooked, or unwashed foods
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Mercury-containing tuna, swordfish, and other large fish
- Foods with PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) – a chemical used in some fast foods, microwaveable popcorn, and other pre-packaged convenience foods
Harvard School of Public Health researchers recommend the following dietary changes to lower fertility risks associated with ovulatory disorders:
- Fewer trans fats
- Less low-fat dairy and more high-fat dairy
- Less sugar from carbohydrates
- More fiber
Take folic acid daily
Getting 400 mcg of folic acid daily can help prevent brain and spinal birth defects. You can also get folic acid from folate – a nutrient in certain foods, fortified cereals, and grains. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dietary sources of folate include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Leafy green vegetables
Avoid alcohol and excess caffeine. Ask your doctor about medications, supplements, and herbal teas to avoid when planning a pregnancy.
Take care of yourself
Healthy moms-to-be create a safe, nurturing place for babies to grow. The following pregnancy tips can help:
- Take it easy – Conflicts and worries are part of life, but excess stress affects your health. Get plenty of rest, discuss expectations with your husband, and find ways to manage marriage stress.
- Prepare your home and family – Research safe cribs, furniture, and products, and take steps to prepare siblings and even your pets for a new baby.
- Don’t smoke – The CDC reports that smoking during pregnancy can contribute to premature delivery, low birth weight, birth defects, and other complications. If you need help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Relax! You’ve earned it.
Getting pregnant is a journey to experience, not a task to complete. God will be with you every step of the way, and you can trust Him to care for you and your family – wherever the journey leads. Seek help and lean on others when you need it, too. And above all, remember that you were made for this miraculous and unpredictable journey of creating life.