Make your physical health a priority and you will look and feel your best. If or when you decide to have children, these tips can help you stay healthy before, during, and after your pregnancy. This will help your possible baby’s well-being too.
Consider all of the options
If you are not sure about becoming pregnant now, or later down the road, it is important to think about all of the options available. This way, you are able to make the best decision for yourself and your possible family when or if the time comes.
If the time comes, the timing itself is important. Your ability to have a healthy pregnancy decreases as you age, but having a baby before you’re ready can also cause problems.
To optimize timing, contraception plays an important role. Contraception, better known as family planning, gives you a better change to plan your life or pregnancy at a time that is right for you and your possible family.
Take your vitamins
Daily intake of the power packed vitamins you need will be essential. Be sure to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement daily with at least 400 mcg of folic acid prior to and throughout pregnancy.>
Folic acid will help with your energy level, give you shinier hair, stronger nails, help prevent early pregnancy birth defects, and even assist in the development of a baby’s nerves and brain. Folic acid is useful to females prior to, during, and after pregnancy.
Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day. This will give you the ability to enjoy the benefits below:
- Keep your body in shape
- Stronger heart, muscles, and bones
- Reduced stress
- Better and more effective sleep
- Increased energy
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Fewer illnesses>
Food is fuel
While exercise alone is great, eating smart is another major part of a healthy lifestyle. This should be important whether or not children come into the picture.
To put the benefits of quitting in perspective, each cigarette you do not smoke, adds approximately seven minutes to your life. After five years of quitting, you cut your chances of a heart attack in half.
It is vital to your health that you quit smoking or using E-cigarettes. If you do become pregnant or intend to someday, this will protect the health of your baby as you carry it.
Avoid second-hand smoke. Gather information and tips to help you create your new non-smoking environment so you can stay smoke-free.
Since nicotine is a highly addictive drug, it is typical that you may experience withdrawal symptoms. If you do not have a plan for the first two weeks where these are heaviest you may fall back into the trap.<Learn More at the American Cancer Society
It is recommended to keep alcohol intake to a minimum, but if you do decide you want to become pregnant, or are — know that no amount is safe during pregnancy.
Get your shots
This is an important time to make sure your shots are up to date as well as ensure you’ve gotten the annual flu vaccine. Everyone who will spend time with your child should also be immunized to keep baby safe.
Infants do not have enough natural protection against infections, so do what you can to make sure he or she stays healthy. Your child’s first vaccines will include:
- DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis
- Hepatitis B
- PCV13 (Pneumococcal Disease)
Understand pregnancy planning
Creating a Life Plan will help you be ready for unexpected pregnancy. First, be sure you are aware of family planning methods and which option best fits you.
Whether you do not want kids, are unsure, maybe want to have children someday, or plan to have kids in the next few years, preventing pregnancy until you are prepared is best.
Remember that planning for a pregnancy helps you address your health, family, financial and other concerns in advance. The planning can help you have a healthier pregnancy.
Find a medical home
The first step is finding a primary care physician or Ob-Gyn you trust — someone with whom you feel safe and confident in sharing your medical history.
This physician should be able to assist in any chronic conditions you may have as well. This includes diabetes, mental illness, obesity, hypertension, thyroid disorders, or any other condition. Treating and managing these conditions will be beneficial to a healthy pregnancy in the future.
Understand Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
While nobody wants to discuss them, they are common in our communities. It is important to get checked by your provider and seek treatment, if necessary.
If an STI is left untreated or undiagnosed, it can affect your ability to have babies in the future, and some STIs are even deadly if left untreated.
Create a Family Health Portrait
With a Family Health Portrait, you can track and update your family’s health history and share it with your health care provider.