WASHINGTON, October 14, 2016 – When you have reached the time in your life when bringing a child into the world no longer seems like a terrifying idea and starts to become a milestone you can’t wait to reach, it is time to prepare yourself for bringing a tiny human into the world. This doesn’t just mean browsing around the baby section of the department store or thinking about possible baby names, it also means preparing yourself mentally and physically.
Carrying and delivering a child is a marathon and involves a ton of dramatic changes to your life, body, and mind. In order to prepare for so many changes, there are a few aspects of wellness to remember in order to keep your health in check while trying to get pregnant. Understanding why prenatal vitamins are important, keeping track of mental health, paying attention to your body, and making healthy lifestyle choices are all important aspects to staying healthy while trying to get pregnant.
Prenatal Vitamins are Important
Many people don’t put a lot of importance on vitamins in everyday life, but when you are trying to conceive, prenatal vitamins are a necessary aspect to your child’s health. B vitamins are especially important for prenatal health due to the part they play in development. Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is one of the most common vitamins recommended by doctors. Folic acid is necessary to cover important fetal development requirements during early pregnancy. Folic acid helps to prevent defects of the spinal cord and brain and many other birth defects. For this reason, many doctors recommend women start taking it long before they conceive.
Calcium and iron are other important prenatal vitamins important to take while trying to get pregnant. Iron helps to prevent preterm or low birth-weight babies. Calcium is important to prevent loss of bone density as your baby will use calcium for its own bone growth. Many prenatal vitamins have the required supplements in one pill, but it’s important to check to be sure these are present. Check with your doctor when trying to conceive to be sure what you should be taking or if you have any side effects. Overall, taking prenatal supplements while trying to conceive will help to eliminate some of the risks to your child’s health and yours.
The Importance of Mental Health
Planning for a baby can be mentally exhausting for a number of different reasons and can spawn a number of different outcomes. Whether you get pregnant immediately, have trouble conceiving, or have a complicated pregnancy, you may experience a wide variety of different emotions as a result. Managing stress and hormones can feel like a juggling act so be sure to take note of your emotions, talk to your doctor, and utilize the support from your family and/or partner if you’re feeling mentally exhausted from the experience.
Many expectant mothers know the risks of postpartum depression, but it’s also important to understand the risks of depression before and during pregnancy as well. If you are experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, social isolation, low self-esteem, or troubling thoughts, know that it’s not uncommon and there are treatment options available. It’s nothing to be ashamed of at a time of transition when hormones are rising and life is changing. Keep your mental health at a good place just like you need to keep your physical health in a good place when planning a pregnancy.
Paying Close Attention to Your Body
Many people don’t pay too close attention to their body and the interworking of it, but when you are planning a pregnancy it’s important to pay close attention to how your body is reacting to certain things. This will allow you to pinpoint any negative reactions to things, report any pregnancy symptoms to a doctor, and treat any mental or physical conditions you may be experiencing before conceiving. Many of the early pregnancy symptoms can be subtle so it’s helpful to be paying attention to how your body works in order to take note if things start to change.
Many pregnancy apps ask you to record certain stats about your body in order to record data and make it easier for you to pinpoint the best time to conceive and the status of your health. Keeping track of your menstrual cycle, ovulation, spotting, cramps, basal body temperature, mood, breast tenderness, and nausea is important in logging your symptoms. There are a ton of apps that make this process simple so that you have easy access to the data making it easier to keep track of your body.
Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Once you begin trying to get pregnant, it’s important to make sure you are making healthy lifestyle choices. Pregnancy can happen at any time, so any drug or alcohol use is extremely risky. It’s also important to stay healthy with a good diet and exercise. Leafy greens are a great source of folic acid, milk is a great source of calcium, and beans are a great source of iron. In addition to taking prenatal vitamins, eating these foods and others like them will help to raise those levels and limit the birth issues associated with not having enough of them. Leading a healthy and safe lifestyle is important in general, but it’s even more important while trying to conceive. So put down the cocktail, pick up some kale, and keep yourself healthy in preparation for your little one.
Keeping yourself healthy during pregnancy is a given when carrying a child, but it’s also important to keep that in mind when trying to conceive. Preparing your body and mind can eliminate some of the issues associated with an unplanned or surprise pregnancy. Taking prenatal vitamins, noting the importance of mental health, paying attention to bodily changes, and making positive lifestyle choices are all important aspects of conception. With all of those important aspects taken care of, you’ll have all the freedom to worry about birthing classes, morning sickness, and being an overprotective mom to your kiddo.