Before You’re Pregnant

You may think that just because you aren’t pregnant yet there isn’t anything you can be doing to get ready for baby – wrong! Here is a quick list of things you can do before you even get pregnant to help the process along and make it a better experience for you when you do finally get that bun in the oven!

  • Get a preconception check up – a physical exam will pick up any medical problems that need to be addressed before or monitored during pregnancy
  • Start looking for a prenatal practitioner – it’s easier now than when you are on a deadline to find someone
  • Visit the Dentist – believe it or not pregnancy hormones can aggravate gum and tooth problems, so now is the time to have any potential problems dealt with
  • Take a look at your family history of both you and your partner
  • Take a look at your pregnancy history
  • Ask your doctor if genetic screening is recommended
  • Get a blood test – you can get a head start on some of the testing they run once you are pregnant with a simple blood test to test for things that may need to be monitored later such as anemia
  • Get treated for any condition that such a test turns up now – it is easier to take care of before you conceive

  • Update your immunizations
  • Get chronic illnesses such as diabetes or a heart condition under control and be sure you have your doctor’s ok to become pregnant
  • It is recommended that anyone who has been using hormonal birth control stop using it a few months prior to conceiving – use condoms in the mean time. This allows your system to go through at least two normal cycles. If you have a IUD have it removed before trying. If you are on Depo-Provera shots you may have to wait up to 10 months to become fertile again, plan accordingly
  • Start eating well! It is never too early for a nutrient rich diet
  • Take a prenatal vitamin
  • Get your weight in check – if you are over or under weight it can be harder to conceive
  • Get into an exercise routine that will keep you healthy but wont over do it – ask your doctor for advice on how much is the right amount
  • Check to see what medications you currently have or are taking that are unsafe during pregnancy
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol – no need to stop with caffeine when you are pregnant, just cut back to 200mg a day. Alcohol doesn’t need to be cut out entirely until you become pregnant
  • Quit smoking – it not only affects the health of your unborn baby but can hinder conception
  • Figure out any work issues – if you are planning to find a new job it might be best to do so before you get pregnant to give you a chance to get settled and used to a new routine before baby is on board
  • Become familiar with your monthly cycle
  • Relax!

*This list is based on the one provided in Chapter 1 of What to Expect When You Are Expecting.

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