Is starting a family one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, there are a few things you can do to prepare your body for pregnancy and increase your chances of having a healthy, more comfortable pregnancy.
First and foremost, if you smoke, you should quit before you become pregnant. There are a variety of resources you can use to help you stop smoking. Talk to your doctor today about a healthy strategy for quitting.
Secondly, make sure that you are getting enough of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily to maintain good overall health. It is especially important that you get an adequate intake of folic acid, prior to becoming pregnant. You can get this important nutrient from certain foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruits and certain bean and lentils. Your doctor may also recommend that you take a daily supplement of folic acid. This will help to prevent neural tube defects in your unborn child. Neural tube defects typically form within the first 28 days of pregnancy and many times before a woman knows that she is pregnant. That is why it is so important to get an adequate intake of folic acid prior to becoming pregnant.
Thirdly, make any needed lifestyle changes that will get you to a healthy weight and then maintain that healthy weight. If you are underweight, talk to your doctor about how to gain weight in a healthy manner. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about a diet and exercise plan that will help you get down to a healthy body mass index (BMI). Starting your pregnancy at a healthy BMI will make it easier and more comfortable for you to carry the baby and will increase your chances of carrying to full term.