Preparation for pregnancy begins long before you start trying. Whether this is your first or fifth baby there are a number things you can do to prepare your body in advance for a healthy pregnancy.
If you are on the pill stop taking it a few months before you plan to start trying. This will give you time to learn what your natural cycle length is. The average is about 28 days, but a normal cycle can vary from as few as 21 days to as many as 35 days. Learning what is normal for you will help when it comes to working out when you are ovulating.
An ovulation calculator can help you keep track of when your most fertile days are. It’s also worth noting that understanding you cycle will also help you discover if anything is off and might need addressing such as spotting or irregular length.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant it is essential to take folic acid for 3 months before conception. This is an important nutrient which needs time to build up in your body. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida occurring as it helps the formation of the spinal cord. This happens as early as two to three weeks after conception, when you mightn’t know you are expecting, so its essential you are already taking this critical nutrient. All Proceive products contain the recommended 400ug of folic acid in the L-Methylfolate form for increased absorption. It is recommended you continue to take Folic Acid for the duration of your pregnancy.
BOOK A CHECK UP
Visit your GP for a check up. This visit will give you a chance discuss any medication you are on, your family history and any concerns you have. Your GP will also be able to check if you need any vaccinations that you may have missed such as tetanus or rubella. These vaccinations are important as they help to keep you and your baby healthy and protected when pregnant.
VISIT THE DENTIST
Did you know the hormonal changes in pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque which can result in gum disease? It is recommended that anything other than basic dental treatment is avoided during pregnancy so a visit to the dentist before becoming pregnant for a check up and professional cleaning is a good idea. Your oral health can be fully assessed and any issues can be treated in advance of pregnancy.
INCREASE YOUR VITAMINS
Not only is conception a very energy intensive process, requiring a number of important nutrients, pregnancy is also very taxing on your body’s nutritional stores. Now’s the time to be cleaning up your diet and including lots of nutrient dense foods, but we all know maintaining a healthy diet every day can be difficult in today’s busy world. You can help bridge any nutritional gaps by taking a good vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement. Starting a pre-conception supplement now can also help avoid any nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy.
If you smoke now is the time to stop, smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of health problems for the baby as well as increasing the risk of miscarriage. Quitting can be difficult despite your best efforts but there are multiple supports available so don’t give up! Speak to your pharmacist or GP for advice.
Don’t forget it takes two to make a baby. The same diet and lifestyle factors that affect a woman’s fertility can also affect aman’s. Smoking, excess alcohol, stress, being overweight, and a poor diet lacking in essential nutrients can all contribute to reduced sperm quality and quantity.