Preconception Care: How to prepare yourself for pregnancy



Congratulations!

You have decided to become a mom and expand your family. This is the best decision you will ever make. Even though at times your child might drive you crazy, you will always be grateful for having this bundle of joy.

Before getting pregnant, you need to prepare your body for a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Preconception care will help you take care of health problems you might have before getting pregnant such as diabetes, heart problems, STDs, and much more. Another advantage of preconception care is that you can prepare your body to give your child all of the nutrients he/she needs to grow healthy.

1) Schedule a Preconception Appointment with your doctor:
It is very important to go to your doctor and tell him your plans. The doctor will discuss with you your health history and any medical conditions you might have that could affect the pregnancy. He will check your blood test and let you know if you need any vaccinations and what the following steps are for a healthy pregnancy and prevent any birth defects.

2) Take prenatal vitamins
It is very important to take these vitamins; they can help prevent birth defects. Make sure the prenatal vitamins you are taking have 400 to 800 micrograms of Folic acid daily at least one month prior to getting pregnant and during the pregnancy. This vitamin will lower the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defects (NTDs), heart and limb defects, urinary tract anomalies, narrowing of the lower stomach valve, and oral facial clefts (like cleft lip and cleft palate).

3) Eat healthy
Prenatal vitamins are not enough to give you all the necessary nutrients. That is why it is so essential to have a balanced diet. You need to eat fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and follow what the doctor told you to do.

4) Exercise
Start preparing your body for the pregnancy. The best exercises to do during the preconception stages are walking, swimming, cycling, running and yoga. But you have to be careful not to do it in excess. Check with your doctor what is the best routine for you. 

5) Stop smoking, drinking and using other drugs
Any type of drug will hurt your baby. It is extremely necessary for you to stop smoking, drinking alcohol or taking any other drugs before you get pregnant or try to conceive because your body needs to get rid of all those toxins.

6) Take care of your teeth
Make an appointment with your dentist to check, clean, and repair any problems you may have with your teeth and gums.

7) Limit caffeine consumption
Start limiting your coffee. The moment you get pregnant you will have to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day. Having a greater amount of caffeine in you system could suffer a miscarriage. Remember that caffeine comes in  coffee, sodas, energy drinks and chocolates.

While you do all of these, you may start feeling tired or frustrated... Remember to think about your future baby smiling at you. Think of your baby's eyes, little hands and feet, and focus on how much joy you will receive once your baby arrives to the world.

Good luck and lots of baby powder for you!

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