Friday, February 5, 2016

Before the Baby Bump

The other day I was at my sister's house. When I walked in the door, my 7 year old nephew asked me if I was having a baby yet.  I laughed, since I have only been married for a few months. Just a few months ago I was getting asked questions about flowers, decorations, food, cake, guests, bridesmaids, and everything in between. Now, it seems like almost everyone wants to know when my husband and I are going to have kids, and if I'm expecting our first bundle of joy yet.

While I am not pregnant yet, I do want to be able to have a baby in the near future. Since I'm very much a planner, for me this means I want to go out and buy all the things needed for when you have a baby. My husband is great at helping me realize that I need to actually be pregnant before we start loading our home full of baby stuff, so instead I have been trying to prepare my body to get pregnant, and learn what I can do to have a healthy baby. Here's some things that I've learned about the importance of in preparing to get pregnant.

Talk with Your Doctor
  • Have a physical examination to make sure that your body is healthy and that everything is working as it should.
  • If you have any medical conditions, past or present, that could affect your ability to get pregnant. Some medications aren't safe to take during pregnancy, so knowing how to manage any medical conditions before, during, and after your pregnancy, is critical to doing your part to have a healthy baby.
  • Get all of your vaccinations up to date, and to know what vaccines you may need while you're pregnant, and if any of them are trimester specific.
  • When questions or concerns arise, remember that doctors have a lot of experience and education, and a much more reliable source than what can often be found on the internet.
Prenatal Vitamins 
  • Vitamins such as folate and folic acid are vital to start taking before you are pregnant. They help to make sure the spinal cord of the fetus develop and close properly while it is being formed.  Since these form in the early weeks, often before the mother knows she's pregnant, it's critical to take these, to avoid potential neuro tube defects.
  • Recommended amount of folic acid is 400 micrograms (mcg) daily.
  • Other essential vitamins include calcium, protein, iron, and vitamin D - while these are all found in your balanced diet, taking vitamins helps ensure you have a sufficient amount of these to help your baby to develop properly.
  • Exercise is good for your overall health. Exercising regularly helps reduce stress, help you sleep better, and releases endorphin's which help you to feel happier. 
  • Can help lessen common pregnancy complaints such as back pain, have better circulation, and less swelling.
  • Helps boost energy levels.
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Helps improve your endurance to better handle the process of labor and birth.
  • Helps with emotional regulation.
Eat Healthy Foods
  • Eating healthy helps to make sure you have the proper nutrients.
  • It also can help you to maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy.
Whether it's your first pregnancy, second, or even your last, it's always good to have a reminder of the importance of being healthy yourself, so your baby will also be healthy.

For more information or to make an action plan, visit the CDC website

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