Planning to have a baby ? Make sure you do this first
If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is not too early to start getting ready for pregnancy. Preconception health and health care focus on things you can do before and between pregnancies to increase the chances of having a healthy baby. Here are some important steps to help you get ready for the healthiest pregnancy possible
Usually planning a baby is limited to a conversation with your spouse, however many of us forget that we aren't in a Bollywood film and it doesn't happen overnight.
Your body has to be prepped and ready to create a whole human being from scratch and then carry and nourish a child for 9 months.
Your body will have to make tiny hands, feet, a heart, lungs and a fantastic brain. This is not easy and you definitely want your body to do its best.
Here are the top things you should do at least three months before you want to conceive.
chedule and meet your gynecologist at least three months before. Your doctor will prescribe the prenatal supplements required for the baby's initial development.
If you have an existing medical issue like PCOS, thyroid, diabetes etc. or even a family history of it, you should discuss this with your doctor. This enables your doctor to prescribe the right protocol and medication.
You need to prep to create and carry a baby, for this you need a fit and healthy body. To ensure you are fit, it is recommended you do at least 30 minutes of purposeful exercise daily. Start off with a 30 minutes brisk walk or try home based workouts.
Fuel your body
We originally ate to replenish nutrients the body needed to function. At preconception you need to fuel your system to perform above optimum as you are prepping to create a wonder. Focus on eating nutritious whole foods.
Ensure each meal has a generous portion of vegetables, a portion of protein ( can be a vegetarian source too) and complex carbohydrates. Try to get in two portions of fruit per day as well.
Before and during a pregnancy protein is key, as it is the building blocks of life. Ensure you get protein in every meal. Then focus on eating a variety of foods so that you get the additional benefit of varied sources of vitamins and minerals.
Our bodies are primarily made up of water and even a slight dehydration can cause a noticeable headache. The levels of dehydration change body functions. Adequate hydration is a must before, during and after a pregnancy.
These are less talked about category but our sex hormones require fats. Opt for natural sources like avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut etc. to get in a healthy dose of fats. Speak to your health care practitioner about getting enough OMEGA 3 too.
Track your cycle
Tracking your cycle and marking your most fertile dates makes it easier to plan and conceive. There are many apps you can download that will help you keep track of this.
You will hear many medical practitioners say "don't take stress" but they never tell you how. When we are stressed our body goes into fight or flight mode. It slows down non-essential functions like reproduction.
Instead it focusses on essential functions for survival. As you can imagine this makes getting pregnant much harder, especially because no one today has a stress free life.
Try some of these simple techniques
Me-time: focus on getting in at least 30 minutes of "me-time" every day, this can be a walk while listening to music, sipping on your coffee in peace, reading, dancing or even taking a nap. Playing with a puppy counts too !!!
It needs to be something small that you enjoy and can do daily.
Mediate: This can be as little as 5 minutes of quite time a day or focusing completely on something that consumes and relaxes your mind. Some people find colouring a stress busting activity.
Overall physical health: when you focus on getting a healthy body you automatically fuel the mind better too and this will help you deal with things differently.
Trying to conceive can be stressful in today's
circumstances. You can get easily depressed if you don't conceive in the first few months. It is important to remember that the body is able to gauge when it is ready to support a pregnancy, as you get healthier and fitter your body gets more confident of doing this.
Assume it will take a year and you will not be demotivated or disappointed. Instead you will work towards a healthy pregnancy. In most cases you will get pregnant way before this and if you do, let that be a pleasant gift.
(The writer is a lifestyle and transformation coach)