If you are planning to start a family, it’s very important to ensure that you and your partner’s health is on track. It’s recommended to start making healthier lifestyle changes at least three months prior to pregnancy.
A visit to your doctor is ideal, as they can provide you essential advice particularly on any issues regarding medical conditions and your health history. You can also discuss with them steps you may need to take to prevent the risk of birth defects.
Drinking alcohol and smoking must be stopped as this can have a severe impact on the development of your baby. It’s also a health risk for yourself and if you need to, contact your doctor for help if it’s hard to quit.
It’s important to have optimum levels of vitamins and nutrients to support the growth of your baby. A necessary vitamin is folate which is needed for the development of the baby’s nervous system and the prevention of neural tube defects. A lack of this vitamin can cause spina bifida, which can occur in the first weeks of pregnancy. This is when the brain and spinal cord are forming and the defect from lack of folate can occur even before you know you are pregnant.
Foods that contain folate include leafy greens and many more vegetables and various other foods. You can also take a folic acid supplement where you would need at least 400 micrograms. For more information contact your doctor.
It is also important to have a healthy weight, as being either underweight or overweight can cause fertility issues. Regular exercise is also incredibly beneficial, however, be mindful of the intensity of your exercise as strenuous activity may impact your ability to conceive. A study found that moderate exercise improved chances of conception.
Looking after your body and mind is necessary for optimal living and even more so for your pregnancy journey. Reach out to health professionals as much as possible as the more information you have, the better choices you can make to improve your health and the health of your baby.
For further research and information, a great site to visit is https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/