Ask Away...: Baby Steps: Preparing For Pregnancy

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Baby Steps: Preparing For Pregnancy


There comes a time in all our lives when we see all our friends with young children or babies, and we start to think seriously about having one of our own. In the modern world, there are many women who don’t want to have children, and that’s fine. But from where I'm sat, the thought of having a baby can be extremely overwhelming, and while we are never ready, the need of having one surpasses any other financial concerns. So, if you have decided to have a baby, where do you begin? Apart from the obvious, trying for a baby is all about looking after your body. Eating well, moderate exercise, and avoiding stressful situations are all things which you need to be conscious of. There are many women that can get pregnant quickly, and for others, it can take a longer amount of time. It can be upsetting for many people, but this is normal. Statistically, in every 100 couples that are trying for a baby, approximately 30 will conceive within one month, 75 will conceive within 6 months, 80 to 90 within 12 months, and the 10 or 20 that remain can take longer or require help to get pregnant. While it may seem that everyone gets pregnant at the drop of a hat, this is far from the truth.


With the 10 or 20 that require help to get pregnant, thanks to modern medicine, there are now many different things that you can do. Examples include ovulation induction, embryo transfer, and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. IVF is a popular method in the modern world, but it can be a costly process. There are more affordable IVF treatments available now, and these can help to boost your chances of getting pregnant, but it should be used as a last resort. There are things that you are asked to do to increase your fertility chances during IVF treatment, and these include things like eating healthily and taking fertility increasing supplements. And prior to IVF, you should be getting your body ready for pregnancy by introducing healthy habits. Of course, in life, there is no guaranteed chance of pregnancy in anyone, but by keeping your body on the healthy side, it will increase your chances of getting pregnant naturally or by alternative treatment.


Before getting pregnant, there are measures to take in order to increase your fertility. Look at your diet, what sort of foods do you eat? It is so much easier to get fast food or to eat ready meals than it is to cook a meal. But these foods are not only high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, but they are very heavily processed. Limit your intake of these foods during the conception period, and you will see a difference in your health. Increase your amount of healthy fats, like olive oil, nuts, and seeds, and having an overall healthy diet, full of protein and fruit and vegetables, are things that you need to start doing. In terms of supplements, the most important one, which is recommended by healthcare professionals, is folic acid. Take a daily supplement of 0.4 mg (400 micrograms) from the period that you stop your contraception. Folic acid is part of the vitamin B family and is essential for development in the early weeks of pregnancy. Foods that are high in folic acid include leafy green vegetables, like spinach or broccoli. As well as eating the right foods, you can eat the wrong foods. Bacteria are something that can cause damage to a baby, so by avoiding foods that are unpasteurised, like milk, soft cheese and raw eggs, is recommended. Check the labels to see if they are pasteurised, and cook your eggs fully. Also avoid foods that are high in vitamin A, such as pate.


Exercise is an important factor in trying to get pregnant. If you don’t exercise, it is now time to start. You don’t have to start doing a marathon right away, you can build up by walking or swimming, and doing exercises that relax the body, such as yoga or Pilates, is a good way to get toned. The important thing is to not put your body under stress. With every exercise routine, making sure you recover adequately is as important as the exercise itself. If you are unsure about what exercises you should do, a health professional can point you in the right direction. The fitter you are, the better you will be able to cope with the pregnancy.



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