There are many things you can and should do to prepare your body to
have a healthy pregnancy. This can and should start several months
or even years before trying to conceive. Some of these sound like
no-brainers, but you would be surprised at what I see pregnant
women do because of the lack of knowledge they have about having a
healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby.
#1 - Quit
....and never smoke again.
Smoking cigarettes is probably the number one cause of adverse
outcomes of babies. These include: low birth weight babies,
underdeveloped bodies, and adverse effects to the lungs, brain, and
other organs. Even just one cigarette a day can have significant
effects on the baby's blood vessels, causing lifelong traumatic
effects on him.
# 2 - Stop Drinking
Some alcohols that contain yeast can provide an environment on the
body that breeds bacterial and fungal infections. As you prepare
your body to conceive, understand that these infections can be
passed to your baby if not taken care of properly. When you drink
alcohol while pregnant, so does your baby. Alcohol has been shown
to be harmful to the baby's development. If you drink during
pregnancy, you are putting your baby at risk for irreversible Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Check Out Medications and Supplements
Before becoming pregnant, check with your health care provider
about the affects your medications may be having on your ability to
conceive and carry a baby safely. In addition, some medications and
supplements are not recommended for pregnant or lactating
#4 - Cut Out The Junk
It is im
portant to develop healthy eating habits
before your baby is conceived. Being at an ideal weight and eating
well will significantly increase you and your baby's health. Eating
foods that are empty in calories is not a good habit to have. When
pregnant, it is important to choose foods wisely. Having a balanced
diet of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber is important to
develop and strong and healthy baby. Reach for the apple instead of
the candy bar next time you have a pre-pregnancy craving. The
sooner you start, the better off you will be once you are pregnant!
Here are just a few ideas of some healthy foods for
#5 - Become Active
- Whole Grains - buckwheat, spelt, rice, millet, quinoa, barley,
- Leafy Greens - spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, and
- Protein - wild caught fish, chicken, legumes, tofu, nuts, eggs,
If you aren't already involved in doing some kind of physical
activity, it is going to be important to get your
body physically in shape to carry a baby.
Try exercises such as yoga or Pilates. This will help minimize the
muscle aches and pains that come along with being pregnant when you
get there. If the season is right, get outside and walk in the park
or around the block each day. Plus, the fresh air is good for you!
*I do not recommend starting a rigorous exercise program when
pregnant. And, don't start doing anything when you become pregnant
that you hadn't preciously done, like jogging or running.