How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

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Find a doctor.,
Update your immunizations.,
Check for STDs and STIs.,
Look into potential health risks.,
Check your medications.,
Wait after birth control.,
Stop using cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.,
Manage your stress.,
Drink lots of water.,
Get lots of folic acid.,
Stop unhealthy eating habits.,
Eat a good, balanced diet.,
Tone down your workouts.,
Do core exercises.,
Do general exercises.,
Prevent stretch marks.

You’ll want to see an OB/GYN or certified midwife as soon as you can when you decide that you want to get pregnant. Starting this relationship early will not only help you get vital advice, but also help you make sure you end up with someone that you like when you really are carrying junior!;
, It’s important to go to the doctor and make sure you’ve had your important vaccinations and that any that have lapsed get updated. This is because while it’s rare to get illnesses like measles, if you get them while you’re pregnant it can have serious consequences for your baby.

, STIs and STDs can often go asymptomatic and exposing your baby to them can cause lifelong problems for your child or even death. Don’t allow misconceptions about how one gets STIs to keep you from getting tested. Even if you think it’s impossible, just get tested anyway to be sure!

, You’ll want your doctor to do a full check-up to keep an eye out for any health complications that might make getting or staying pregnant dangerous or difficult. Pregnancy is very hard on your body and if you already have, for example, mild high blood pressure then you could be in for a dangerous ride.

, Many prescription medications and some dietary supplements can be dangerous for pregnant woman and their babies. Check with your doctor about all medications you are on and find out what adjustments will be necessary.

, You will, of course, have to stop taking birth control before you can become pregnant. However, it’s important to understand how long it will be after you stop before you are capable of becoming pregnant again. You should look up the specifics for the medication or birth control method you are on, but generally:

Birth control pills will generally be out of your system within a few days, but your body may not be ready to become pregnant for 2-3 months.
Depo-Provera can take as much as 9-12 months to fully exit your system.
IUDs, hormonal and non-hormonal, can often have you back to normal in less than a month.
Condoms, cervical caps, and other barrier methods will not stop you from getting pregnant as soon as you stop using them.

, If you use cigarettes, you have to quit while pregnant. If you drink, you have to stop. On the off chance that you use drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any other illegal substances such as these, stop. All of these things can kill your baby or cause it to be born with serious mental and general health problems.

, Serious stress while pregnant can be dangerous for you baby and dangerous for you too! Your blood pressure is often affected by pregnancy and so added stress can be the straw that broke the camel’s back, or in this case, the straw that caused the camel to go into early labor.

Find healthy ways of coping with stress, such as doing a creative task or screaming into a pillow.

, Water is so important for you normally, so you can imagine how important it is for you to get water while you’re pregnant. You’ve no doubt heard about how often you’ll be peeing when you’re pregnant, so making sure your body starts off in a well-hydrated state is very important.

A normal person with regular activity should drink 2 liters (0.5 US gal) a day. However, a pregnant woman, like an athlete, should drink a little more…perhaps even up to 3 liters (0.8 US gal) a day. This is to help maintain the hydration and elasticity of your skin and later on, to help create good levels of amniotic fluid.

, Folic acid is scientifically proven to be vital in making sure your baby develops correctly. You want to start getting this nutrient in your system even before the baby arrives. You can take supplements, or get it naturally (and more effectively) by eating leafy greens and whole grains.

, If you eat a lot of junk food or foods that are naturally dangerous, like certain types of seafood (high in mercury), then now is the time to stop. Exposing a baby to high amounts of fat, sugar, and toxins like mercury can seriously negatively affect their development.

, Eat a healthy diet to make sure your body is rich in all of the nutrients your baby will need. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Remember: the more green it is, the better. Kale is way better for your baby than celery. The same with fruit. Forgo sugary apples in favor of Vitamin C-rich oranges.

, If you already exercise, you may need to tone down your workouts. Especially stressful workouts, like Crossfit, can make it extremely difficult for your body to carry the pregnancy to term. Skip stressful workouts like jogging in favor of exercises like swimming.

, Core exercises, like sit-ups and squats, will strengthen your stomach muscles. This will help ensure that they heal correctly after you have your baby. Incorrectly healed muscles can lead to a permanent bit of puffy tummy, even if you’re otherwise thin.

, Generally, being in shape leads you to a stronger, healthier body. That of course can really help contribute to a stronger, healthier pregnancy. Make sure you get light activity every day at an absolute minimum. If you can work out for half an hour every other day, this is great!

Yoga is a great workout once you’re actually pregnant.

, Use lanolin and shea butter on your skin to help prevent stretch marks. You should also take Vitamin E supplements or eat foods naturally rich in this nutrient to keep your skin strong and healthy-looking.

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