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Newborn baby checklist for new mums

With the wealth of information available with regards to preconception planning and care, it’s easy to get confused and even miss out on some important things.

A well-prepared pregnancy could be just as simple as having a well-organized and thought-out checklist. Here’s a simple 13 point pregnancy planning checklist to help you plan for a healthy pregnancy. You can print it out so it’s easier to use

Nutrition

◯ Follow a healthy eating plan

♂ A well-balanced and varied pre-pregnancy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the most important things in the preconception checklist that will help get you both in good shape for starting a family. You are, after all, what you eat – and what you eat plays a huge role in your body’s ability to conceive, as well as how your baby develops during and after your pregnancy.

◯ Start taking pregnancy supplements

♀ The first weeks after conception are critical for your baby’s development including development of vital organs, yet most women don’t know they are pregnant until they are past this important stage.

It can take time to build the higher level of nutrients your body will need to support you and your growing baby, and it’s difficult to guarantee you’ll get sufficient quantities through diet alone.

Studies have shown that folic acid and multivitamins will help in the prevention of neural-tube defects and some congenital abnormalities. Taking a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement, such as Elevit Pronatal, can help build up the essential nutrients required and help cover the needs of both mother and baby.

It’s important to start taking a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement such as Elevit Pronatal, from at least 1 month before you try to fall pregnant.

And it’s not just the women who need preparation!

♂ Men can also take positive steps to support conception by adopting a healthier lifestyle, and being aware of sperm health in particular.

Lifestyle

◯  Age and fertility

♂ Fertility declines for both women and men as they get older. Consider your age and your partner’s age as you plan your family. You may wish to discuss this further with a doctor.

◯ Manage your weight

♂ A healthy weight is essential for both of you as being overweight can affect your chances of getting pregnant.

Aim for a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.99. If you’re not there yet, your doctor can suggest the best way to get to your ideal weight for planning pregnancy.

◯ Quit smoking and avoid alcohol

♂ Alcohol and Cigarette smoking in men and women are connected with decrease in monthly probability of conception.

Smokers are at a higher risk of infertility, your risk for fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked daily.

♀ The safest option is to avoid alcohol and smoking completely whilst you are trying to conceive, throughout pregnancy.

♂ Whilst trying to conceive, men are recommended to avoid smoking and to help promote and maintain healthy sperm.

◯ Reduce your caffeine intake

♂ Consumption of caffeine has also been linked to sub fertility, and drinking more than 500 mg of caffeine per day is associated with an increased risk of infertility.

Keep your consumption of caffeine to a less than of 200 mg per day, which is equivalent to about 1 cup espresso. Remember that caffeine can also be found in chocolate, tea, some soft and energy drinks too.

◯ Develop a good exercise habit

♂ An active lifestyle and regular, moderate exercise will help you both get in good shape for starting a family because regular exercise is associated with a decrease in risk of ovulatory infertility.

Why not to do it together! This could be a great opportunity for you and your partner to adopt a fitter and healthier way of living.

◯  Reduce stress levels

♂ Stress has been associated with reproductive failures, such as anovulation (absence of ovulation), dysregulation of placenta, spontaneous abortion, and implantation failure.

Stress can affect your relationships in many ways, including reducing your sex drive. Try stress management techniques like yoga and meditation. Make the necessary changes in your habits to encourage a more relaxed and centered mindset.

◯ Track your ovulation

♀ Stress has been associated with reproductive failures, such as anovulation Knowing when you’re likely to ovulate will help you work out the best time for preconception planning of conceiving a baby. You can buy an ovulation predictor kit from your local pharmacy to help identify your fertile window and increase your chances of conceiving.

If you’ve been using contraception like an implant, pill or injection, it can take a while for your fertility to return. Ask your doctor for the right advice when you want to stop using contraception.

Important health checks

◯ Visit your doctor

♀ It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about trying to conceive. They can advise you on important areas like tests that may be required, current medications you may be taking that affect your chances of having a baby, or treatments that may help ease you into pregnancy. They can also help you take into consideration any important information from your family medical history. If you are taking contraception, ask about advice before discontinuing use.

♂ It’s also a good time for your partner to talk with their doctor for advice on the things they can do to help with planning for pregnancy.

◯ Review your health insurance

♀ If you intend to use your health insurance during pregnancy and birth, check your policy entitlements. You may need cover for at least 12 months before you become pregnant. Factor this into your financial planning.

◯ Check your maternity leave conditions

♂ Review your maternity and paternity leave entitlements at work, and any responsibilities you may have to your employer.

◯ Remember to relax

♂ Adhering to this preconception checklist will help you in achieving your goal of getting pregnant. Good luck with your pregnancy plans! Remember to try to relax and have fun together. It’s an exciting time and there’s an amazing journey ahead.