Early pregnancy tips
Follow some simple lifestyle tips as you preparing for pregnancy. They’ll help you get ready to conceive and give your baby the best start in life.
Your lifestyle plays a huge role in your chances of getting pregnant.
- What you eat and drink
- How much you weigh
- How physically active you are
- How you manage stress
These are just some of the choices that you make in your daily life that affects your body’s preparedness for pregnancy.
In the fast-paced and highly ambitious environment of the Middle East, it is often too easy to neglect the importance of taking care of one’s self. Planning to have a baby is a great time to reassess your habits and make positive changes to your lifestyle.
These 12 lifestyle pregnancy tips and advice will help set you and your partner up for starting a family.
How to look after yourself when preparing for pregnancy
In preparing your pre-pregnancy diet, the following are also recommended:
1. Get your nutritional needs right
To prepare for pregnancy, adopt a well-balanced diet that consists of:
❯ Fresh fruit and vegetables
❯ Good quality protein
❯ Whole grains
❯ Low fat dairy products
❯ Plenty of water.
Your baby’s healthy life starts with good maternal nutrition.
Stay away from substances that can complicate conception and in pregnancy, such as:
❯ Foods that may contain Listeria (such as soft cheeses, cold meats, pre-prepared salads and raw eggs)
❯ Fish containing high levels of mercury.
❯ Minimizing your daily caffeine intake is also advised.
“ Reducing stress levels can increase your chances of getting pregnant. ”
2. Take a pregnancy supplement when planning your pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding periods in a woman’s life, and the importance of good maternal nutrition for both mother and baby’s health is widely recognised.
During pregnancy, the need for some key nutrients is increased. Despite the best intentions, meeting these additional nutritional needs can be difficult through diet alone.
“ Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of variety, full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Your baby’s healthy life starts with good maternal nutrition. ”
Benefits of multivitamin supplements
Multivitamin supplements containing folic acid are needed to attain the red blood cell folate levels for optimal protection against neural tube defect.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.
The first weeks of pregnancy are when your baby’s vital organs begin to form and this is the time you may not even know you are pregnant, so it’s important to start taking a pregnancy supplement daily from at least 1 month before you try to fall pregnant.
3. Practice good food hygiene
Handling food correctly reduces your chances of picking up a food-borne infection
❯ Keep all your kitchen utensils and surfaces clean
❯ Sanitize your hands before handling food items
❯ Wash fresh fruit and vegetables thoroughly
❯ Cook your food at full doneness, and store everything at the appropriate temperatures
4. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise, which will keep you in good shape, is associated with a decrease in risk of ovulatory infertility.25 Shifting to an active lifestyle reduces the risk of some chronic health problems and improves your general well-being.
When trying to improve your body’s fitness levels, even small changes can lead to big benefits
❯ Try using the stairs instead of the lift
❯ Take at least 30 minutes exercise, such as walking or swimming, preferably every day
Take note: be careful not to overdo it. Too much exercise can lead to hormonal imbalances that can make it harder for you to conceive. Always defer to your physician’s advice
5. Manage your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential when trying to conceive. Your chances of getting pregnant are reduced if you’re overweight or underweight because too much weight and too little weight increase the risk for serious health problems.
To work out your ideal weight for your size, you need to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can do this by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared.
According to World Health Organization, the ideal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.99.27 If you need to lose or gain weight to be in the healthy range, talk to your doctor about how best to go about it
6. Stop smoking
Smoking is never a good idea in general, but its negative effects become even more pronounced when preparing for pregnancy.
Smoking causes a number of health problems that can affect fertility in both men and women. If you or your partner smoke, planning for a baby is a great reason for both of you to quit.
Smoking can cause a variety of health problems for women, such as difficulty getting pregnant and miscarriage.
In addition smoking has also been linked to premature birth, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and breathing problem in the first six months of life. If you need advice and support with quitting, speak to your healthcare professional
“ Reducing stress levels can increase your chances of getting pregnant. ”
7. Reduce stress
Studies have associated stress with reproductive failures, such as anovulation (absence of ovulation), spontaneous abortion, dysregulation of placenta, and implantation failure.
The pace of modern living coupled with the effort of trying to conceive a baby can leave you feeling tired and stressed. Reducing your stress levels can help increase your chances of getting pregnant. Relaxation techniques and activities like yoga, tai chi or meditation may be helpful.
8. Don’t handle the cat’s litter
Used cat litter may carry bacteria that can be harmful, so it’s best to wear rubber gloves when you clean out the litter tray, or ask someone else to do it. Wear gloves when you’re gardening for the same reason.
9. Take a look at your finances
Starting a family represents a significant financial investment – one that you and your partner should be ready for. Ensure that you are both financially stable and have planned for the additional expenses that come with having a baby.
10. Ask about your family history
Knowing your family’s medical history is crucial in understanding how your life and your child’s life will be, before, during, and after the pregnancy.
You may need to discuss any family health matters with your healthcare professional before you start trying for a baby to determine if any factors may affect your pregnancy or your baby’s development. Remember: knowledge is power.
11. Talk to family & friends
Often in life, experience is the best teacher. If you feel comfortable doing so, it’s a good idea to talk to close family and friends about wanting to start a family, and gather as much information as you can to help give you a good idea of what lies ahead. It can provide both of you with an important support network too.
12. Are you ready for the journey?
While the prospects of starting a family are exciting, it’s good to stop and talk to your partner before getting too carried away. Check that your partner is on the same page and you are both emotionally ready to start a family.
But that’s not all…
Adopting these 12 lifestyle tips to prepare for pregnancy will help you in achieving your goal having a healthy baby. Moreover, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of things to do before you try for a baby. Read and print out our handy preconception checklist to help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy.