Healthy Pregnancy
Have you decided to take the plunge into parenthood? Before that wait and think for a month or two, at least. Try giving yourself some time to think how you could make your pregnancy a healthy one for you and the baby, there are certain important things which you need to look into before heading towards conception.

15 Ways To Have A Healthy Pregnancy
  1. Get a prenatal check up: Getting good and early prenatal cares assumes a lot of importance when we speak of having a healthy pregnancy. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider and be open to change. It could take some time to find your Dr. Right, so start early. Your doctor will assess you and let you know if any vaccines are required, pre-natal vitamins, certain medicines you can and cannot take during pregnancy. Missing a prenatal appointment should be the last thing on your mind
  2. Give up smoking, drinking: If you smoke or drink then this is the time you need to stop doing it. Smoking and drinking is intoxicating, and alcohol can reach down to the baby through the placenta. A baby’s developing body breaks it down much slower than adults. This can cause long lasting and severe damage. Studies have shown it may lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low birth weight baby, and in some cases learning and speech have also found to have been affected. No, not even as little as one drink a day, as even a single drink can increase risks of having a complicated pregnancy and childbirth
  3. Weight check: If you have a low or high BMI (body mass index) it might not be easy for some women to get pregnant. Neither being obese helps. Try to get the ideal BMI for yourself to have a pregnancy that is not complicated by weight. Remember that you need only 300 additional calories everyday, so plan your diet with lots of proteins and calcium. Stay away from uncooked, under-cooked, unpasteurized and unhygienic food. Start eating healthy food and cut off junk foods such as chips and cookies, burgers and pizzas and fatty foods. Opt for healthy snack choices and refrain from street food. Eat well, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. Your health is the foundation for your baby, get that right
  4. Financial Matters: Other than love and affection there are other things required for baby like clothes, stroller, car seat, bottles, visits to doctor, vaccinations, medicines and of course thousands of diapers before you potty-train the angel. Moreover, if both the partners are working, you need to consider going on a single income. Also, do assess your savings and expenditures and make sure you are well prepared financially
  5. Exercise Regularly: Simple yoga and walking would be enough for your body to stay active and healthy. An active body is ruled by an active mind, and both of these are crucial not only to get you pregnant but also through your pregnancy. Too much exercising can affect fertility; balanced and moderate exercise can improve it; too little is also not good. You can try taking prenatal exercise classes or look up the internet to find what is safe and what is not. Breathing and Kegel exercises can help a lot in labor and delivery
  6. Exercise for a healthy preg

  7. Cut off sodas: Sodas have a high rate of sugar in them and can raise levels quickly which has adverse impact on fertility. Again, too much sugar can cause gestational diabetes while you are pregnant. Sodas also contain caffeine which acts as a stimulant and a diuretic
  8. Trim down fish with high mercury: Certain studies suggest, if you eat fairly good amount of fish, best way is cutting back the consumption before you conceive. Tuna, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, striped bass are some of the fishes which contain high mercury levels. Fish that contain high levels of mercury have been found to cause multiple complications in pregnancy. Read about eating fish during pregnancy here
  9. Intake of folic acid: Folic acid is vital in producing, repairing and proper functioning of DNA. Therefore intake of folic acid is essential for your developing baby and it also quick cell growth of the placenta. Usually, 400 mg of folic acid is prescribed during pregnancy. If you think that you will start off with folic acid after learning you are pregnant, then you are wrong. Folic acid helps develop the neural tube of the baby which happens during the first few weeks of pregnancy, and missing the same could result in complications like spina bifida in your baby. Read more about folic acid in pregnancy here
  10. Dental Care: Getting your teeth and gums healthy before getting pregnant is good for baby. A healthy tooth care regime should be started as early as possible. Pregnancy might increase the chances of gum disease which could lead to early labour
  11. Cut back caffeine: You may need to stop your coffee at just one cup a day. Caffeine is a diuretic and a stimulant, both of which are not good for pregnancy. It should be not more than 200 mg of caffeine per day
  12. Prenatal vitamins: Having multivitamin supplements on your own is not enough and is neither suggested. Iron, calcium, and folic acid are crucial during a pregnancy, hence let your doctor prescribe you essential prenatal vitamins which you must take regularly without a miss. Before taking any herbal or ayurvedic supplements, do check with your doctor
  13. Have enough water

  14. Avoid Stress: Getting enough sleep, putting your body, mind and soul is a must. Try to meditate during the day or whenever you have time. Indulge in relaxation techniques like yoga and massages, give your self plenty of time to relax and rejuvenate. Breathing exercises, reading, listening to music etc. are some efficient ways to keep stress at a bay. Read about stress and pregnancy here
  15. Medications: Medicines might have adverse effects on fetus before taking any drugs tell your doctor you are planning to get pregnant. Even if you have the slightest chance of a pregnancy, be upfront in telling about your pregnancy. Do not pop in OTCs for conditions like headaches, flu, fever or cold. ask your doctor to prescribe some safe drugs
  16. Preparing your body: Over the next few months the body will go through several changes, make yourself aware about it and be ready to accept the changes. Do not get emotional or upset, remember that your baby is above your physical looks
  17. Environment at home and work: You may not be able to completely get rid of the environmental dangers, all you can do is to try as much as possible to keep them away from your life. Certain jobs can be harmful, example if your job requires exposure to radiation or chemicals, you will have to take a check. You can also seek a temporary role change if your work requires excessive standing or is potentially dangerous. Eliminate all sorts of negative or dangerous hazards at work and home

Reducing risks as far as possible is the wisest thing to do before pregnancy. Good luck!!