Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of life for some women, and rightly so. Creating and bearing a human being within you is a pretty big thing. But with such a big step one has to remember to take precautions to make sure that the process is safe and easy for both the mother and the baby. There are tons of books, articles and videos for pregnancy care and process of child birth but what about the process that comes before all of this? There is very little information generally available about Pre-natal or conception care. In this blog we are going to outline that and it is perfect if you are looking to enter the phase or you know a near and dear who is looking to enter the phase.
Before one start trying to conceive actively, it is important to go through a few steps so that the chances of conception are the highest possible.
- Pay a visit to the gynaecologist: Before you start trying, it is always a good idea to pay a visit to the doctors to take a fertility test for you and your partner and see where you stand. It will help analyse existing family pregnancy conditions, ease of conceiving and changes which need to be made in order to optimise the process. You can also test for various immune diseases to make sure there is no pre-existing condition which may be transferred to your baby. You may also want to get any pending vaccines a couple of months before you start trying as you cannot take vaccines while pregnant and, in some cases, post-partum too.
- Switching medications: As a every other normal person you might have a ‘grab and go’ medicine box too, for allergies, headaches, fever etc. If you are trying to conceive then that might be one of the first things you want to switch out. Some of these medicines affect fertility rates of women, while some might affect sperm count of your partner, so it is best to research, speak to doctors, look on the internet and get rid of any medicines that are not safe to consume for pregnancy.
- Birth control: If you have been using condoms or some type of diaphragm to avoid pregnancy then there’s no issue as it can be stopped immediately when you want to give a shot at pregnancy. But if you have been taking contraceptive pills, Nexplanon or any other implant then you might want to consult your concerned medical health expert, to make sure you can right off and start trying or there is some in between and you will require switching before trying to conceive.
- Chronic diseases check: If either of the partners have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart condition, lupus etc., it is advised to get it checked by the medical health professional and get those under check before pregnancy. Women with diabetes have higher chances of delivering a healthy baby if they get the sugar levels under control before pregnancy.
Now these are some checks to go by before conceiving but apart from this, there are also some diet and lifestyle changes which one needs to make in order to give yourself the best shot at parenthood.
Diet for pregnancy
- Grains: Include lots of whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal etc. Make sure to use these as substitutes instead of white rice, refined flour etc. This will not only be good for your system but it will also help maintain a healthy weight before you conceive.
- Full-fat dairy: This is an odd suggestion as compared to most other diets but it is proven that women who consume full-fat dairy at least once a day decreased their risk of ovulatory infertility by 27%. This will also help you up your calcium content which will help in maintaining a good bone density, which is strong enough to carry and birth a child. If there is not enough calcium in the pregnancy diet, the foetus may draw calcium from the mother’s bones, which can put women at risk for osteoporosis later in life
- Up iron content: In order to increase your iron contents, you could consume meats but make sure they are lean meats chicken or fish and not fatty like pork. Other good iron sources for vegetarians are spinach, legumes, beans etc.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables of all colors should be included as mentioned in the famous theory “more color in your food means more nutrition”. You can consume the vegetables in fresh form, just steamed, boiled or grilled. Make sure to avoid heavily salted, processed or canned veggies. Fruits can be consumed in whole forms or 100% fruit juice form. Incase of fruit you can opt for frozen, canned, purred etc. forms as well.
- Healthy fats: Consume good amounts of healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, ghee etc.
Lifestyle changes for pregnancy
- Smoking and alcohol: Of course, there’s much said already about not drinking or smoking while expecting but what about conception? Well, if you drinks/smokes then you need to stop at least a month or two before you start trying or even better as early as possible if you plan on having kids. Women who smoke have increased risk of infertility and miscarriages. They also risk giving birth to still babies or under-weight premature babies. If you, as the woman, don’t smoke but your partner does then he needs to stop before you try to conceive, because secondary smoking or inhalation has more or less the same effect as the primary. Alcohol consumption can lower sperm count and density therefore lower chances of pregnancy.
- Caffeine control: One cup of coffee a day is totally acceptable but if you consume excessive amounts like 3 or more cups then that habit needs to be dropped as it increases the risk on infertility. Caffiene does not only mean coffee, it includes energy drinks, soft drinks etc.
- Folic acid and Vitamin D: These are the two things which are highly beneficial for women who are trying to get pregnant but also two things which our daily diet is not vey high in. Hence you may want to consider taking supplements to counter the deficit. Research, speak to your doctors and identify the best one for you.
- Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight: Over weight and under weight women both carry risk during pregnancy. It directly affects your body and its ability to bear a child. So start exercising and making fitness a part of your life before you even get pregnant. This will ease the pregnancy for you and also prepare your body for the tough process which is about to come.
To help you prepare for pregnancy, andMe has launched their very own andMe OvaBoost Drink. It is plant-based drink with prenatal vitamins that help to conceive. It is made with the goodness of CoQ10, DHA, Shatavari, Zinc, Chasteberry, Vitamin B9 and Inositol that helps with egg quality and egg health, fertilization, aids in preparing the body for pregnancy, helps to prepare the uterus lining.
Best part? No added preservatives. No harmful chemicals.
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