There use to be a time when women got pregnant and had a baby. There was no thought of how they were going to have the baby. They didn’t create elaborate birth plans and pack up half the house to take to the hospital, they merely showed up when the contractions told them to.
Today, as women in the reproductive years, we spend a lot of time thinking about baby. We research all the best products, will I need a baby wipe warmer or are monitors in the nursery more important? We try to follow a diet void of preservatives and ingredients that main stream media tells us could harm the little one we are creating within us.
What about the state of our bodies before we ever conceive? How much thought do we give to that?
In our early teens, when menstruation begins, our body is already preparing for a potential pregnancy. It just does it without much thought from us. Our bodies begin to build body fat in all the right places , hips develop and the adolescent changes from childhood to womanhood begin.
Preconception care is all about preparing your body intentionally so that when the time comes to get pregnant, you are in the best health possible. It’s a time to work on those bad food habits, the daily consumption of excess saturated fats and sugars that put you at risk for insulin resistance or gestational diabetes.
Before you get pregnant is the perfect time to increase your stamina and strength through regular exercise. Even low to moderate exercise will set you up for a healthier pregnancy. Make sure you know your numbers for good health…such as blood pressure weight and cholesterol. Going in to a pregnancy with high blood pressure just makes everything harder.
Preconception time is also a good time to meet with your provider and discuss any genetic issues you may have in yourself or your extended family, concerns you have about getting pregnant or carrying a child and even delivery. Your doctor will make sure you are up to date on vaccinations and that your overall health is optimal. You will also want to make sure that if you are dealing with any sexually transmitted diseases, those are cleared up before getting pregnant so that your unborn child will be protected.
It seems like a lot to consider but keeping yourself in good health makes sense no matter how soon you plan on getting pregnant.