The moment has arrived. You and your partner have started talking about starting to try to conceive sometime soon. Even if you aren’t ready to start trying right now, there are things you can and should be doing to get your body ready. We’ve compiled this list to help you get started.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin. You don’t need a prescription to start doing this. Over-the-counter options are just fine, as long as it includes 400 mcg of folic acid.
- Make sure your annual exam and Pap smear are current.
- Stop using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. If you’re a smoker, go ahead and start the process of quitting. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to poor outcomes for you and your baby, including low birth weight, preterm delivery, and birth defects. Avoid illicit drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Cut back on your caffeine consumption. The recommended amount of caffeine that is safe to consume in pregnancy is 200mg – or less than 2 cups of coffee. If you’re consuming significantly more, go ahead and start cutting back so that you don’t suffer from caffeine withdrawals once getting pregnant.
- Consider genetic testing. Talk with your provider about this. Some genetic testing can be done before pregnancy to check if you are a carrier for certain genetic conditions.
- Be healthy! Find your healthy weight. If you are uncertain what a healthy weight is for you, check with your provider. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet full of veggies and lean proteins. Drink plenty of water. Keep a regular exercise routine.
- Check in with your healthcare team and fill them in. If you see a specialist regularly or you are being treated for a chronic medical problem (think high blood pressure, diabetes, mental health problems, etc), make an appointment with that specialist to talk about your plans for pregnancy. You’ll want to make sure that your medical problem is well controlled, and that your medication is safe to take in pregnancy.
- When you are ready, stop your birth control method. If you’re on the pill, finish out your pack completely and just don’t start the new pack. If you have an IUD or arm implant, call and schedule a removal appointment in the office. The hormonal effect of the pill and IUD are cleared within the week of stopping these methods and pregnancy may happen quickly!
Call and schedule an appointment to confirm your pregnancy once you have a positive test at home. If you and your partner are having difficulty getting pregnant, make an appointment to discuss it. We’re here to help!