A friend of mine recently shared that she and her husband are thinking about having a baby, but that she feels like she needs more time to prepare her body and mind.
While we don't always have ample time to plan our pregnancies, there is something to be said for being prepared and as healthy as possible when you conceive. If you're wondering what you should consider,
WebMD has a great pre-pregnancy To-Do list that I found really helpful. It includes:
- Make a doctor's appointment for a checkup/wellness visit — I have always found visiting the doctor is the best way to reassure myself I am healthy and on track.
- Make sure to get and begin taking prenatal vitamins — Fit will be the first to remind us that vitamins and folic acid are important for before, during and after pregnancy.
- Check with your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medications you currently take — This is crucial. The medication you take throughout your entire pregnancy will affect your baby. Make sure your doctor has a handle on all the medication and any supplements you are taking.
- See your dentist for a cleaning or checkup if you have not done so in the last six months — Untreated gum disease is linked to preterm birth. If you think you are going to need major work done you should schedule it before you get pregnant, if possible.
- Look into local prenatal exercise classes — Being active during your pregnancy will help you get back into shape after birth and keep you healthy and strong.
- Review maternity/paternity leave options at work and your health insurance's maternity coverage — Some countries mandate maternity leave, while others don't. Be sure to check with your employer before you make any assumptions.
- Develop a maternity and baby budget — Savvy will tell you: having kids isn't cheap. Plan ahead for rainy days. They are almost inevitable.
- If you smoke, quit — There is nothing healthy about smoking. Period.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake — There are two camps when it comes to caffeine intake and pregnancy. I suggest following most doctors' advice and limiting your intake.