Getting pregnant is one of life’s biggest milestones, and it’s one of the biggest decisions that you’ll have to make. It can be exciting to plan for a baby, choosing the perfect set of baby clothes, and listing down all the supplies that you may need.
But before you get pregnant, you have to make sure that your body is ready for pregnancy. There are some simple steps that you can take to help your body prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Here are some of them:
- Get regular exercise
- Have a healthy diet
- Avoid tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol
- Avoid using medications, even over-the-counter drugs—talk to your doctor first if you plan on starting or stopping the use of any medications
Here are more ways to ensure that you will have a healthy pregnancy:
Schedule a Preconception Checkup
You should go see your doctor even before you get pregnant. A preconception checkup is essential to make sure that your body is ready for pregnancy.
Your doctor will most likely discuss your family health history as some health problems can be passed on to your children. You’ll also be checked for current health, medications that you may currently be taking, and existing medical conditions that need to be controlled such as asthma and diabetes. Additionally, your current lifestyle will also be checked, which may include questions about your diet, exercise, and habits.
If you haven’t gone for a checkup in over a year, you may be subjected to a pelvic exam and a pap smear. Some tests may also be administered to see if you’re at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
Infections can still occur during pregnancy. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) in particular is one of the most common infections that affects around 1 million women annually.
But what is bacterial vaginosis, and what are its implications in pregnancy? How can it be prevented?
BV occurs when there’s an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria found in the vagina. Although easily treatable since it’s only mild infection, if left untreated, BV may increase your risk for STIs and complications during pregnancy.
BV during pregnancy may lead to premature birth or to your baby having a low birth weight. BV may also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is an infection in the uterus. PID can increase your risk of infertility.
To reduce your risk of bacterial vaginosis, you should observe the following:
- Limit the number of your sex partners.
- Avoid douching as this can eliminate the good bacteria in your vagina.
- Observe proper hygiene by washing your vaginal area with warm water and by wiping it dry from front to back.
Get Some R&R
Avoid stress while you’re getting pregnant. Treat yourself to some much-needed rest and relaxation. Ask your doctor about methods on how to reduce or avoid stress. This may help make it easier for you to conceive.
If you’re thinking about having a baby, you’ll need to make lifestyle changes that will help improve your health and your child’s. Remember that helping your baby’s health begins even before you get pregnant.