You and your partner have decided to have a child. Well, that’s great news. But have you
considered that parenthood is a huge responsibility? Do you think you are ready for it? Parenthood requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice. You need to change your entire lifestyle in order to give yourself a healthy pregnancy and to have a healthy baby. Well, don’t fret. Consider the following points which will make you ready for parenthood.
Quit Partying and Night Outs
The most important thing that you have to do is follow a schedule. No more partying for you. If you smoke and drink you will have to quit because smoking might lead to miscarriages, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies. Plus, research suggests that smoking can affect your fertility and lower your partner’s sperm count. Passive smoking is also harmful and therefore if you go out for dinner or lunch always choose a non-smoking area.
Too much coffee is bad for your health and baby during pregnancy because caffeine can reduce your ability to absorb iron which you need during pregnancy. Caffeine also increases the risk of stillbirth. If it is difficult to give up completely then cut it down to one cup a day.
In order to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy, it is very important that you get your weight in check. Obesity not only makes it difficult to conceive but also makes labor difficult. Start and stick to a fitness plan now, and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy body that’s fit for pregnancy. Talk to your Doctor about the best and safe way to achieve your weight goals.
Eat Healthy Food
To keep your weight in check you have to keep your taste buds in check too. Stock up your refrigerator with healthy food and say no to junk food. Try to get at least five servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of whole grains and foods that are high in calcium, vitamins, and proteins.
Take Folic Acid
Your body needs Folic Acid to produce red blood cells, as well as norepinephrine and serotonin (chemical components of the nervous system). Folic acid is also one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. It helps synthesize DNA and normalize brain function, and is a critical part of spinal fluid. Women who don’t get enough folic acid may increase their chance of miscarriage. Before you conceive, you’d be wise to take a daily multivitamin containing at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Pregnant women will need at least 600 to 800 mcg daily.
Know your Fertility Time
Not all couples conceive as soon as they stop oral contraception and decide to become parents. It may take many cycles for conception to occur, even if both partners are normally fertile, healthy, fit and sexually active. What is important to conceive is knowing when is the best time to conceive and what is your fertility time. Thus you need to know when you ovulate. Most women ovulate in the middle of their menstrual cycle. If you want to be more exact, start charting your basal body temperature (BBT) and the changes in your cervical mucus. Tracking these symptoms over several months can help you figure out when you’re ovulating during each cycle. The best bet is to have sex each alternate day from day 10 after your menstrual cycle.
Get a thorough Medical Check Up
By getting a medical check up you will be able to know as to whether your body is ready for parenthood or not. Get information about any medical history such as cancer, depression, miscarriage etc running in your family and get yourself diagnosed for it.
Toss your birth control
Once you’ve gotten yourself into baby-making shape, you’re ready to bid adieu to birth control. If you have been taking pills then finish your current pack to avoid irregular bleeding and complications. It may take a few months for your cycle to return to normal, but many women are fertile the first month after they stop taking the Pill. If you’re using Depo-Provera, it can take up to a year after your last shot for you to start ovulating again, even if your period returns to normal sooner. If you have been using condoms then what are you waiting for….go for it?