Planning to get pregnant? If yes, starting to make some changes in your diet and lifestyle habits right from now is a good idea. For that reason, we have rounded up some useful tips for you to plan and prepare your body ahead of time and have a successful and happy pregnancy.
1. Visiting a Consultant/Doctor Before Getting Pregnant
Talking to your physician about your plan to become pregnant can be beneficial. He/she can suggest you some diet or lifestyle changes that you may need to make in order to get pregnant sooner or any tests that you may need to do.
Having a pre-conception or pre-pregnancy visit can help you in a lot of ways. It can clear your confusions and aid you in having a healthy pregnancy. If you have a medical history of heart, hypertension, kidney disease or any other chronic conditions or weight problems or older than 35, your physician may suggest you precautions and changes to make accordingly which will benefit you with conditions that can make your pregnancy complicated.
Many women and their partners can benefit from talking to a health care provider about their plan to become pregnant. A health care provider can tell you about any tests that you may want or need, as well as any lifestyle or diet changes that you may want to make. These kinds of appointments are sometimes called pre-conception or pre-pregnancy planning visits.
2. Eating a Balanced Diet
Right after conception, you will need to increase your calories and eat about 100-300 more calories per day. If your weight is average according to your height, you shouldn’t gain more than 16 KGs by the end of your pregnancy. So, eating healthy foods and taking care of your weight even before you get pregnant is a good idea.
To start with your healthy diet, you need to cut on junk foods and increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits on regular basis. Staying on a right track would mean incorporating proper proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibre in your diet.
Carbohydrates – Try to get most of your carbs from whole grains like roti, bran bread, bran or wheat flakes and brown rice. Avoid white carbs and sugary foods and drinks.
Protein – it helps the fetus grow. So, make sure you are getting enough protein.
Fats – They help us take up vitamins. It is important to eat good fats, however; fats from fish and vegetable sources.
Fiber – fibers can be obtained from fruits, veggies and whole grains. Most of the time, women experience constipation during pregnancy. So, eating fiber can help you prevent constipation.
3. Consuming Extra Vitamins
Adding foods to your diet that contain folic acid helps prevent birth defects if taken before or in early pregnancy. Sometimes, the deficiency of folic acid or certain vitamins is also one of the factors of not conceiving. So, adding all vitamins especially folic acid (a type of vitamin B) is one of the most important changes you need to make in your diet.
Folic acid is found in beans, oranges, leafy-green veggies etc. For further information about folic acid you may ask you healthcare provider on your visit to him/her. He/she can even prescribe you multivitamins and you can also order a test to find out if you have any deficiency.
4. Making Lifestyle Changes
In Pakistan, most of the women only focus on their diets when pregnant, that too in quantity only. However, it is important to eat “healthy foods” rather than just focusing on “eating for two” only. Moreover, beside diet changes, your lifestyle changes also contribute A LOT to have a healthy pregnancy. It is very important to do regular exercise, reduce stress, take proper sleep and be comfortable and safe at work and home. And, keeping yourself away from radiations and toxic chemicals is also crucial.
So, rather than waiting until you get pregnant, changing your certain habits can be easier to start now.
Incorporating meditation and exercise in your daily routine will help you reduce the stress and burn off your extra fat. Therefore, making healthy lifestyle changes is equally important as incorporating a healthy diet! Plus, preparing yourself beforehand will not only benefit you and your body but also be good for your baby.