It’s important to have a basic health plan before you plan your pregnancy. When you embark on a sensible health regime prior to becoming pregnant you will not only set a solid foundation for your own improved health but more importantly your baby will be more healthy also. So taking some time to plan ahead is a great way to prevent unnecessary worry later; when you know you’re in good health and doing everything the right way you will be less worried about health complications for your unborn.
A baby’s organs start to form within just a few short weeks. So, obviously this is an extremely important phase of development. If you make a simple health plan that is easy to follow and make it a part of your normal routine your baby will have the benefit of being in as healthy an environment and you can possible supply.
To help eliminate the risk of complications, there are simple steps that have proven to be more helpful in terms of having a healthy baby.
Having a good plan in place before you even conceive will:
- Help you conceive more easily.
- Help you have a healthy pregnancy.
- Help in avoiding complications during pregnancy.
- Help you regain strength after conceiving.
- Help you in having a pleasant postpartum.
- Minimizes the risk of child’s health problems.
By having good pregnancy plan, you will be taking good care of yourself and your baby.
Steps in planning for a baby
It’s highly recommended that you take particularly good care of yourself in the one to three months before giving birth.
Your body talks to you all the time. It tells you what it likes and doesn’t like and will even raise areas of concern in the early stages before problems develop. Learn to listen to it.
This is much easier than you may think.
By being aware of your body and the messages it is sending you will help you identify any potential problems before they have a change to develop into real health issues.
The more conscious you are of your body, the more easy it is to detect areas of concern in the body.
Before getting pregnant start to develop the habit of listening to the messages your body is constantly sending you. To do this, simply turn your attention to your body. If you need to more your focus around specific areas of your body to get to grips with this process then do that.
Pay close attention to how your breasts and reproductive organs are feeling.
You may want to get a medical professional check your fertility status, your rate of metabolism, blood, urine, lungs & heart; a general check-up by your doctor is usually all you need to put your mind at rest and reassure you that you are healthy enough to bear a child. In need be discuss all these issues with your maternity caregiver.
Insurance & Finance
Many women, and men, do not fully assess the financial implications of having a child and the far reaching economic commitment starting a family demands.
Ask yourself if you can afford to give have a baby. Also be sure that you have a fully sufficient health insurance plan in place.
Research the best insurance options and plan for financial upsets and unforeseen expenditures while planning to have a baby. Before having a baby, you need to be financially prepared.
To prepare yourself financially for a baby, you have to take some simple steps which include:
- Accessing your personal economic preparedness — you need to know how much your living costs are currently, and how much of a significant change will occur when raising a baby. Plan your baby’s budget, which includes diaper, insurance co-payment, formula, daycare, equipment etc., but always be prepared for the need to spend more.
- Income— before giving birth to your baby, you need to save as much as you can. Know if you and your partner will be living on a particular income after giving birth, will one of you stop work to start taking care of the baby? Will you return to work after your maternity leaves expires? Even if you want to return to work be prepared to feel differently after your little angel is born; many women cannot bear to live a child because their maternal instincts are so strong after giving birth.
- Try to pay off as much debt as you can prior to pregnancy— are you over your head in debt, and in need assistance? Finding a non-profit organization that can assist you will be a good idea. Even if you have manageable debt it is a very good idea to clear as much debt as you can before yoru little one arrives. The extra money freed up will definitely come in handy as will the freed-up credit!
Birth Setting & Care Givers
This is very important for most would-be mothers. Do not settle for the first maternity caregiver you start with if you do not feel a connection to that person. The caregiver who works with you throughout your pregnancy often affects how the pregnancy goes. Choose a caregiver that, not only, provides you with the right information and care but with whom you feel comfortable and connected.
Some thought should also be given to the setting for the birth. Do you want a home birth or would you prefer a hospital or other professional birthing environment?
Genetic Testing & Counselling
If there is any health conditions that run in your family or your partner’s, especially if you are above 35yrs old, you may want to consider genetic testing.
If you have any concerns about historically recurring family problems on either your partner’s or your own side consider seeing a genetic counselor.
There are ways to help prevent genetic diseases if they are caught early enough in the pregnancy.
Having Good Dental Care
It is really important have good oral health while you are pregnant. Try to have a thorough Dental check up and treat your dental problems before getting pregnant or at least early in the pregnancy.
It is believed in many circles that dental conditions can affect the development of a baby in the womb. Try to brush and keep your teeth clean, so that you can be safe from easily preventable conditions such as gingivitis which can lead to infection travelling through the bloodstream.
Also let your dentist know that you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
This may sound like obvious advice but the benefits of keeping yourself healthy before, during and after pregnancy cannot be overstated.
Try to have a good lifestyle before and throughout your pregnancy period. If you like to drink alcohol and/or consume tobacco products, you should quit prior to pregnancy.
Try to get some moderate exercise.
Prepare yourself for the physical task of carrying a s small human being and all the demands such a task will make on your body.
Tobacco, Alcohol & Drugs
Tobacco’s, Drugs and Alcohol can be very dangerous to health, especially when you are pregnant, because it will also affect the baby. It can cause– miscarriage, low birth weight, giving birth prematurely, problems with placenta, stillbirth etc.
The jury is out on the consumption of small quantities of alcohol during pregnancy. However, you should never aim to get drunk during this time. One drink with low alcohol content occasionally is deemed by many to be acceptable. If you want to play it safe avoid alcohol entirely.
Recreational drugs are extremely dangerous to your baby and should be avoided completely.
Try to review your prescriptions and medications. Try to avoid medications like Paxil, Accutane, Thalomid, or anything with the label- Teratogen is a good idea as long as it doesn’t negatively affect your own health. These medicines are considered by some authorities to be really bad for a woman expecting a baby, sometimes leading to birth defect or even miscarriage.
Also, try to avoid new Drugs that haven’t been tested over a long period.
Stress & Emotions
Pregnancy carries its own stress, so as a pregnant woman you need to have plenty of rest and sleep in a stress free environment.
Unnecessary stress should be avoided and oftentimes this task will fall to the male partner. Try to create a safe, loving and calming environment for the woman.
Stress can also known to prevent you from becoming pregnant.
Ensuring you get the correct nutrition is essential during pregnancy. Try to monitor what you eat, as a woman expecting a baby you shouldn’t take every food you see. Certain foods will help alleviate, or even eliminate, morning sickness, will increase your energy levels, help you sleep better etc. For example try to consume foods with folic acid daily. Folic acid, as a Vitamin-B it helps the baby’s neural tube. It is important to be taking it throughout the first and third month, to help the development of the baby’s neural tube.
In fact food plays such an important part of the process of pregnancy it can even be used to help you increase your changes of conceiving either a boy or a girl!