If you are planning to get pregnant, your first concern may well be how to have a healthy baby. Whilst it is not possible to ensure for certain that your baby will be perfectly healthy when it is born, you can definitely reduce the risk of him or her suffering from various complications by ensuring you are as healthy as possible.
Health before pregnancy
Even before you conceive, you can start to prepare for pregnancy by making sure your lifestyle is appropriate for a mum-to-be. Firstly, this means stopping all of those harmful habits such as smoking and drinking – these can cause birth defects so if you need help to stop make sure you ask your doctor as soon as possible. It’s also worth thinking about any medication you are currently taking, as many prescription and over-the-counter medicines can lead to problems during your pregnancy.
There are many foods to avoid during pregnancy, however there are also lots of great fruits and vegetables which can be very beneficial for your health! Why not eat a new vegetable you’ve never tried or buy yourself a healthy new recipe book for cooking inspiration?
To help your baby’s development, ask your doctor which vitamins and minerals you should be taking. These can supplement your diet and should include folic acid which can greatly reduce the risk of birth defects.
Don’t forget to get your partner involved too, because to have a healthy baby, he’ll need to be in good physical shape as well.
Health during pregnancy
Of course, once you’ve managed to get pregnant, you’ll have to keep up the good work! Keep on eating those healthy meals and don’t be fooled into thinking that you can ‘eat for two’.
You may find it useful to sign up to some antenatal classes. Childbirth classes can help you feel more confident about the big day and breastfeeding classes can prepare you for the realities of feeding your baby.
Get to know your midwife so that she can help you make a decision about the best place to have your baby. It is important to make a decision about how you would like you approach the birth – many people find it useful to write a birth plan to identify what you will want or need to have a healthy baby. You should aim to be as relaxed as you can during the birth so that your baby is under as little strain as possible.
There is always a chance that your birth does not go to plan. However, if you have been taking good care of yourself before and during your pregnancy, then you will be better equipped to deal with anything that comes along. Your main concern should be how to have a healthy baby, so it is worth making sure you are as prepared as you can be for the big day!