How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy
When a couple decides to start trying for a baby, one of the first steps is to take stock of current health. Are there lifestyle changes that the couple could make to be healthier? Improving health habits before getting pregnant improves the chances of getting pregnant and leads to a healthier pregnancy. Consider these 3 tips for preconception wellness.
1. Swap out your vitamins
Folic acid is arguably the most essential supplement for women to start taking before pregnancy. Folic acid, or vitamin B9, prevents neural tube defects during early pregnancy. In fact, research has found that taking 400mcg every day during the early days of pregnancy can prevent up to 70% of these defects. Usually, an over-the-counter prenatal supplement contains all the folic acid a woman needs. If a woman is at high risk of having a baby with neural tube defects, a healthcare provider may recommend taking extra folic acid.
2. Consider your weight
Being overweight or underweight can have a significant impact on pregnancy. Adults who are overweight are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Women who are underweight may also have a more challenging time getting and staying pregnant. Maintaining a healthy weight is about exercising regularly and eating nutritious foods the majority of the time. For help with a specific diet and exercise plan, speak with a healthcare provider.
3. Reduce stress
Excess stress, even good stress, can cause inflammation in the body. This can lead to difficulty getting pregnant and may even cause complications during pregnancy. Staying active and eating healthy can both reduce stress. Additionally, women should consider journaling, meditating, or practicing yoga to relieve extra stress. If necessary, both partners may find value in speaking with a mental health professional, such as a counselor.
What if I still can’t get pregnant?
Improving wellness is a crucial first step in getting pregnant. However, some couples may still struggle to get pregnant, even after taking all the steps needed to improve health. Couples who have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year without success should speak with a healthcare provider. If the female partner is over 35, experts recommend seeing a specialist after only 6 months of trying to conceive. If necessary, a fertility specialist can offer fertility treatment options, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). For more information about improving wellness before getting pregnant, speak with a healthcare provider.