The decision to have a child shouldn’t be a decision that is made lightly. There are a lot of things you need to consider; money, stability and maturity to name just a few. Having a baby will change your relationship, your life and how you view yourself as a woman. You’re not longer just responsible for making smart choices for yourself but you’re also responsible for making smart choices for your child. Because this is such a big decision and is a decision may women struggle with, I feel it’s important to share the following list of ten things every woman should do before conceiving. These things aren’t requirements for getting pregnant but they can definitely make things less stressful down the line and help you prepare for what you’ll be in for over the course of your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Discuss your conception plan with your doctor and with your partner.
There are a lot of men out there who don’t necessarily feel they need to go along with the early conception plans but you’ll really be able to maximize the possibility of conception by working together to develop a good plan. Your doctor will be able to offer valuable advice and will have an easier time determining possible conception problems if he already knows what you’ve tried.
Talk with your family.
Your mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins and other relatives can be a great source of information when it comes to getting pregnant. Find out if there is a family history of conception problems and find out how your relatives overcame those problems. You can also find out if there is a family history of complications during pregnancy. If that’s the case, you may be able to plan for complications and possibly even prevent them. Your doctor will also appreciate you getting this information and having it ready for him in advance.
Bite the bullet and get a full exam.
Many women don’t exactly relish the idea of having an in depth doctor’s exam before they get pregnant so many women don’t bother with it, especially if the woman in question is in fairly good health. The problem with this approach is that health problems that could create trouble for conception, during pregnancy, during childbirth or health issues with your baby could be lying dormant in your system. If you let your doctor give you a thorough exam, you will either get a clean bill or health or you will have the chance to work on any health issues that may pose you problems – a chance you won’t get if you don’t get the exam. You also want to make sure you’re tested for any sexually transmitted diseases. While these tests are usually conducted during a full exam, it’s always better to make sure. Your doctor isn’t going to mind you asking questions. They’ll understand what an important decision this is and want to help as much as possible.
Check your immunity.
During your full exam, your doctor is likely going to check whether or not you’re immune to rubella and chicken pox. It never hurts to make sure though. Don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor has given you tests for these things and request them if you haven’t taken the test. Most adult women are in fact immune to both of these illnesses but there is always the possibility you aren’t. You need to treat that right away. Both of these health conditions can have serious ramifications for pregnant women. You could suffer complications with the pregnancy, the baby’s health could be negatively impacted and your health could be negatively impacted. You want to do everything you can to avoid this from happening.
Schedule a pap smear.
In this day and age, most women know how important it is to have regular pap smears done. If you are pregnant or as planning to get pregnant, you’re going to want to make sure you schedule your pap smear before you start trying to conceive. If there are any irregularities in your pap results you can work on treating them right away.
Tackle the money issue.
Money is a big concern for new mothers. Having a baby is expensive. Being pregnant is expensive. You want to make sure your budget can handle it. To figure out your budget, add up your total monthly income after deductions, add up your total monthly bills and estimate the rough amount of money you spend each month on food. Add a little extra to your food budget as you’ll probably be eating more when you’re pregnant. Add at least $100 for unexpected expenses and see what you have left over. The number you have left is your baby budget. Take a walk down the baby isle at the grocery store. Look at diapers, formula, bottles, baby food and all of the other things you’ll need for your little one. Look at the prices and then try to figure out what you would need each month. Subtract that from your baby budget. Consider the cost of your prenatal vitamins and any other related medical expenses. Your doctor will be able to help you out with this part. Subtract that sum from your baby budget. Do you wind up with a negative number? If so, look at your food budget. Is there anything you can cut out or substitute for something less expensive? If you want a baby but the money isn’t there, you may be able to find a way to sacrifice unnecessary expenses to provide you with the money you need. It is much easier (and much less stressful) to do this before the baby comes along.
Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.
While you’re pregnant and suffering from morning sickness, your body is going to quickly get rid of important nutrients you need to support your growing baby. If you start building up nutrients before you conceive, you’ll have more of those nutrients in your body to pass along to your baby, even with morning sickness taking its toll.
Say goodbye to your bad habits.
For many women, getting pregnant means making a lot of lifestyle changes but those lifestyle changes shouldn’t start after the baby is conceived. You can really save yourself a lot of stress during the first few weeks of your pregnancy by focusing on living a healthier lifestyle before you even start trying to conceive. Cut out cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and caffeine well before you try to get pregnant. If you are going to be cutting these things out of your life your body will need time to adjust. You may experience withdrawal symptoms and you may find yourself under a lot more stress than usual. You do not want to go through this while you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Stress can cause problems with conception and with pregnancy as well.
Stop taking medications unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
Before you put any kind of pill in your mouth, you need to make sure it is safe for use by pregnant women. This includes medications you may already be taking or medications you can buy over the counter. Don’t assume anything is safe and don’t rely on what your friends and family members say. They just may not have the right information. Your doctor knows best. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if they seem silly. That’s what your doctor is there for.
Start living a healthier lifestyle.
A lot of people just don’t pay enough attention to how important a healthy diet is. The same can be said for exercise. If you’re planning to get pregnant, you should really start focusing on both of those things. While you’re pregnant, you’re going to have to cut out certain foods that aren’t safe for pregnant women. Try giving these foods the axe before you even conceive. Find other foods to substitute in their place. Play around with recipes focusing on a healthier diet. Say goodbye to fast food and get your body used to eating a healthy diet. You’re also going to want to consider a pregnancy safe exercise routine. Staying in shape while you’re pregnant can be hard but is a little bit easier if you’re already in shape before you get pregnant. Women who stay fit and active while pregnant recover more quickly after delivery.