Congratulations on the pregnancy! Finding out that you’re going to be a first time parent (or perhaps a parent once again) is an exciting event. If this is your first child then continue reading to get some tips on how best to prepare for your pregnancy. If you’ve done this before then it’s still a good idea to brush up on the basics. Medical advice changes from time to time so here’s the latest on what you need to know.
1. If you haven’t done so already make a quick trip to see your doctor or OBGyn
If you were not able to have a pre-pregnancy checkup prior to conception then be sure to make an appointment to see your OBGYN or doctor as soon as possible. Assuming that you’ve already confirmed your pregnancy with a home test kit then this initial visit will give both you and your doctor a chance to go over important topics like:
- Your medical history. If you suffer from conditions like diabetes, epilepsy or high blood pressure it’s important for your doctor to know this as early as possible
- Your general health. This includes things like diet, exercise and smoking
- Any medications that you are currently taking
- your immunizations
- Tips or advice on how to stay healthy during your pregnancy
2. Give up unhealthy habits
Alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs are things that should be given up while pregnant. Studies have shown that smoking or taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth and low-birth-weight babies .
When it comes to alcohol it probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that all alcohol and alcohol-related products are strongly advised against during pregnancy.
If you’re a smoker then now would be a great time to try and quit. Speak to your doctor about any stop-smoking programs they have or other advice they have on smoking cessation.
3. Start your healthy eating now
This is one tip that you shouldn’t put off. You are your baby’s single source of nutrition. Therefore it’s important to get into the habit of healthy eating right away. This means a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, good portions of carbohydrates and proteins. Items that are rich in Vitamins A, C, E and Calcium are also recommended.
4. Prenatal vitamins
In addition to all those other vitamins, prenatal vitamins are specialized vitamins that are tailored to help support growing babies in the womb. They contain all of the folic acid that you need and are packed full of minerals and vitamins that your daily diet may not always include.
Although prenatal vitamins are essential, don’t forget that they are meant to support healthy eating, not replace it.
5. Visit Your Pharmacist
If you’re taking any medications –even things like Aspirin or Advil, check with your pharmacist to see if they are safe to use during conception or pregnancy. A lot of medications are not recommended during pregnancy due to the lack of research around them. your pharmacist is a great first source for help.
1) American pregnancy Association. Illegal drugs during pregnancy. Last updated: February 1, 2018