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What to Know Before Considering Pregnancy

So you’ve decided you’d like to become pregnant? Congratulations! Preparing for pregnancy is an important first step. There are many things you can and should be doing before becoming pregnant that can increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. 

Schedule a Preconception Visit

If you don’t already have an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) picked out, now is the time to research. Convenience, comfort, bedside manner, trust, and expertise are all things to consider when making your selection. There are many ways to find a provider, you can:

  • Search in-network doctors through your insurance
  • Ask friends for recommendations
  • Read reviews online
  • Ask your primary care physician for recommendations

Once you’ve decided on a healthcare provider you can schedule a preconception appointment. During this appointment your OB/GYN will most likely conduct a pelvic exam and pap smear, they’ll also want to discuss your personal and family health history, and go over current medications to determine if anything could potentially affect your pregnancy moving forward.

Have The Pregnancy and Parenting Talk

Having a child is one of the most important decisions in life, and making that decision requires a lot of time and thought. Experts and parents agree that couples should have a conversation about parental styles, expectations, and roles prior to conceiving a child together. It’s important for you to each have an understanding of the other’s goals and fears regarding parenthood. It’s also important to ensure you’re on the same page with the timing –you may have both agreed to “one day,” but just how far in the future is that? Parenthood is ever-evolving and your feelings on things like public vs. private school, and screen time vs. no electronics, will undoubtedly change along the way. So don’t go writing each other off if you find you disagree on a few things throughout this part of the process. 

Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are essential for a healthy pregnancy. It’s recommended you begin a vitamin regimen 2-3 months before trying for a baby. Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated with 100% of the recommended daily values for pregnancy. They contain important nutrients for you and your developing baby like:

  • Folate (Folic Acid), which is key in preventing neural tube defects
  • DHA, to support your baby's brain and nervous system as well as reduces the chances of going into preterm labor
  • Iron, which is essential for blood and placenta health along with boosting your energy levels
  • Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron, and supports a healthy immune system for you and your baby 

Our Total Prenatal + DHA is a great choice if you’re in the market for a prenatal that will provide the necessary nourishment throughout planning, prepping, and pregnancy.

Budgeting For Baby

There are many conversations about finances that you should consider having before becoming pregnant. 

  • Is your home currently large enough to accommodate a new member of your family?
    • Will you need to relocate? 
    • If so, how much will your rent or mortgage increase to gain the additional square footage you’re currently lacking?
  • What will maternity leave look like? 
    • Is it paid or unpaid? 
    • How much time do you plan to take off while you acclimate to parenthood?
    • Do you have savings to cover additional time off if needed? 
  • Do you currently have insurance? 
    • How much will insurance contribute toward your prenatal care, delivery, and hospitalization?
    • Do you have supplemental insurance such as short-term disability and hospital indemnity? If not, these must be purchased before conception as they do not cover preexisting conditions.

Of course, you can and will make it work without mapping out every financial decision from conception to college, but these are just a few important questions for you and your partner to consider. 

Stop Taking Birth Control

If you’re currently using birth control, you’ll need to stop before attempting to conceive. If you’re on hormonal birth control such as the pill, ring, implant, IUD, patch, or shot, you’ll want to stop taking these a few menstrual cycles (2-3 months) before you begin trying for a baby. Taking a break from hormonal birth control will help you to determine your natural cycle and ovulation so you can be more deliberate in your attempts to become pregnant. If you’re using non-hormonal forms of birth control like condoms, spermicidal lubricants, or other methods to avoid pregnancy, you can begin trying to conceive with your next ovulation cycle. 

Focus On Total Body Health

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is a great way to prepare for pregnancy, and establishing healthy habits before conceiving will make the transition into a pregnancy that much smoother. Move your body daily, drink plenty of water, consume nutrient-dense foods, focus on decreasing stress, and prioritize your mental and physical health. We all know that consuming alcohol, taking drugs, and smoking while pregnant are detrimental to fetal health. But these things can negatively impact the quality of your eggs, how you ovulate, and your fertility too. The healthier you are, the healthier your eggs are, the more regular your ovulation cycles are, and the better your chances of becoming pregnant and carrying a baby to term. 

There’s no such thing as the perfect parents, or the perfect timing, and you might never have enough money or success for your liking. Becoming a parent is a huge responsibility but it’s also something that should happen organically. Putting unnecessary stress on yourself or your partner is never helpful, so just remember you’re a united front, a team, and you know what’s best for you and your future family.

To read more

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy: Starting Prenatal Care Benefits of Folate: Fertility, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Advocating for Yourself at the OBGYN