You are about to make some of the most important decisions of your life. When planning for to bring a new life into the world you need to make advance preparations so that your baby will have the best start that you can possibly give.
Before you even start thinking about conceiving, you should take a good look at your lifestyle and ask yourself if you are healthy enough. Do you smoke? Do you exercise well and often? Do you eat properly? If you are a smoker, the very first thing that you need to do is start weaning yourself off cigarettes because these can cause a lot of prenatal complications and can affect a baby’s development.
For more on the effects of smoking in pregnancy, click here.
While you are expecting, you may experience various pregnancy symptoms, including nausea, constipation, backache, and fatigue. You need to be strong to get through all of these and, as your baby grows inside you, you will also need the strength and energy to carry the extra weight around with you. Therefore, it is important you start to eat well so that your body can be strong and be the right place for your little baby to grow.
For the same reason, it is a good idea to get plenty of exercise now. After conceiving, you will still be able to exercise, but you will be limited in certain ways.
Another important thing to do is find a good healthcare provider. Antenatal care is vitally important when you are expecting, as your pregnancy stages are monitored to prevent the development of any complications and to make sure that everything is progressing in the way that it should. You will also have a good resource for any of your pregnancy questions.
If you are on constant medication, one of the first things to ask your doctor is whether it is a problem if you conceive while you are on it. Can it be taken during pregnancy or afterwards, when you are breastfeeding? If not, what are your alternatives? Can you use a safer type of medication until after the baby is born? Are you able to do without it until after the birth? Would the condition that you are treating possibly cause infertility? If not, would it nonetheless cause any problems to you or the developing foetus? All these issues should be resolved at the planning stage.
Don’t forget your emotional health, either. Planning your pregnancy should be done with the total agreement and support of your partner. Bringing a baby into a healthy, loving family is the best thing that you could do because you are providing them with a foundation for life and their own future relationships.
Now that you have made your decision and you are planning a pregnancy, you have to look at the nuts and bolts of conceiving. First of all, if you are using the Pill as contraception, it could take you a little while before your hormones have settled down and are ready for conception. To help you do this gradually, you should explain to your doctor that you are planning for pregnancy and ask him to prescribe a more localised form of contraception, such as a spermicide, for a month or two.
One bout of sexual relations with your partner is not necessarily enough (although it sometimes can be!) You need to work out when your most fertile time, which is when you are ovulating, is going to occur. To make this easier for you, you can use an ovulation chart or ovulation calendar that will help you find the dates of your most fertile times. Then make an appointment with your partner – and hopefully you will conceive.
Acquaint yourself with common pregnancy signs, such as when you would consider a period to be late. (This can vary with every woman.) Make sure that you have a pregnancy testing kit in your house. Look out for other pregnancy symptoms, such as constipation, feeling more fatigued than usual, and throwing up when you are hungry.