For some women, planning to become pregnant is an exciting time, and when it happens, they are full of anticipation for the new arrival. Others struggle with pregnancy, and it takes a while to become used to the changes happening in their bodies.
No matter how you feel, those feelings are valid, and you deserve to take the best possible care of your health before and during this time.
Preparing for Pregnancy
When you are planning to become pregnant, there are a number of things you’ll want to do beforehand. Lifestyle changes and regular doctor’s visits will help you to stay informed about your health and ensure that you are physically and emotionally prepared to experience pregnancy.
There are several things you can do to prepare your body for pregnancy:
- Eat healthy foods: Eat a balanced diet and avoid unhealthy, processed foods.
- Get regular exercise: This will help you to maintain your weight and stay in shape.
- Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol can affect your fertility, as well as your hormone levels, menstruation, and ovulation.
- Stay away from harmful substances: Avoid exposure to substances such as pesticides and lead, as well as radiation.
- Take vitamins: Taking a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid can help to reduce the risks of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
- Avoid eating undercooked/raw meat, as well as exposure to cat litter, animal feces, and those who are sick.
- Quit smoking: There are a variety of dangers associated with smoking before and during pregnancy, such as low birth weight.
- Consider whether you are in an abusive situation and take the necessary steps to seek safety.
I’m Pregnant. What Medications Should I Avoid?
According to the CDC, 9 in 10 women take medication during pregnancy. This means that if you’re pregnant and taking medication, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to continue. There are medication guidelines, however, that you’ll want to be aware of.
There are certain conditions that often require taking medication. If you are pregnant and have the following conditions, consult your doctor before continuing any medications for them:
- Heart disease
- Infections (i.e. UTIs, HIV)
- Opioid use disorder
- Thyroid disorder
For more information on medication use during pregnancy, consult the CDC’s “Medicine and Pregnancy” page.
Steps to Take
To learn more about how medications can affect you and your baby, be sure to follow these steps:
- Ask questions: Always speak with a medical provider before taking any new medications and supplements.
- Read medicine labels: Check the label to see whether there are risks for pregnant women.
- Speak with your provider about any issues you are having with your medication.
I Have More Questions. Where Can I Get Information?
If you have more questions about preparing for pregnancy and staying healthy when pregnant, consider speaking with Reach Out Pregnancy Center today. We offer a variety of no-cost services and would be happy to point you toward the resources and information you need.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment