If you have decided that 2016 is the year for you to be a mum, you should start preparing yourself in the best way possible. Here are 10 tips you should consider before getting pregnant:
- Give up unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Know your ideal weight. Overweight women can see an endocrinologist about going on a diet to lose weight without risking their health; while thin women can try to gain weight.
- Go to a gynaecologist for a blood test. This can tell you if you are suffering from anaemia or other conditions.
- Find out if you have had certain infections which may affect the unborn child if you suffer them during your pregnancy: e.g. German measles, toxoplasmosis, hepatitis, syphilis or AIDS.
- If necessary, get vaccinated against German measles or chickenpox.
- Visit your dentist. This way, you can avoid having to undergo dental treatment during pregnancy (although most treatments are not actually contraindicated).
- Get into shape. Play sports or exercise moderately – especially if you can continue doing it during pregnancy!
- Try to eat a balanced diet from now on. You should eat enough calories and include the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
- Start taking folic acid 3 months before stopping contraceptive methods. This is a B vitamin which is essential for the health of the mother and child, and prevents certain types of anaemia and birth defects in the unborn baby.
- Have sex regularly, but don’t become obsessed with getting pregnant immediately.