PRECONCEPTION HEALTH FOR
Pregnancy should not be considered only a 9 month journey but as a year long journey. Knowing
that the first few weeks of pregnancy are the most vital to the development of the baby, a mother should be healthy
and avoid any harmful activities and substances near the time of conception. Some habits are harder to break, and
some health issues take longer to address. Getting a jump start will be beneficial to you and your baby. Following
these simple guidelines can help you prepare for pregnancy. Before you become pregnant you want to make sure that
you cut out any habits that are harmful for your baby. These habits include:
Smoking - Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 20 to 30 percent of
low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and about 10 percent of all infant deaths
according to the American Lung Association.
Drinking Alcohol - There is no safe amount of alcohol to consume while you are
Recreational drug use – For example, smoking marijuana during pregnancy can increase
the chance of miscarriage, low birth-weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning
Prescription drugs – There are many prescription drugs that are teratogenic (cause
birth defects). Talk with your healthcare provider about any and all prescription drugs you are taking.
Hazardous chemicals – There are some chemicals that can also be teratogenic. For
example, most studies point out that the greatest risk of exposure to pesticides is during the first three to eight
weeks of the first trimester when the neural tube development is occurring. This is often before a woman knows she
Stress – Stress has been linked to delayed or missed periods which can cause difficulty
tracking ovulation and getting pregnant. Limit your amount of stress as much as possible.
Herbs – The problem with herbs is that they are not mandated by the FDA, and therefore,
there is little or no research on the effect they have on pregnancy. Discuss any herbs with your healthcare
Caffeine - Some studies have shown a link between high levels of caffeine consumption
and delayed conception. A few studies have shown that there may be an increase in miscarriages among women who
consume more than 300 mg (three 5 oz cups of coffee) a day.
You should replace these old habits with new healthy habits. These healthy habits include:
Exercise – Start exercising now. Set goals for what you want to achieve. Ask yourself if you want to
lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, or improve lung capacity. Some good exercise options include
walking, swimming, bicycling, and aerobics. Yoga is an excellent choice for exercise because it
incorporates posture, breathing, and concentration which will be beneficial for you during labor. Talk
with your healthcare provider about what is best for you.
Read – Read books on pregnancy and child birth. It is important that you are educated and prepared.
Track your menstrual cycle – This is very important. Your doctor will ask you about your menstrual
cycle, so you need to be prepared. Keeping track of your cycle will also help you track your ovulation
and increase your chance of pregnancy. Products to Help Track Ovulation
Practice relaxation techniques – Relaxation can help minimize stress, and as you have already read,
stress is not a woman’s best friend. Try Yoga or listening to soft relaxing music in a warm bath.
Get lots of sleep – If you are not receiving 8 hours of sleep a night, you should start. Adequate
amounts of sleep can also help relieve stress and tension.
Eat healthy – Nutrition is vital to your health. The healthier you are the easier pregnancy will be for
you. Some people like to take supplements. Order Fertility Supplements