If you are
thinking about starting or growing your family there are a few things you
should add to your list of things to do to plan for a healthy pregnancy.
Your lifestyle and
nutrition are the main factors that need to be considered. Here we’ve listed 10
for you to cross off.
1. You should talk
to your GP when you decide to start or grow your family so that you can address
anything that can be fixed prior to conception such as low iron, low vitamin D
or the like.
2. Maintaining a
healthy weight is important for your ability to conceive; your doctor or
pharmacist can help you find healthy ways to manage your weight.
3. If you smoke or
drink alcohol you should consider quitting both especially during conception,
pregnancy and whilst you are breastfeeding your baby. The same goes for men
trying to help conceive as cutting out smoking and excessive alcohol
consumption will promote and maintain healthier sperm.
4. Reduce your
stress levels by ensuring time out for yourself to relax.
5. Exercise should
become a habit, even if you go for a big half to one hour walk everyday – this
is setting you and your family up for an active lifestyle together.
6. While you are
pregnant the recommend caffeine intake is 200mg per day (this might only be one
cup!) so you should try and cut down on caffeine beverages as you prepare for
conception. Being morning-sick AND dealing with caffeine withdrawal is not a
lot of fun.
7. A well-balanced
and varied diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables should be a number one
priority. Folate is a B group vitamin found naturally in
food such as legumes and green leafy vegetables. Taking folic acid daily before and
during pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects such
as spina bifida in your baby.
8. Start taking a
pregnancy multivitamin to help build up the essential nutrients required and to
help cover the needs of both the mother and baby. You should start taking this
at least one month prior to falling pregnant.A multivitamin
specifically containing folic acid helps to provide the best health outcomes
for your baby’s development.
Men can also take
a multivitamin to help support conception through good sperm health, in
addition to adopting a healthier lifestyle until the pregnancy is confirmed.
9. Prior to
pregnancy visit your dentist for a check up to ensure your teeth and gums are
in good health. You may prefer not to have an Xray while pregnant, so try and
do this before you conceive. Once pregnancy is confirmed make sure your dentist
knows before commencing any treatment. Also make sure any other health
professionals providing care know that you are pregnant -sometimes it won’t be
obvious, especially early on!
10. Check your maternity leave options
with your current employer and make sure you understand the rights and
obligations of both parties. Also review your entitlement to Paid Parental
Leave - this requires some planning and the inevitable government paperwork!
Lastly, good luck
or congratulations! Our friendly team at Capital Chemist are on hand to chat to
you about the best pre-, during and post-pregnancy and breastfeeding