To ensure a healthy pregnancy there are things you should know about yourself and your body before you get pregnant. Planning a pregnancy can help you avoid or reduce many risks that can lead to difficult pregnancies, pre-term labor, low birth weight babies and infant mortality. While being armed with information can help prevent pregnancy issues, every pregnancy is different and there are no guarantees. However, knowledge can help you have a healthier, happier pregnancy and could even help you to decide that pregnancy may not be right for you. Here are 8 things you should know before you get pregnant.
1. Your Family’s Health History
Before you start trying to conceive, you need to know your family health history for you and your partner. Learn if there is a history of premature babies, miscarriage, heart disease, genetic disorders or mental illness. While this information may not keep you from getting pregnant, it will definitely keep your doctor more in tune to look out for problems in pregnancy with you or your baby early on.
2. You Should Have a Check up before You Get Pregnant
Go in and have a complete physical exam done to make sure you are healthy enough to have a baby. A healthy mother is important before a pregnancy begins! It is better to know of any issues ahead of time rather than finding out at your first prenatal visit.
3. You Need More Folic Acid
Folic acid is an important factor in preventing birth defects. Taking a folic acid supplement and drinking orange juice, which is rich in folic acid, are important before you start trying to conceive. To reap the maximum benefits, folic acid needs to already be in your body before getting pregnant.
4. Clean up Your Act
Preparing your body for pregnancy means cleaning your system from any toxins that may be present. You should quit smoking before becoming pregnant and refrain from using any drugs or alcohol. The most important period of time for your unborn baby is happening before you even know you are pregnant. That is why it’s crucial to have a healthy lifestyle when you first begin trying to get pregnant.
5. You Need to Eat Right
When you get pregnant, your body will require more vitamins and nutrients than ever before. In order to ensure you are giving your baby what is needed for healthy growth you should already be taking in the appropriate vitamins and minerals that your own body needs to be healthy.
6. You Better Stop Taking Birth Control Sooner than Later!
This one might seem obvious, but you need to actually stop taking your pills a couple months ahead of time. Taking pills in pregnancy can be harmful to your baby and you definitely want to give your body time to get the hormonal effects completely out of its system. It generally takes women several months to become pregnant after they stop taking the pill anyway so plan ahead!
7. You Should Verify Your Insurance Coverage
Be sure and review your insurance policy before getting pregnant to know what expenses will be covered and what will have to come out of your own wallet. Also find out what obstetricians, midwives, and hospitals will accept your insurance. Learn what the procedure is for reporting your pregnancy to them. Ask questions about coverage for length of hospital stay for you and your baby, prescription or equipment coverage for at-home heart or breathing monitors and for neonatal intensive care unit admissions for your baby. While you may never need any of this stuff, it’s good to know ahead of time what kind of coverage you have if something happens.
8. Communication is Key
Talk to your husband before you start trying for a baby. Make sure you are both on the same page before you get pregnant. Talk about your financial stability, age factors, and goals in life. This can avoid many stressful days later on.
Having a baby is a special time in your life, but it can also be stressful. If you remember these 8 things you should know before you get pregnant, it can save you a lot of difficulty in the long run! What do you wish you had known before getting pregnant?
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