9 Changes You Need To Make If You Are Planning For Healthy Babies
You may not be expecting a baby yet, but still, there are a lot of things at your disposal that you can do to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible so that your baby will also grow healthy inside you. This is because a healthy you translates to a healthy baby. Therefore, planning for healthy babies begin long before you even conceive.
There are plenty of changes you should make before you decide to get pregnant to ensure that your baby will be growing inside a healthy body. Here are some of the changes you can make in your life if you are planning for healthy babies.
9 Changes You Need To Make If You Are Planning For Healthy Babies
1. Check Your Weight
According to studies, your weight determines how fertile you will be and how healthy your baby will be in case you conceive. If you are overweight, your fertility can be affected as a result of an imbalance in the levels of your hormones. This is simply because your body will be producing more oestrogen than usual due to the additional fat cells in your body. Too much oestrogen will affect your menstrual cycle since it will prevent you from ovulating normally.
If you are underweight, your fertility will be affected too due to the imbalance in your hormone levels that will affect your ovulation. Low fertility will also affect the foetal health leading to unhealthy babies. To have a healthy pregnancy, you should have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 18.5 and 24.9. You can talk to your personal doctor so that you can be guided on what steps to take to get the right BMI.
Experts recommend that you should be physically active before you get pregnant and even during your pregnancy. This is because being fit will enable you to have a healthy pregnancy and will also make your delivery to be easy. However, when you are already pregnant, you should be careful not to overdo your workouts.
3. Do Away With Birth Control
It is advisable to get rid of your birth control pills two months prior to the time you plan to get pregnant. However, if you are using injectable forms of contraceptives, you should put a stop to using them 3 months prior to the day you plan to get pregnant. This is to allow enough time for the effects of the contraceptives to wear off. Your body will thus have enough time to normalise your hormonal levels.
In the meantime, you can use barrier contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant before you are ready.
4. Go Slow On The Coffee
Experts recommend that you should limit the amount of caffeine you take if you want to have a healthy pregnancy. You should not take more than 200 milligrammes of caffeine a day, which translates to about two cups of coffee.
Caffeine is a stimulant that is responsible for increasing the rate at which your heart beats thereby increasing your blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure can affect your pregnancy as it can lead to a miscarriage.
5. Avoid Stress
It is advisable that you avoid things that tend to stress you up so that you are relaxed by the time you decide to get pregnant. Stress is something that can affect your fertility and pregnancy. This can adversely affect the health of your baby leading to many birth complications like low birth weight.
You can help yourself to be relaxed by exercising, talking with your partner or ensuring that you get enough sleep. Consulting your psychiatrist is also another viable option in case you feel depressed.
6. Eat Healthy
Eating a healthy diet is very important since you really are what you eat. And if you are healthy, then your baby to be will also be healthy. To get your diet right, you can start with eating a balanced diet. You should also make sure that you drink a lot of water so that your body has enough fluids.
To pave way for a healthy pregnancy, you should make dietary changes very early when you are still in the planning stages of getting pregnant. A healthy diet will ensure that you stay at a healthy weight.
7. Go For Dental Checkup
You may not be aware that a significant health risk factor to your baby may be hiding somewhere you least expect it to be- your smile. According to studies that were conducted by the American Academy of Periodontists, if you have a gum disease, then your chances of having an underweight or a premature baby is four times more likely as compared to a woman who has healthy gums.
This is because studies have revealed that some of the bacteria that are responsible for gum disease may also be exposed to your baby in your uterus. You should, therefore, visit a dentist before you conceive to make sure that your oral cavity is in a good condition.
8. Stay Away From The Bottle
According to various studies, women who drink heavily will have a hard time getting pregnant as compared to women who drink lightly. This is why some people may argue that it is okay to drink a little alcohol if you are trying to conceive.
However, there is no safe level of alcohol that you should drink when you are planning to get pregnant, that is according to Dr Mira Wick of Mayo Clinic. She, therefore, recommends that anyone planning for healthy babies should not drink alcohol at all.
9. Ensure That Your Vaccinations Are Up-to-date
According to Dr Bierman of Center for Disease Control, it is important that you go for vaccinations when you are planning to get pregnant. This is to avoid any illnesses that may affect you during pregnancy and endanger your life as well that of your baby. You should vaccinate yourself against diseases like measles, mumps, tetanus and chickenpox if you have never been vaccinated against them.
You should get vaccinated 3 to 4 months before you get pregnant because some of the vaccines contain live viruses.
Some Of The Foods To Take Caution With When You Are Planning For Healthy Babies
A balanced diet is not just enough for you if you are planning to get pregnant. Doctors advise that you should adhere to a diet that is pregnancy-safe. When it comes to eating fish, the FDA recommends that there are certain types of fish that you should avoid. These types of fish like tilefish, swordfish and shark have high levels of mercury hence should be avoided.
However, when it comes to canned tuna, catfish and shrimps, you should limit their intake to 12 ounces a week because they may contain low levels of mercury. You should also avoid foods that might contain listeria as the listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis. These foods include unpasteurized dairy products, blue veined cheeses and soft-ripened cheeses.
Planning for healthy babies requires you to start making healthy lifestyle changes in advance so that you get your body to be healthy since a healthy you means a healthy baby. Doctors recommend that you start effecting these changes 3 cycles before planning to get pregnant. This is to give your body enough time to adjust to your new healthy lifestyle.