Are you ready for your baby?
Woman thinking of a baby

If you've decided to get pregnant, you might be emotionally prepared to have a baby — but is your body ready?

To help ensure a healthy pregnancy, schedule a preconception appointment with your health care provider as soon as you begin thinking about pregnancy. A preconception appointment is especially important if you're in your 30s or 40s or you have any chronic health conditions or special concerns.

A.    Stop birth control:

If you've been taking combination birth control pills — whether conventional or extended cycle — no more than a two-week delay in your period is expected after you stop taking.
If you've been using certain types of long-term birth control, such as progestin injections, your return to fertility might take somewhat longer. Still, 50 percent of women conceive six to seven months after the last shot.

B.    Check your immunity system:

Infections such as chickenpox (varicella) and German measles (rubella) can be dangerous for an unborn baby. If your immunizations aren't complete or you're not sure if you're immune to certain infections, your preconception care might include blood tests to check for immunity or one or more vaccines — preferably at least one month before you try to conceive.

C.    Chronic medical conditions:

If you are obese or have a chronic medical condition — such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure — make sure it's under control before you conceive. In some cases, your health care provider might recommend adjusting your medication or other treatments before pregnancy. Your health care provider also will explain any special care you might need during pregnancy.

D.    Supplements:

Tell your health care provider about any medications, herbs or supplements you're taking. Depending on the product, your health care provider might recommend changing doses, switching to something else or stopping the product before you conceive.
It is critical importance for you to have enough of a synthetic form of vitamin B9 known as folic acid or folate. Folic acid helps prevent serious birth defects of the spinal cord and the brain which occur at a very early stage of a fetus development. To reduce this risk, it is mandatory to take folic acid at least a month before you try to conceive.

E.    Relax

Stress can delay or throw off your ovulation if you have an unusual event, like you breaking your leg or a death in the family, but overall most "general" stress doesn't have much of an effect on baby-making abilities for women or men.

F.    Maintain a regular exercise routine.

How much exercise you should be getting during pregnancy is often a hot debate. Research suggests moderate exercise can improve fertility. Too much can throw off your cycle but if you're doing too little, that's also not good. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on 5 days each week or at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on 3 days each week for optimum health.

What you should avoid?

3 Things You Should Avoid Before You Get Pregnant:

  • Trim down on high-mercury fish.
    If you like fish and eat a fair amount, cut back on your consumption of high-mercury fish (tuna, halibut, swordfish) three months before starting to get pregnant.
  • Keep the lid on soda and fruit juice. Avoid drink high in sugar, they raise blood sugar very quickly and that can have a negative impact on fertility. It's also a good idea to eliminate trans fats from your diet, too, as consuming too much has been linked to infertility. Read labels to find out if you've been unknowingly consuming trans fats in processed, packaged foods.
  • Ditch the extra pounds.
    Having too much or too little body fat can cause irregular or infrequent ovulation. "Women whose body mass index (BMI) is between 24 and 30 are most fertile."


“are you ready for your baby” 4 Things You Should Avoid Before You Get Pregnant. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.
“are you ready for your baby” Health Life Style: Getting Pregnanat. N.p., 7 July 2015. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.