Using this handy check list, you can help to add a smooth progression towards your goals of a healthy pregnancy and being ready for baby.
Many times, you don’t even really think about how much you’ll need to do prior to pregnancy to get ready. Most people think that it’s as simple as throwing away your birth control and jumping into bed. While that can certainly work, with a bit of planning and preparation you can give your baby-to-be the best chance by ensuring you and your partner are physically, mentally, emotionally and financially ready for a pregnancy. Here are some of the things to do before you get pregnant:
- Preconceptional Health Check Up: Both you and your partner need to have a physical, specifically telling your practitioner that you want to get pregnant soon. Not only will this help you iron out any ongoing issues with chronic diseases like thyroid conditions, blood pressure, etc., but it will help you ensure that your reproductive organs are ready too.
- Insurance Check Up: Don’t skip checking in with your insurance company. You may be surprised at what they will and won’t pay for in your maternity care. The good news is that with the Affordable Care Act many pregnancy related items (and many preconceptional) are free. That said, you will want to know what you’ll be expected to pay. Be sure to ask a lot of questions of your insurance company. Sometimes a change in plans may be in order.
- Parenting Ideals: If you haven’t started talking about what you want from parenting and what you intend to put into it – now is the time. What mistakes did your parents make? What do you hope to carry on from your own childhood? Do you know where to turn for help or advice?
- Classes: You might look into fertility classes. These classes are designed to help you in planning a pregnancy. You start by looking at figuring out when you ovulate and how to maximize the chances of conceiving. These might seem over the top but many families enjoy meeting with others on the same journey.
- Act pregnant! Eat well, exercise and watch your intake of alcohol and drugs.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid.