This post is contributed by one of MunFitnessBlog.com readers, Jenny. Through a casual e-mail conversation, I invited her to write a series of topics on pregnancy and she has gladly accepted. Jenny shares her experience when she was preparing for motherhood years ago. She is a full time housewife, mother of 3 healthy kids and currently resides in Singapore.
The healthier a woman is, the more likely she conceive and give birth to a healthy baby. So, it is important to woman to start have plans to get healthy way before she wants to have baby. Many only start thinking about getting healthy, but it may be too late. In fact, one may not know about her pregnancy until 3 or 5 weeks later. During that stage (which is already a critical phase of development), baby’s organ begin to form. So, it is important to get yourself eating the right supplement and doing the right things before too late.
No doubt, one one can guarantee you that with a foolproof method to have healthy baby, but I am sure you will want to do whatever you can to improve the chance of having a healthy baby. I also have friends who do not like the idea of getting ready for pregnancy. They do not want to think about it until it happens. Even if you fall under this group of people, read through. You may not want to follow everything I share, but there are few things you may want to try before conceiving.
- Maintain Healthy Weight – Women, whose Body Mass Index (BMI) below 20 or above 20, will find it harder to get pregnant. If your weight does not fall within the range, you may want to gain to lose weight to boost the chance to conceive. If you are overweight, it is easier to have high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Stop Smoking and Drink Less – Studies show that smoking may lead to miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight babies. I encourage you to cut back beer, wine or other liquor.
- Eat Balanced Diet and Take Folic Acid – It is important to eat balanced diet. Folic acid is important as it reduces the chance of having baby with neural-tube defects. The neural tube, which eventually becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy.. You can get it from green leafy vegetables (spinach), oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, milks and grains. However, it is not easy to get enough folic acid from natural sources. Therefore, I still strongly recommend you to take folic acid. Take 0.4 mg (400 mcg, micrograms) of folic acid daily at least one month before you start trying. Even after you are pregnant, doctor still encourages you to take folic acid. You can buy folic acid from drugstore. If you are taking multivitamin, make sure it does not contain daily allowance of 770 mcg RAE (2,565 IU) of vitmain A, unless it is in a form called beta carotene. Too much of vitamin A may cause birth defects. Get your husband to take folic acid too because men need it to produce healthy sperm.
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- Pill Free Break – If you have been taking birth control pills, you will have to stop taking it. Go through several normal cycles before you try to conceive.
- Cut Down on Caffeine – Too much caffeine reduce your ability to absorb iron and increase risk of miscarriage. Avoid coffee, tea and Coke.
- Exercise – Last but not least, exercise regularly. You can walk, run, swim or do yoga.
So, how long should you start practicing what I outlined above? The earlier you can do so, the better you are.
Category: Pregnancy & Parenting
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