If this is your year to start trying to have a baby, here are 10 health goals you want to achieve before you become pregnant:
1. Both parties should get a complete blood work done. It is important to ask for your Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels check. Vitamin D is crucial for preventing prenatal conditions such as preclampsia and gestational diabetes as well as preventing slow infant growth, while Vitamin B12 helps to bind with folic acid in the body preventing birth defects. Read: Pregnancy and Gestational Vitamin D Deficiency
2.) Reduce your caffeine intake and switch to organic coffee. Coffee contains many pesticides and can increase your risks for infertility and birth defects. Read: Pregnancy 101: How Much Coffee Can I Drink?
3.) Take a whole food based prenatal vitamin like New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamin. Many women report feeling less nausea and feel better after taking a food based prenatal as it is made with real foods.
4.) Clean up your diet. Ridding processed foods that have white flours and sugars is hard for our bodies to digest causing many health issues. Also buying organic means less pesticides you are ingesting. Can't afford to buy organic? Yes you can Be a Savvy Shopper When Buying Organic. Check out 10 Ways To Boost Your Fertility Naturally.
5.) Get more sleep. Sleeping in a dark, cool room has a powerful influence to the body's hormonal system, which controls a woman's cycle and regulates ovulation. Create a bedtime routine that helps you to relax and get a peaceful night's rest.
6.) Get rid of the teflon, non-stick pots and pans. Each woman had at least two and as many as four “Teflon chemicals,” or perfluorinated compounds, in her blood. These are chemicals used to create stain-protection products and non-stick cookware and are linked to low birth weight, obesity, and cancer. Babies are often exposed to these harmful chemicals before they are born.
7.) Exercise to get the blood flowing. But don't overdo it as it can actually harm your body more than help it. Try yoga that offers poses with hip openers.
8.) Increase your DHA's. Many studies show the benefits of taking a quality fish oil before, during and after your pregnancy. It not only reduces inflammation in the body, but can help boost your baby's IQ by a few points. It may not be enough to get into Harvard, but every little bit helps, right? (The ABC's of DHA)
9.) Be sure to be off any meds (unless medically necessary), especially birth control for at least six months. Birth control depletes our bodies of folic acid and why it is important to begin taking prenatal vitamins well before we start trying. Ideally, all women of child-bearing age should be on prenatal vitamins.
10.) Just relax, kick back and enjoy a little extra time with your spouse. After all, this should be a time to have more fun because once the little ones arrive, finding time can be a chore!