Planning A Pregnancy? Expert Shares 5 Things You Should Start Right Now!

Planning for pregnancy is a dynamic journey, and we've got a few proactive steps to get you primed for successful pregnancy.

Planning A Pregnancy? Expert Shares 5 Things You Should Start Right Now! Expert Shares 5 Things You Should Start Right Now! (freepik)

Embarking on the journey to parenthood is a remarkable and life-changing experience. Whether you're planning for your first child or expanding your family, preparing for a healthy and successful pregnancy is a crucial step in this exciting adventure. It's not just about crossing your fingers and hoping for the best – proactive steps can significantly impact your pregnancy journey. From optimizing your nutrition to understanding your body's rhythms, let's explore how to plan for pregnancy effectively and increase your chances of a smooth and joyful journey to parenthood.

In an exclusive conversation with Zee News English, Dr Nikitha Murthy, Fertility Specialist at Garbhagudi IVF center shares five important things to do while planning a pregnancy to ensure you're in the best possible shape, physically and mentally, for this incredible chapter in your life. 

5 Essential Pregnancy Tips For Expectant Mothers

In this article, we'll explore five key actions you should consider to optimize your chances of a smooth pregnancy.

1. Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins

One of the first steps you should take is to start taking prenatal vitamins, with a particular emphasis on folic acid. Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is vital for a healthy pregnancy, as it aids in embryo implantation and reduces the risk of neural tube and cardiac defects. To prepare your body for pregnancy, start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, at least one month before attempting to conceive. Additionally, include vitamin D in your routine, with a weekly dose of 60,000 international units, at least four weeks before planning your pregnancy. This can be especially important if you've experienced a previous miscarriage.

2. Get Routine Tests

It's crucial to ensure your body is in optimal condition for pregnancy. Before conceiving, undergo basic tests to check your overall health. This includes monitoring your hemoglobin levels, which should be at least 11 grams per deciliter. Additionally, assess your thyroid levels to aim for a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) less than 2.5 international units per milliliter. Don't forget to examine your sugar levels through the HbA1c test, which should ideally fall between 5.7 and less than 6%.

3. Quit Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol can have detrimental effects on pregnancy. Both substances can hinder embryo implantation and increase the risk of miscarriage. To give your future child the best start in life, quit smoking and abstain from alcohol well in advance of conception.

4. Assess Your Lifestyle

Optimizing your lifestyle is key to a healthy pregnancy. Start by maintaining a healthy weight within the ideal BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 kg per square meter. Stay physically active and prioritize your mental well-being through activities like meditation and yoga. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on at least five days per week.

5. Track Your Ovulation

Understanding your menstrual cycle is vital when trying to conceive. Keep a fertility chart to monitor your cycles. If your cycles are regular, occurring every 28 to 30 days, ovulation typically takes place around the 12th to 14th day. To maximize your chances of pregnancy, engage in unprotected intercourse three days before and after ovulation, on alternate days during this time.

If you encounter any difficulties or have preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, or epilepsy, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider. They can recommend safe medications and provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.