Deciding to have a baby is a big decision. Each moment of the parenting journey, you will be acutely aware that you have the enormous responsibility of another human life. The health, well-being and ultimately the success of that human life is in your hands and it starts with pregnancy.
In fact, it starts before you even fall pregnant. There are things you do need to consider as you start along the path to parenthood:
Your diet whilst pregnant should be optimal so that you can provide all the necessary nutrients to your baby while still covering your own needs. Ahead of pregnancy, it is worth trying to get to an optimal weight because you cannot prioritize losing weight once you are pregnant. Before you are pregnant, change your eating habits to focus in having a healthy, varied diet with whole grains, healthy fats, hormone free proteins and seasonal fruit and veggies. You need to avoid sugary and processed starches and ensure that you do eat Omega rich foods.
Ahead of pregnancy, you need to tick a few health boxes to ensure you are a healthy incubator for your baby:
- Check your immunity to or be vaccinated against – German measles, chicken pox, flu, whooping cough
- Have genetic tests if you know your family is at risk for conditions such as Tay-Sachs
- Have STD tests for HIV, Syphillis and HepB, especially if you are high risk
- Stop taking medication that may endanger your developing baby, such as acne medication.
Lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs and smoking are all very dangerous for your fetus and you need to make some tough choices now if you want to fall pregnant.
Before you even fall pregnant it is worth going onto a few supplements. The ones I recommend are an all-round supplement with bio-available nutrients such as Bio-Strath and of course most importantly Folic Acid which is essential for the development of your baby’s neural tube. This should be started before you fall pregnant to be most effective.
- Emotional wellbeing
Finally, stress in pregnancy is really not good for your baby’s development and some changes may need to be made in your relationships and work situation if they cause you stress. Try not to plan for immigration, a house move or a job transition while pregnant – you need positive energy to grow a healthy baby.
Having ticked all these boxes, you are ready to move into the amazing phase of becoming a parent.