Pregnancy and childbirth used to be incredibly dangerous for both the mother and child. Women regularly died during childbirth from blood loss or infection. Today we’re extremely lucky to have the facilities and medical support that we do. But miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births and complications still exist today. This is why it remains important to take care of your general health before getting pregnant, to minimise if not eliminate these risks. Here are three ways you can do that.
Shift to a Healthy Lifestyle Now
You’ve probably heard the advice to quit smoking and stop drinking when you’re pregnant. But you may be unaware that these habits can actually hurt the baby before you know for certain that you’re pregnant. Shift to a healthy lifestyle now to minimise the potential problems. Stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking and stay clear of any drugs. This includes cannabis and legal herbal products.
Get into a regular routine where you get enough sleep and do a form of low-impact exercise every day. This will get you fit in preparation for your pregnancy and help you fight excessive weight gain during. It’s also much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle once you become pregnant than try to change your habits after you find out. While you’ll be advised to start taking prenatal vitamins, this is also the time to start eating healthy. Cut back on the sweets, the sugary drinks and fatty foods. Start loading your plate with vegetables, fruits and high fibre foods. This will reduce the odds of putting on excess kilos that could lead to a big baby and a difficult delivery. It will also lower your chances of becoming diabetic during pregnancy. As a side benefit, the healthy diet could minimise your morning sickness and the heartburn many women suffer in the second half of their pregnancy.
We do need to say that you shouldn’t use pregnancy as an excuse to over-eat. You’re not eating for two. The baby at the most will weigh five kilos. It’s more like you’re eating for one point one. Try not to use your pregnancy as an excuse to pig out on ice cream. When you do have these cravings, have small servings and look for healthy alternatives. For example, have a fruit smoothie or yogurt instead of sugary ice cream.
Invest in Prenatal Care
One way to enjoy the best prenatal care is to secure private pregnancy health insurance now, before you’re pregnant. This will ensure that you have the best doctors at your disposal to treat existing health problems that could adversely impact your pregnancy. They could also help you in the case of infertility and transition you to high risk pregnancy obstetricians so that you have the best possible care. This will minimise the chance of unnecessary complications or health problems while giving your baby the best overall chance of a smooth, healthy start in life.
Plan for the Future
If you’re reading this, it’s obvious you’re already planning to give yourself and your child the best possible future. However, there are things you can do to reduce your stress over the next few years. Develop a relationship with a doctor you trust so that you’re comfortable in reporting any symptoms that may occur when you’re pregnant. Take steps to get control of your finances so you can afford to look after your baby without stressing about it. A solid health insurance policy is a good step in this direction, as is a large emergency fund so you can pay for any unexpected bills.