If you are getting ready to try for a baby, you want to be sure that you are in the best possible health, and also that you have done everything you can to maximize your chances of getting pregnant. How do you get your body ready for pregnancy, in the months before you ditch your contraception?
If you are using any form of birth control, you'll obviously have to cease using it to get pregnant. Some contraceptives, like condoms, don't require any particular action other than just throwing them away! If you have an IUD (coil) fitted, you will need to have it removed, and pill users may not ovulate right away after stopping either. Depo Provera, the injectable contraception, is particularly notorious for delayed return of ovulation. If you are a depo user, you should consider ceasing injections quite a while before you are actually hoping to get pregnant.
We've mentioned it before on our blog, but unfortunately not many people have preconception medical examinations. Have one; there are many benefits. Reasons to have a preconception checkup include finding out about vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and sexually transmitted diseases. This goes for men and women, of course. Ask your doctor whether you are up to date on your vaccines as well, because some vaccine-preventable diseases are extremely dangerous during pregnancy. Trying to get pregnant is exciting, but it is even better if you are sure that you are healthy when you go for it!
Diet and exercise
Eating well and exercising regularly is important during pregnancy, and before. Everyone knows that fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but there's no time like the time you want to get pregnant to actually implement all that knowledge about eating right. Physical exercise is also important, which doesn't mean you have to be a work-out fanatic. You shouldn't be a couch potato either, though. Women who go into their pregnancy being fit and healthy will have an easier pregnancy, and a lesser risk of complications while they are carrying a baby, but also before that, because being obese and out of shape can affect your fertility. If you are not sure how to lose weight, or what forms of exercise are right for you, consult your doctor.While you're at the doctor for your preconception appointment, also ask about a multivitamin, and a folic acid supplement. These help your chances of getting pregnant, and will contribute to a healthy pregnancy as well, later on.
Quit the bad stuff
I almost forgot to add it, because it should be obvious. But stop smoking if you need to, don't drink too much alcohol, and definitely don't do drugs while trying to conceive. Some women quit drinking coffee when they start trying for a baby as well, but scientists say that small amounts of caffeine are safe during pregnancy.