Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting stage in a woman’s life. During the nine months, our bodies undergo significant transformations to support the growth and development of a new soul. Preparing for pregnancy is essential to ensure a healthy and happy experience for both mother and baby. In this article, we’ll explore some important tips on physical, mental and emotional preparation for pregnancy.
If you’ve decided to become a mother, it’s a good idea to visit your GP. He knows your medical history in detail, will advise you and give you his opinion: is it the right time for a pregnancy or not?
Now is the time to treat any previously unresolved health issues! Certain latent, neglected or undiagnosed conditions can affect pregnancy. In addition, once you become pregnant, therapeutic options are restricted and even contraindicated in many situations.
Your family doctor, in collaboration with your gynaecologist, will prescribe vitamins and minerals if your tests indicate certain deficiencies.
Your family doctor and gynaecologist will usually recommend hormone, immunology, haematology and other tests. If you or your partner have a family history of rare diseases or cancer, consider genetic screening tests. Ideally, both you and your partner should do these tests.
For more details on the tests to be carried out, we recommend the article What tests a mother-to-be should have.
Infections, whether sexually transmitted or not, can cause serious complications and have long-term negative effects on the child. For a healthy pregnancy, testing for sexually transmitted diseases is recommended, especially since most are asymptomatic. We recommend the Veneris Quick Tests: find out in minutes if you’re OK and you can do them in the privacy of your own home.
Adopt a dietary style that provides you with all the necessary nutrients, taking care to limit saturated and trans fats (present in red meat, margarine, butter, fast food), refined carbohydrates (such as those in snacks, pastries, sweets). Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, good quality protein (white meat, fish, low-fat dairy) and whole grains for optimal fibre intake.
You probably know that it’s recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Find an activity you enjoy (running, cycling, tennis) and be consistent. The benefits are countless – for body, mind and spirit, as you need the task to find the best ‘version’ of you.
It’s also a good idea to do some physical exercises during the last months of pregnancy that are specifically designed for labour and birth: Kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, the tailor’s or shoemaker’s position and other pregnancy gymnastics. This gets your pelvic muscles used to the strain of childbirth, toning them to improve blood circulation and make labour easier to bear. In addition, this prevents problems from occurring after birth and you will be able to recover much faster.
If you are a smoker, it is necessary to give up this habit at least a few weeks beforehand, for the safety of your pregnancy and the health of the foetus. Smoking during pregnancy doubles the risk of ectopic pregnancy, as well as placenta previa, premature labour, vaginal bleeding, miscarriage and so on.
If you’re ready to get pregnant at any time, it’s absolutely essential to cut out alcohol. Alcohol, even if consumed occasionally and in small quantities, passes into your bloodstream and further, crosses the placental barrier and goes directly to the fetus.
It’s a good idea to gradually reduce the amount of coffee you drink in the run-up to pregnancy, so that you can limit yourself to one cup when you’re pregnant. The accepted limit of caffeine during pregnancy is 200 mg. Although not unanimous about the impact of caffeine on the fetus, obstetricians still recommend moderation and caution about coffee consumption during pregnancy.