Preparing for Pregnancy
Are you planning on getting pregnant? Rather than jump right in and try to conceive, it is wise to spend some months preparing for pregnancy by removing toxins from your body and improving your general health. If you are healthy, your baby will have the best environment to grow in and will have the best chance of being born strong and healthy.
It is a good idea to discuss your plans to become pregnant with a health care professional. Because so much of the preparation will involve adjusting lifestyle and preparing the body, a good naturapath is probably the best choice. A naturapath can evaluate your current health, advise on diet, use herbs to balance hormones and provide appropriate nutritional supplements to compensate for nutritional deficits. You also need to inform him or her of your medical history and any past pregnancies. If you have had any chronic medical condition for which you have taken medication long term, you may also need to see a medical practitioner to evaluate the effects these may have had on your health.
Health issues that you will need to consider when preparing for pregnancy are:
Are you taking birth control pills or using another kind of hormonal birth control? If so, most health experts advise that you should stop using this form of birth control at least three months before you attempt to get pregnant. This is because your body needs to adjust and recover normal ovulation. During this period, diaphragms or condoms can be used for birth control.
Do you have any medical problems that can affect a growing fetus? You will need to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes or high blood pressure. These and other problems can affect the development of the baby so you will need to deal with them before falling pregnant.
Are you at a healthy weight? Being either underweight or overweight can cause problems during pregnancy. Small babies are common to mothers who are underweight. If you are overweight you are at risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. If you need to lose weight, it is important to do so before falling pregnant. Once you are pregnant, dieting can deprive the baby of necessary nutrients.
Are you eating a healthy diet? In the months before actively trying to conceive, you need to ensure you are eating a healthy diet. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. If vegetables are cooked, they should be lightly steamed. Go for fresh food as often as possible. Minimize processed foods in your diet and supplement with a plant based multi vitamin supplement and 400 micrograms of folic acid daily (some experts recommend 800 micrograms). Inadequate folic acid has been found to cause spina bifida. You may also need to take an organic iron and natural calcium supplement. Bifidus and acidopholus will help to improve bowel health which will improve the functioning of the whole body.
Do you exercise regularly? If you are already exercising regularly and it is appropriate for a pregnancy (not too intensive), simply continue your exercise program during your pregnancy. If you are not yet engaged in a regular exercise program, it is very important to start one well before you try to get pregnant. Increase the intensity and duration of your exercise gradually until you are exercising easily. Then when you are pregnant simply continue your exercise progam.
Become Drug Free. If you smoke, drink alcohol, are on medication for a chronic condition or using recreational drugs you need to take whatever steps possible to become drug free. All drugs can harm an unborn baby. If you are taking prescription medication, do not try to fall pregnant. See your doctor and find out the potential side effects of the medication for both you and your unborn baby. If there is a safer alternative, request that it be prescribed instead. However, ask the doctor to assess your current need for the medication. A good naturopath can help strengthen your immune system so that you heal naturally and can be a good ally in becoming drug free.
Are you exposed to health hazards such as chemicals, radiation or mold? If you have been (or continue to be) exposed to toxins which affect your health, you must either get rid of them or get yourself away from them. If you remain in their presence when pregnant they can affect the development of the baby. Once you no longer have them actively affecting you, you will still have to cleanse your body of their build up by detoxifying your body. Blood cleansing juices and herbs can be helpful along with liver cleansing herbs. Zeolite can be used to rid the body of heavy metals. If you have a mouth full of amalgam fillings, it would be wise to have them professionally removed well before you wish to fall pregnant. Mercury poisoning can affect brain development among other things.
De-stress. Stress places a real burden on our bodies and minds. During pregnancy, it affects both mother and baby. Limit stresses on your life. If you are in a highly stressful job, make a change before falling pregnant. Learn relaxation techniques, meditate, eat a healthy diet, exercise and if necessary support your nervous system with herbs. Stress is hazardous to the growing baby.s health and to yours so remove all the stress you can, and alleviate the stress you can.t completely remove. Keep things as calm as possible.
If you follow these steps in preparing your body for becoming pregnant, you will give yourself the best chance to have an easy pregnancy and birth and to welcome a healthy baby into the world.