Many birth defects or complications are out of a woman’s control, but entering into pregnancy in the healthiest state possible reduces risks of other complications. Even small improvements to your overall health and lifestyle positively impact the pregnancy. Assessing your current habits and health level gives you a starting point for making adjustments. Even though your partner doesn’t directly grow the baby during pregnancy, his healthy lifestyle changes before conception make an overall positive impression on the family.
Quit smoking if it is one of your habits. Cut back or stop drinking alcohol. Both of these habits can affect your baby when you conceive so it’s better to quit now.
Take a prenatal vitamin every day. Make sure you get between 400 and 800 mcg of folic acid each day, which decreases the risk of certain birth defects such as spina bifida.
Start a regular exercise routine if you aren’t using one already. Exercise makes your body healthier overall and can help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy. Choose a workout routine that you can safely continue once you become pregnant.
Change Your Eating Habits
Clean up your diet by eating primarily vegetables, fruit, grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. This gives your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and support the pregnancy. You also get in the habit of eating healthy, which you can continue after you conceive to give your growing baby the nutrients he needs.
Get to a Healthy Weight
Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Gain weight if you are underweight. Being at a healthy weight increases the chances of a healthier pregnancy and might help you conceive faster.
Visit your Doctor
Visit your doctor for a checkup to identify potential risks or areas of your health you can improve. Discuss any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you currently take and whether or not you can continue them during the pregnancy. If you have any concerns about genetic problems or birth defects, ask your doctor about them.
Be Aware of Your Environment
Reduce or eliminate your exposure to toxic or hazardous materials.
Lower your stress levels as much as possible, as stress can negatively affect you and your baby. Reduce stressful triggers in your life. Learn how to handle stress through relaxation techniques.