Planning For Pregnancy – What You Need To Know
So you’re ready to be a parent? Planning for pregnancy can be fun, eye-opening, and at times difficult. That’s why meeting with your obstetrician during the pre-conception period is an important step not to be missed. Decisions you make now, while trying to get pregnant, can play a role in your health as well as the baby’s. You likely have many questions, especially if you’re attempting pregnancy for the first time. We hope the information below will help you prepare for planning your pregnancy.
When should I stop birth control if I want to get pregnant? Great question! It’s a good idea to stop your birth control about two months before you plant to start trying toward pregnancy. The extra time will allow you to develop a natural menstrual cycle, to determine your ovulation dates and when you’re most fertile.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy is an obvious don’t, but there may be a little more leeway when deciding if it’s ok to drink while trying to get pregnant. If you’re partying every night – drinking several alcoholic beverages in one sitting or drinking most nights of the week – it’s time to cut back. Fertility doctors explain that excessive alcohol, for you or your partner, could affect your egg quality or partner’s sperm. Having a drink or two throughout the week should be just fine, as long as you know you’re not pregnant. Smoking is a different battle. Nearly 13 percent of fertility problems may be caused by tobacco use, as reported by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Even second-hand smoke is an issue. Women who spend time around smokers have more challenges getting pregnant than those who don’t, so this is a great time to ask your partner to ditch the nicotine, too.
If you’re a four-cups-of-joe-a-day girl, start cutting back to avoid the caffeine withdrawal. Your OBGY Reno will explain that a small cup of coffee on occasion is likely ok, but if you can kick the cup (especially through the first trimester), all the better.
Get (or stay) Active
If you have a regular exercise routine, stick with it. Staying active will help keep you and baby healthy after conception. If you’re not active, there’s no better time to start. Get out and walk a few times a week, or catch a Pilates class. The healthier your habits now, the more likely you’ll stick with them through your entire pregnancy.
When you’re within the three to six month window of thinking about getting pregnant, start taking a daily prenatal vitamin. Choose one with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in each serving. The March of Dimes reports enough of this B vitamin prior to and in the beginning stages of pregnancy may reduce brain and spine birth defects by nearly 70%.
Choose a good Obstetrician
An “obstetrician near me” search may not be enough to find a doctor you’re comfortable with and trust. Do your research. Ask co-workers, family members, and friends about their experiences with obstetricians. Read online ratings and reviews to get insight into the positive and negative experiences within the office. You can learn more about Dr. Samuel Chacon, M.D./F.A.C.O.G., your OBGY Reno expert, under our meet the doctor page.
Whether you’re ready to plan for your pregnancy, or just considering adding to your family, we hope these tips will help you feel more prepared.