Most women just get pregnant and do not have the luxury of actually planning a baby. But if you can do a little per-conception work it can go a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Your body needs about 3 months to prepare for a conception. And it's not just the mom the dad can also be a part of this. After all, he is an equal contributor in the conception.
The first steps would be to ensure that you are both relaxed and stress free. Find time for each other and engage in activities which make you feel happy. Many couples plan a holiday especially to aid in conception. Evaluate your diet and this includes the father as well. Bring in a balanced meal plan which includes all the different food groups. A balanced meal plan will include all the food groups, for Eg: your lunch / dinner should have all of the following – carbohydrates (un refined) in the form of Rotis or Rice, Vegetables, Proteins in the form of pulses, legumes, chicken etc, Milk Protein in the form of curds and finally choose a healthy cooking oil. Most vegetable oils are saturated fats and you would do well to have unsaturated fats which are found in olive oil, rice bran or nut based oils. Moms might want to start taking a folic acid supplement for three months prior to conception as this will reduce the incidence of neural tube defects. Dads can take a multi vitamin with high zinc content as this will improve the motility of the sperm. If either partner smokes then this is the best time to stop as smoking not only interferes with conception it can result in birth defects. Even second smoke is harmful to a developing baby. Alcohol is also not recommended for a woman who is trying to conceive and it is suggested that the would-be father restricts himself to maximum one drink per day if it is unavoidable.
Your weight plays a crucial role in conception and it is suggested that you aim at being your optimum weight. To know your ideal weight check height and weight charts and you could also calculate your BMI. Do not indulge in crash diets or eat foods high in saturated fats to gain weight as these are not going to help.
Ensure that you get a complete blood work analysis done to assess your nutrient levels and if there are any deficiencies discuss the supplements with your doctor. Your doctor will recommend the tests needed but the most important ones include – CBC, Thyroid, Sugar, Calcium, D3 and B12.
Getting pregnant can take a few months and you should understand your ovulation dates. There are only 3 days in every month when you can actually get pregnant so don't worry if you don't get pregnant in the first few months. If you are under 30 years of age, it's ok to try for up to one year before seeking medical help.
You must understand that life will change post conception so evaluate your schedule. Hectic work schedules may not be possible. Some women experience nausea in the first few weeks post conception or may even experience mild spotting which will mean cutting back on long hours and spending more time at home. This mental preparation will help you to be better prepared when you are actually pregnant.
Also read more about: 10 things to do before you conceive