If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, there are a few things you may want to get done first. Here is a checklist of 8 things you should do before you start trying to conceive. Been there, done that and have some wisdom to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Book a pre-pregnancy checkup at least 3 months before you plan to start trying – especially if you don’t see a dr. regularly or often. This is an opportunity to ask about any medication you are taking, getting off the pill, prenatal supplements, and anything about getting pregnant or pregnancy in general. You will want to be checked for stds, make sure you are up to date on vaccinations, tested for heart issues (high blood pressure, cholesterol) and ensure that any chronic conditions (like asthma, diabetes) are in check. Your doctor may also recommend genetic testing. Finally, if your doctor is also an obstetrician, this is a good time to assess your relationship and make sure you feel comfortable.
Get your teeth cleaned. That’s right, oral health is linked to a healthy pregnancy, so now is the time to get your teeth and gums checked. In fact, brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist can cut your miscarriage risk by up to 70 percent.
Plan a getaway with your girlfriends. A carefree holiday with your friends is one of the most popular pre-pregnancy tips. Getting away and sharing an experience with your pals will refresh your perspective. This is a great time to strengthen your relationships and build your support network. It will give you confidence, ease stress and contribute to your overall well-being. Be sure to include friends that are not at the baby stage too. A range of relationships are a healthy source of variety, perspective and sense of self.
Talk to your partner. Now’s the time to discuss major parenting issues and being on the same page is a good idea before you start trying to conceive. For example, you should have an idea of major religious issues, childcare, finances and work arrangements. It’s ok to have different views. You will both change your mind about things along the way. The important thing is to start communicating so decisions don’t become debilitating later on.
Assess your professional life. Take a look at your job. Are you unhappy? Are your hours flexible? Do you have to make some changes? How do other parents at work feel about their arrangements and schedules? Know your rights, consider your options. Now is the time to get informed and make some decisions or changes if need be.
Get settled. Now is also the time to assess if you are happy living where you are. Do you need more space? What is the commute like? You should be somewhere you would like to stay for a couple of years. Feeling settled will help with the pregnancy, so it’s best to get this sorted ahead of time. You don’t want to be dealing with moving and packing in the middle of a pregnancy. If you’re happy where you are, there is no need to make a big move now. An infant doesn’t take up that much space, and if you’re planning for a larger family, there is still time. As long as you’re satisfied and comfortable.
Start saving. If you don’t already have a savings plan, start putting something aside, even if it’s a little at a time. Start speaking to someone about savings plans and get informed about your financial options. It’s always a good idea to have a nest egg set aside before planning to conceive.
Get healthy. Pregnancy is the ultimate motivation for dropping a few pounds (or gain a few if you need to), getting into an exercise routine and introducing a healthy lifestyle. There are a million benefits for you and the baby, and developing routines and habits now will make life a lot easier (and more enjoyable) in the coming months.