If you’re trying to conceive—or even considering the possibility—good health is more important than ever. Preparing your body for pregnancy could make the difference between success and failure. Here’s how:
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Calcium and iron are also important. Getting them from food is best. But supplements can help you round out your diet.
Government guidelines suggest that all women of childbearing age get at least 400 micrograms of folate, or folic acid, daily. This lowers the chance of birth defects. Experts often suggest a supplement to be sure you get enough.
Women who are underweight or get lots of intense exercise may not ovulate regularly. Overweight women may have difficulty conceiving, too. Women who are overweight also have an increased risk for pregnancy complications. Check with your doctor about ways to reach and stay at a healthy weight before getting pregnant.
Smoking, drugs, and alcohol all decrease fertility. These substances can also cause serious problems during pregnancy including premature birth, birth defects, and infant death.
Stress can also affect fertility. Relaxation practices like meditation can help you destress. Practicing yoga can also be a great way to reduce tension.
Avoid toxic substances and other harmful materials at work and home. These include fertilizer, bug spray, chemicals, and cat or rodent feces. Contact with these substances can make it more difficult to get pregnant and can cause diseases during pregnancy.
If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, or epilepsy, make sure it’s under control before pregnancy. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan.