Monday, November 18, 2013

Pregnancy Advice: Before Getting Pregnant

Since this is my second time, I feel like I have a lot of insight that I can share with women who haven't been pregnant before. I hope to do a few posts on pregnancy advice before Itty Bitty is here and takes all my attention. Obviously, none of this is medical advice because I am not a doctor. And equally obvious, I support your choice to do whatever you want. These are just suggestions.

Let's work our way chronologically through a pregnancy. Here are a few things I suggest doing before you start trying to get pregnant because you will have a lot of strange limitations after you get pregnant.

1) Enjoy one last party or trip where drinking is relevant to the celebration. I waited out Great-grandma Ruth's 90th birthday (Kevin's family can party), Brooke's wedding, and our trip to visit cousin Katie before giving up the party lifestyle. Not-so coincidentally, all those ladies are Irish.

Take a little time to recover from the partying. But don't wait forever! Draw the line somewhere reasonable.

2) Eat some of the following if you love it: soft cheeses, sushi, cold deli sandwiches, or maybe a medium rare hamburger, mmm. Then start getting in the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables and foods with fiber generally.

3) Get a regular and complete check-up. Don't just visit your OB, but go to a regular doctor and have him or her take your blood and check everything they can possibly check. I even got an EKG when I visited my doctor in February. Ask for the results of your blood test to be sent to you. Doctors like to act like they're the only ones that can read a blood test, but the lab spells out the normal range for everything they test right on the results. If anything is not in the normal range, call your doctor, Google it, do whatever you need to find out what's up. I am not a doctor, just someone who's been through a lot of nonsense. Your blood test is the canary in the cave- take it very seriously! Do this not just before getting pregnant, but every year.

Talk to your doctor about whether you should get off any medications while you're pregnant and how to do so. A lot of drugs are considered safe for pregnant women, but even many of these have not really been studied. Personally, I avoid all medicine during pregnancy because I don't suffer from any underlying illnesses and I don't want to risk the baby's health. But again, I don't have any illnesses-- some illnesses a mother has may actually be worse for a mother and her baby than the treatment. That's what your doctor is there to help you figure out. Do a little research on your own too, but check with the doctor before making any big changes.

4) Visit your OB sometime in the year before. Tell him or her you're going to start trying to get pregnant. They might have some words of wisdom, or not.

5) Start taking a prenatal vitamin at least 3 months before you start trying. There are a lot of choices. The big ones can be hard to swallow and might discourage regular consumption. Unfortunately, a lot of the natural ones are pretty big. Try to avoid ones that have crazy additives though. (My doctor gave me a sample that had really bad stuff in it- be careful and read the packaging.) Some women prefer vitamins without iron in it. It should specifically be a prenatal vitamin with folic acid and DHA though. This time I'm enjoying sweet chewable ones.

6) If you don't already exercise, start! It's not ideal to start a difficult exercise program while pregnant, and if you don't exercise while you're pregnant the experience is going to be much more painful for you. Your body will betray you in ways you can't even imagine, and being able to exercise will alleviate a lot of that suffering. I'm not a big exercise person myself, but I try to go for a long walk 3-4 days a week. Last time I didn't exercise much and it wasn't pretty.

7) Go to the dentist way before you plan on trying to get pregnant. Your teeth might be perfect, or you might have a bunch of stuff to deal with beforehand. It is difficult or impossible to deal with some dental issues while you're pregnant. Infections in your mouth can be bad for the baby, and anyway, you don't want to spend 9 months with pain in your head.

8) Start sleeping more. People will tell you to sleep while you're pregnant, but they're jerks. It gets harder and harder to sleep during pregnancy, so now is your big chance to store some sleep.

9) Don't buy pregnancy books. They are not helpful. You can find most of what those books provide on or Once you get pregnant, go ahead and buy books about baby's first year if you so choose: I recommend Baby's First Year because it was written by The American Academy of Pediatrics, and even though it has a section on pregnancy it deals with the infinitely more important details of what to do once you actually have a baby to care for.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...