A Guide to Wellness with Five Helpful Considerations
One aspect that often gets overlooked is the importance of pre-pregnancy preparation. Emotional and physical preparation can greatly enhance a woman’s overall health and optimise her chances of a healthy pregnancy. It also improves conception itself. In this article, we share suggestions on how to get into shape for pregnancy, ensuring both you and baby are off to the best start
1. Prioritise a Healthy Lifestyle:
Preparing for pregnancy starts with adopting a healthy lifestyle. Focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including folic acid, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Regular physical activity is equally important. Moderate exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga/pilates builds strength, stamina, and flexibility. It is recommended to avoid vaping, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use whilst trying to conceive.
2. Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Being either underweight or overweight can pose risks to both the mother and the developing baby. Strive to achieve a healthy weight range before attempting to conceive. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine your ideal weight based on your body mass index (BMI). Make a plan to reach it through a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Remember, crash diets or excessive weight loss can negatively affect fertility and hormonal balance, so opt for gradual and sustainable changes.
3. Focus on Core Strength and Pelvic Floor Muscles:
The core muscles and pelvic floor play a crucial role in supporting the uterus and maintaining proper posture during pregnancy. Strengthening these muscles before conception can help prevent discomfort, minimise the risk of back pain, and enhance postpartum recovery. Yoga, Pilates and specific core-strengthening exercises under the guidance of a trained professional can be immensely beneficial. Consider seeing a women’s health physio for a pre pregnancy work up assessment.
4. Optimise Emotional Well-being:
Preparing for pregnancy involves more than just physical fitness. Emotional well-being is equally important. Your mind and body are interconnected. High stress levels can affect fertility and make it more challenging to conceive. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and engaging in activities that bring you joy. If needed, seek support from your local GP or a mental health professional to address any emotional concerns or past traumas.
5. Regular Check-ups and Preconception Counseling:
Schedule a preconception visit with your GP or an obstetrician. During this visit, they will review your medical history, discuss vitamins and minerals, diet, conduct a physical examination, and ensure you are up to date on vaccinations and cervical screening. They can also provide personalised advice tailored to your circumstances and answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you have a family history of genetic disorders or certain medical conditions, you may want to discuss preconception testing. These tests can identify potential risks, allowing you to make informed decisions about your pregnancy.
Preparing for pregnancy is an essential step towards ensuring a healthy and successful journey into motherhood. By addressing the points raised in this article, you are giving yourself the best possible chance for a positive pregnancy experience.
At Sydney Mother and Baby we have in-house yoga, supportive midwives plus access and referral to allied health professionals to provide you with holistic support during your journey to motherhood. Call our friendly reception team today to discuss your plans or ask any questions you may have.