Women of childbearing age should take extra precaution to be healthy in case of pregnancy. Some of you may be actively trying to get pregnant. You may be in a relationship and thinking of getting pregnant “when the time is right.” You might not be in a relationship right now, but know that you want to have children one day. There are things that you can do to start your pregnancy on a healthy note.
Many women don’t find out that they’re pregnant until about the 8th or 9th week of pregnancy. By that time, many neurological developments have already occurred. Early prenatal care can help you get started on a healthy path, but major development has already occurred before that first prenatal visit.
It’s advisable to be healthy before getting pregnant. Not only are you setting up your future children for success, you also get to reap the benefits of living a life of wellness and vitality along the way.
Most moms will tell you that pregnancy did not come at a “planned” or “optimal” time. She may have been married and was putting off pregnancy until after her big promotion. But, life happens. As the elders say, the children will come when they’re good and ready.
So, act as if. Act as if you could become pregnant with every encounter with your mate. There are a few things that you can easily incorporate into your life that will improve your health now, and as icing on the cake create a healthy environment for you to gestate your possible, future, maybe baby.
1. Consume Folic Acid Daily
The number one nutrient to have on deck is your folic acid. Folic acid is an essential nutrient necessary to prevent neural abnormalities like spina bifida. You can incorporate folic acid in your daily nutrition with beans. Beans are good for your heart, and good for your maybe baby. Dark green leafy vegetables are another excellent source of folic acid. You can also take a folic acid supplement. Choose the most bioavailable. You may find this to be the liquid form that is a part of a vitamin B complex. It’s recommended that women ages 15 – 45 consume at least .4 mg of folic acid daily.
2. Food-based Multivitamin
Speaking of nutrients, it’s good to incorporate a good, food-based multivitamin daily. It’s a challenge to get in enough vitamins and minerals from food alone. Taking a good multivitamin can help you get in more than enough. I recommend taking prenatal vitamins (even when not pregnant). Prenatal vitamins often have the perfect mix for women of childbearing age.
3. Schedule Yearly Well-woman Exams
Did you know that midwives can provide you a well-woman exam? They absolutely can! You can find a midwife or Ob in your area to give you a well-woman exam. It’s important to know everything that’s going on down there. Some STDs, if left untreated, can cause infertility. Life gets busy but you should put on your calendar once a year to get checked-out. Of course, be in-tuned with yourself as well. If you notice a smell or color of discharge that is out of the norm, prioritize going to get checked out. You don’t want a small issue to affect your long-term fertility.
These are some simple ways to get prepared for a baby, you know, maybe if one day, perhaps, possibly… you get pregnant.