7 Steps to Prepare for Pregnancy

1. Keep track of your cycle :

To know the best time to get pregnant, you need to be very familiar with your menstrual cycle, especially when you ovulate. Record when your period starts and ends, your period volume and any symptoms such as cramps or breast tenderness.

2. Preconception checkup:

Schedule a preconception checkup to let the doctor go over your health history, assess your health condition, and understand your family’s history of congenital defects and genetic diseases. Consult your doctor on how to have a happy and healthy pregnancy. These steps will help identify and prevent various risks.

3. Dental checkup:

Regular dental checkups are not only good for your teeth and gums, but your overall health as well, as some periodontal disease can be linked to pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery. Hence, it is encouraged to have routine dental cleanings and dental care prior to conception.

4. Healthy and balanced diet:

Eating a variety of healthy foods is very important when preparing for pregnancy, and more so during pregnancy, make sure you eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, and drink plenty of water daily to keep your body hydrated.

5. Take folic acid:

Certain vitamins, especially folic acid, are very important for fetal health and development and in reducing the risk for birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Take at least 0.4 mg of folic acid at least 1 to 3 months prior to conception and continue until 12 weeks of pregnancy; women at higher risk of having children with neural tube defects are encouraged to take higher doses of folic acid (about 1 mg to 4 mg) daily.

6. Exercise regularly:

Keeping active when trying to conceive can help you maintain optimal weight and reduce stress. It is best to exercise at least 3 times a week, and for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time.

7. Budgeting for a baby:

Raising a child, especially now, is not cheap, so get your finances in order. Research the cost of prenatal and delivery services of nearby medical centres, as well as the cost of confinement centres and childcare services.

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