Preparing for Pregnancy
The time has come and you’re ready to start preparing for pregnancy – congratulations! There are numerous changes ahead both in your body, your lifestyle and your family, and it’s an exciting time. Here we look at ways in which you can get yourself, and your family, prepared and set for pregnancy.
On a personal level, being prepared for the changes that pregnancy will inevitably bring can give you a good grounding for facing the challenges ahead. Whilst it’s not always possible to do, especially where pregnancy springs up on you unexpectedly, giving some thought to various issues can be worthwhile. If you’re trying for a baby, then it’s helpful to give a bit of attention to your own individual habits and those of your partner and see how you can make changes that will have a positive impact on your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Smoking or Drinking and PregnancyFor example, if either you or your partner smoke, this can be harmful to a growing baby – even when they’re inside the womb – as well as when they’re born. But by making the decision to stop smoking, you can improve their health and yours. Likewise, drinking alcohol has been shown to be harmful to babies and new advice from the government suggests women shouldn’t drink at all during pregnancy, just to be on the safe side. Even if you only drink occasionally, abstaining for nine months isn’t asking much and you can go back to enjoying an occasional tipple once your baby is born. If you’re in the early stages of trying for a baby, it’s also worth thinking about avoiding alcohol too.
Ensuring your overall health is in the best possible state will also give both you and your baby a good start to pregnancy. Being overweight or underweight can affect your changes of getting pregnant in the first place – and that goes for your partner too, as sperm can be affected by too much or too little weight. So if you know you’re going to want to try for a baby in the coming months or years, then actively doing all you can to maintain a healthy weight, get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy balanced diet will all help put you in the best possible state for pregnancy.
Practical Thoughts About PregnancyAs well as thinking about your health and wellbeing, there are other more practical issues to consider too. Pregnancy will be bringing a new life into the world, so you do need to plan for its arrival. It’s easy to get carried away in the first instance with the knowledge that you’re pregnant, but your baby will need essential equipment, clothes, toys and of course somewhere to sleep. Although your baby won’t necessarily require their own room in the very early stages, it will become necessary at a later stage, so thinking about how you’ll organise your home and the space you have is helpful.
If space is limited, you may have to shuffle things around a bit to make way for the new arrival. Or, perhaps you’ll need to eventually encourage an older child to share their bedroom with their new sibling. As far as getting organised with all the essential gear you’ll need, the sooner the better! If it’s your first child, they’ll be lots of things to acquire and spreading the cost over several months can help ease the burden.
Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the wonder that pregnancy is. Enjoy the nine months of pregnancy and do your best to be ready for the bundle of joy that will arrive at the end of it.