Lifestyle Changes To Adopt As Well As To Avoid In The Pre-Pregnancy Stage

Lifestyle Changes To Adopt As Well As To Avoid In The Pre-Pregnancy Stage

Lifestyle Changes To Adopt As Well As To Avoid In The Pre-Pregnancy Stage

You become what you practice in your daily life. And so would your baby-to-be! So, before you kick-start this exciting phase of your life, make sure you adopt healthy lifestyle changes before pregnancy as for a few women getting their body and mind pregnancy-ready might take a couple of months while for some it might take longer than that. Now, there are many unplanned pregnancies also, which go fine. But this article is especially for those parents to whom family planning is crucial so that they can also meet their individual goals- be it career goals or otherwise. These days, it’s a common practice to even ask these questions when one is still looking for a suitable match- “Do you like children? Do you want a kid of your own? By when, and how many?

If you are or were that person who discussed these questions with your partner, then this article will surely benefit you further, equipping you with simple tips to have a healthier pregnancy, starting from the pre-planning stage.

There are some changes that you can and you should adopt, whereas there are certain things that might be a part of your current routine that you should avoid.

List of 8 Lifestyle Changes to Adopt from the Pre-Pregnancy Stage

1. Sound Sleep

There have been numerous studies that state the importance of quality sleep - from a healthier heart to blood sugar levels and from mood boost to the sharper brain. In the days of engrossing content on Netflix and Amazon Prime, one is often tempted to unwind in front of the television after the day’s hard work. Long screen time delays the release of melatonin (the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle aka circadian rhythm) pushes back bedtime and leads to less restful sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends not using electronic devices, like your cell phone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime due to the harmful blue light emitted.

So, get into the habit of logging out of TV and Computer at least half an hour before your bedtime. Wondering what to do then? Well, grab the book from your bookshelf and start reading. (Also, did we mention keeping the spice up in your bedroom?)

2. Hydration

More than 60% of the adult body is composed of water. Adequate hydration regulates body temperature, lubricates the joints, transports nutrients to cells, and keeps organs functioning properly. With Covid-19 disturbing the office routines, some of you may find yourself off the hydration track. Whether working from home or office, getting up periodically for a short walk to the water dispenser is always a good idea. Sipping warm water has far more advantages like breaking down food faster, relieving from constipation, clearing nasal congestion, and boosting nervous function. The hydration requirements change based on age, gender, surrounding environment, etc. but keeping track of the urine color is a good proxy for your hydration. Make sure you are well hydrated so that your kidneys can effectively flush out toxins and increase fertile quality cervical fluid.

3. Weight Management

Most of you may be aware of the direct correlation between being obese and elevated blood pressure and sugar levels, but unaware of how it can adversely impact fertility and reduce chances of having a healthy baby. Being on the higher side of the weighing scale can lead to hormonal imbalance, menstrual disorders, and problems with ovulation. Shedding extra pounds of fat before planning a baby always helps. Ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) is in the range of 18.5-24.9 for women planning their pregnancy.

The best way to get to a healthy weight (or BMI) is to start eating healthy, optimize the good calories intake and become active. If you do not live an active lifestyle, starting with a 30-minute walk daily is a good start. Walk in the house or office corridors while attending telephone calls. This way you will burn 100% more calories than just being on the chair.

4. Nutrition

The age-old wisdom says you are not what you eat but what you digest. Therefore it becomes of utmost importance to eat healthy calories and nutritional food to plan for a healthy pregnancy. Let’s say your daily calorie intake is 1500 Calories, you can either fill this quota with junk food like fries, chips, sweets, or with Avocado, Berries, Pulses, and Fruits. This example is self-explanatory for you to make conscious choices concerning your diet and nutrition.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Maintain a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and dairy in sufficient quantity.
  • Limit the intake of fat and sugar, especially chemical-based artificial sugars.
  • Make prenatal vitamins like vitamin D, iron-folic acid, etc. an integral part of your diet. However, we suggest not to rely on vitamins alone, and first make sure that you get all the vitamins and nutrients from their natural forms.
  • Focus on the food while you are eating. This will help in better absorption of the valuable nutrients.

5. Healthy Relationships

There is no denying that becoming a parent is an incredible experience, but it is also your hard work. Both you and your partner need to be mentally prepared for this welcoming change. Discuss everything whether it’s your fear, doubts, or any concerns with your companion, friends, and family. Advice from the elderly is as important as picking up a few quick tips from your friends who have become parents before you. Constant communication and keeping lines of communication open between the couple lays the foundation for a healthy relationship. Remember, the environment that you raise your child in is everything. The same is true even when the baby is still growing in your tummy. Because it can hear you and sense your feelings too.

And don’t forget to regularly socialize with your friends and relatives, especially if they are in the same town.

6. Stress Control

Believe it or not, stress can impact fertility, your pregnancy period as well as the health of your unborn child. In one study, it was found that pregnancy is more likely to take place when the couples are relaxed and at ease and not during the times when they are stressed out or depressed. It is therefore advised to indulge in self-care, take adequate rest, spend quality time with your partner and take time to unwind. Don’t take undue stress and pressure. Indulging in Yoga or shaking to the tunes of Zumba does wonders in managing stress.

7. Having a Hobby

While most of us discuss physical strain at the time of pregnancy very few talk about emotional and mental strain. Therefore, to improve your overall health and avoid the daily grind, follow a hobby or passion that excites you the most and improves your well-being. I know a few women who took up cooking classes on weekends, cycling, and event photography as their hobbies. This helped them connect with like-minded people, indulge in their hobbies, and build a better social profile.

8. Financial Planning

Last but not the least, it is important to have sound financial planning with your spouse because raising a baby is indeed an expensive affair. So make sure you have your savings intact. A baby cost calculator can be helpful to derive an idea as to how much your expenditure would be in the initial weeks or months after the baby is born. Apart from saving, start investing for the later years for your child. Your options can include SIPs, Physical Gold, Bonds, Mutual Funds, and so on. Consult a financial planner to understand what is suitable for you to meet your goals. With the growing realm of Fintech, I’m sure you are definitely on top of your finances. Why not, you reading this article clearly states you like to plan well.

List of Habits to Avoid from Your Existing Lifestyle

The bad habits of your lifestyle can make a huge impact on your pregnancy. It is important to avoid unhealthy practices such as smoking, drinking, eating junk food so that you can have a healthy pregnancy period and your baby born too is healthy.

1. Quit Smoking

Smoking leads to various complications in women as that in men. Such chemicals as cyanide, nicotine, and carbon monoxide present in cigarette smoke accelerate the rate of egg loss. Once eggs are lost or die, it is not possible to replace or regenerate them for that matter. This also implies that menopause comes into effect a couple of years earlier in women who smoke as compared to those who don’t.

2. Quit Drinking Alcohol

We all know that alcohol can be very dangerous for our bodies and for women planning their pregnancy must quit drinking alcohol months before they conceive. Alcohol even if consumed in small quantities can impact the growth of the fetus (unborn baby) and create long-term health issues for your child, such as behavioral issues, intellectual disability, heart defects as well as facial flaws. It therefore must be strictly kept at bay.

3. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

It is recommended to have less than 200 milligrams of caffeine on an everyday basis, which will be tantamount to one or two 6 to 8-ounce cups as women who consume more than 2 cups of coffee or 5 cans of soda containing caffeine will have a difficult time becoming pregnant and subject to the higher risks of miscarriage.

4. Get off the Birth Control Pills

It will perhaps take a couple of weeks for your ovulation cycle to come back to normalcy. It is crucial to have at least one cycle of a regular period before you conceive so that you can estimate your ovulation period. In case you’re still on a combination of birth control pills, your period might likely return within 30 days. But if you’re on a long-term period of birth control, such as the progestin injection then fertility may take longer. It is observed that half the percentage of women who stop taking injections conceive within a year of their last shot.

5. Keep Toxic Environment at Bay

Please ensure that your workplace offers you a safe and comfortable environment. If it exposes you to a physically difficult or chemically hazardous atmosphere then it can risk your pregnancy. Discuss it with your HR Department or consult your doctor to assess how you can keep yourself safe in such an environment when you get pregnant. Keep in mind that most probably you might be continuing in the same workplace while pregnant, and even after your maternity break!

Apart from an unhealthy environment at your workplace, learn either to keep toxic relationships at bay too or handle them and not get affected by them, like some extended family members.

As a whole, these changes might seem too much, but when broken into each day, they are fairly simple to do. The bigger impact of these changes will be the confidence to handle your pregnancy when you conceive.

Article by - Ekta Turakhia-Dharap. Ekta is a hands-on mother to a tiny tod, a die-hard foodie, an avid traveller, and played a key role in scaling their family business of clubs and resorts. Ekta loves to walk the talk on toxin-free life.



About Me

Hi, I am Ekta Dharap, a mom of a tiny tod. I have learnt that to take optimum care of your little one, it's imperative to first take care of your own wellness and well-being. Besides, our children look up to us, and how we treat ourselves. This makes putting self care as top priority, without an ounce of guilt.

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