8 Self-care Tips before Pregnancy
Dr. Ankita Gharge (she/her)

Dr. Ankita Gharge (she/her)

Mar 06Pregnancy and fertility

8 Self-care Tips before Pregnancy

This article has been compiled by Vaibhavi Kodnani, a content writer at Proactive For Her.

What is the right age for pregnancy?

On average, 17-45 years is the reproductive age of a woman. But, for pregnancy, the ideal age is between the late 20s and early 30s as the body is mature enough to carry a pregnancy in that period. Fertility gradually declines after 32 years of age, making it harder to become pregnant. Pregnancy after crossing 35 years is considered an elderly pregnancy by definition and needs supervision. Usually, women start observing certain medical conditions such as raised sugar levels and hypertension after 35 years of age, thus making exclusive monitoring during pregnancy mandatory for that age group.

What is the importance and benefits of self-care before pregnancy?

Since a woman has to carry the baby in her womb for 9 months, she needs to prepare her body well and become fit before getting pregnant. Self-care includes factors that can help you achieve the ideal fitness level required for a pregnancy. These factors include healthy lifestyle and diet changes, exercise schedule, stress and sleep management. The various benefits of self-care before pregnancy include:

  • Having a healthy pregnancy
  • Avoiding or minimising pregnancy complications
  • Giving birth to a healthier baby
  • Recovering more quickly and easily after giving birth
  • Having a more pleasant postpartum (post birthing) experience
  • Minimising the risk of future health problems for your child, even into adulthood

What is the right time to start preparing your body for pregnancy?

A woman should start preparing her body for pregnancy at least 6 months in advance. This number can vary based on the various health conditions. Hence, it is better to consult your doctor and take a preconception counselling session to know the ideal time for preparing your body for pregnancy.

What are the self-care tips for women before pregnancy?

Below are some crucial tips for a woman to prepare her body. Talk to your doctor well before getting pregnant to learn in detail about the care your body needs.

  1. Consume a healthy and balanced diet : The first step would be to start eating healthy and nutritious food to ensure no deficiencies before the pregnancy. All these nutrients are crucial for you and your baby’s health. Start consuming a balanced diet that includes enough protein, fibre, healthy fats and good carbs. Make sure to eat all coloured fruits, vegetables, greens, whole grains, and dairy products to gain all the necessary nutrients.
  2. Reduce empty calories: Reduce refined sugars, refined carbs and refined oils as they do not provide any nutrients to the body. Instead, they increase the metabolic rate, and the body has to spend excessive time burning those calories. When preparing your body for pregnancy, you need to gain and preserve your energy.
  3. Set up an exercise schedule : A woman’s body goes through many physical changes during pregnancy. Hence, exercise before pregnancy is of utmost importance to prepare the body for the forthcoming changes. Secondly, it is crucial for maintaining your weight in the desired range. You can do any form of exercise. But make sure to exercise for at least 30 mins every day for five days a week.
  4. Stop smoking, alcohol, and drugs : Smoking, alcohol and drugs can be harmful to your baby’s development in the future.
  5. Schedule a visit with the gynaecologist: Both the partners must visit the gynaecologist for preconception counselling to ensure the physical fitness and health required for a healthy pregnancy. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect when you go to your gynaecologist:
  • The doctor will record your height, weight and other relevant data.
  • They will also check for any pre-existing chronic conditions.
  • If there is a family history of genetic disorders in the family, the doctor will guide them about the precautions to take.
  • The couple can undergo STD screening.
  • The doctor will conduct a basic pelvic exam to rule out any complications.
  • After all the screenings and examinations are over, the doctor will assess. They may also prescribe medications if need be.

 

  1. Get tested : Get your thyroid profile, sugar levels, haemoglobin levels, and blood pressure checked before planning a pregnancy so that any abnormalities, if detected, can be corrected.
  2. Start folic acid supplementation : Folic acid supplementation should be started at least one month before trying to conceive to prevent any brain development defects in the baby.
  3. Get yourself vaccinated: Before pregnancy, you should get vaccinated against hepatitis B, rubella, varicella-zoster to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Conclusion

A well-planned pregnancy is always a safer option as that gives you sufficient time to prepare your body for the drastic changes that happen during the pregnancy. Always consult your gynaecologist to get all the necessary guidance before pregnancy.

Disclaimer - This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be constructed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalized, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer products and services for out-patient health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause. To know more about the sexual and reproductive health of women, visit https://www.proactiveforher.com/.