Are you thinking about trying to conceive your second baby? Or perhaps you’re planning for a third or fourth baby? If you’re already past that, you’re likely a true expert and don’t need any more advice. 🙂
If you are thinking about having more children, we want to help you get yourself in the best place possible. So we have some health considerations and tips to help you prepare for more children.
Though your health during and after the pregnancy may seem like the essential point of focus, you shouldn’t neglect your health well before you become pregnant again. These are three of your most significant motivations for taking care of yourself before you get pregnant:
- Conception odds. The better you take care of your health, the higher your chances of a successful conception will be.
- Habits and early conditions. Improving your healthy practices before pregnancy also establishes a behavior trend you’ll need to maintain throughout the pregnancy, and create generate healthy conditions for your body all along.
- Use your time when you have it. Finally, you’ll have more free time before the pregnancy than you will during or after it. Use your time wisely to catch up on sleep, fitness, and health.
How to Prepare
These are some of the best ways you can improve your health before you become pregnant:
- Get plenty of sleep. First of all, get as much sleep as you can. As you probably learned with your first child, having a baby means you’ll be scraping by on just a few hours every night. Now’s the time to rest and prepare yourself for the many and irregular waking hours to come. On top of that, getting a good night’s sleep every night can also increase your chances of conception by as much as 6 percent.
- Visit the doctor. You should also see a physician before you attempt to get pregnant on your own. Talk to your doctor about your current health, your plans, and how to prepare for the entire process — even if you’ve been through it before. He or she will be able to give you more specific recommendations, and the resources you need to become pregnant and stay healthy throughout that period.
- Take folic acid. There’s evidence to suggest that taking folic acid supplements for at least a month before conceiving can reduce the risk of neural tube defects (including spina bifida) by 70 percent or more. If you plan on getting pregnant in the near future, start taking supplements now.
- Eliminate harmful substances. If you smoke tobacco or drink alcohol on a regular basis, you’d be wise to quit before you get pregnant, or at least scale back how much you indulge. Although this is not medically necessary, it can make it much easier to quit when you get pregnant, and reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms while you’re carrying a child.
- Do some exercise. Even if you’re busy with your first youngster, there’s no excuse for failing to make time to exercise. It’s always possible, but more difficult when you’re pregnant, so use the time beforehand to get in shape. Extra workouts will get your body in better shape, relieve some of the stress of carrying a child and taking care of the newborn, and give you some “you time” that you may not enjoy as much over the next few years.
- Moderate your caffeine intake. If you’re a die-hard coffee drinker, this is a good time to moderate your levels of caffeine ingestion. Rather than quit cold turkey when you get pregnant, start cutting back gradually on how much coffee you drink per day, or switch to tea as a way to wean yourself.
- Avoid environmental risks. When you’re pregnant, environmental risks could pose a threat to you or the baby, including the seemingly innocent ones like toxic household cleaners or pesticides. Take some time before your pregnancy to identify any of these environmental hazards that currently play a role in your life, and try to reduce or eliminate them before you seek in earnest to get pregnant.
These health measures won’t be completely life-changing, nor are they particularly difficult, but they will help your body and mind prepare for another child (and in some cases, increase your chances of conceiving).
They’re worth the small amount of effort it takes to act on the… so make your health a top priority!
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