If you’re planning to get pregnant, do your research and educate yourself of things you can do to improve your health and help that of your baby as well. Talk to your doctor about ways you can accomplish these goals, but keep in mind that ultimately it’s up to you to make the appropriate healthy lifestyle changes. Following are 7 tips for a healthy baby:
1. Eat healthier! Cut those red meats and adopt a diet geared more towards obtaining your protein through plant protein and lean chicken. Those trans fats can go, too. Use olive oil as a substitute; it contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good not only for cholesterol, but can be good for your fertility, too. An organic diet is helpful, too.
2. Limit your fish. Fish is a healthy meal option, but those that are high in mercury should be avoided when you’re trying to become pregnant, or are already pregnant. Mercury may stay with you for more than a year, so if you plan to become pregnant anytime soon, avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and others high in mercury.
3. Folic acid is important. Keep in mind how much folic acid you are getting in your diet. Folic acid is essential to brain and spinal cord development. Green, leafy vegetables are a good source, as are oranges, cantaloupe, bananas, milk, and whole grains. Some even take a supplement or multivitamin.
4. See your doctor… and dentist. Most women think to see their doctor if they’re trying to become pregnant and they are concerned with their health before or during pregnancy. But few actually remember that a trip to the dentist is well worth it, too. Periodontal disease may have negative effects on pregnancy such as premature labor, so remember to see the dentist, too.
5. Become chemical-aware. Chemicals surround us every day. They’re at work, at home, and even in our outdoor environment. It’s best to avoid chemicals altogether if possible, but start by replacing household cleaning chemicals with ‘green’ options, and avoiding plastics that include BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Stop cooking with Teflon materials, too. Opt for stainless steel and/or cast iron.
6. Get your rest. If you’re pregnant, listen to your body. If you need rest, take a little bit to sit down or even take a nap. If you’re trying to get pregnant, remember to reduce stress wherever possible.
7. Exercise. Nothing too heavy, but women who are of a healthy body weight tend to be more fertile, and a healthier body is ideal for pregnancy. Yoga, walking, jogging, and other light exercise work great.