Most women know the importance of seeking medical attention at the start of pregnancy so that the pregnancy can be monitored and healthy habits can begin right away. However, women can do a lot of preparation leading up to pregnancy as well. When a couple decides the time is right to become pregnant, there are steps that should be taken in order to prepare the body and increase the odds of a successful pregnancy. Couples who come to Dr. Sonja Kristiansen’s Houston fertility center are given helpful advice for pregnancy planning. Whether a couple is just beginning their journey toward parenthood or if they have previously had difficulty conceiving, these steps can help ensure that the woman’s body is in the optimum state for conceiving. When a couple has decided to actively pursue parenthood, the following steps should be taken in order to properly prepare the woman’s body for pregnancy:
- Schedule an appointment with an ob-gyn: It is vital to see an ob-gyn throughout pregnancy, but it can actually be very helpful to schedule a pre-conception visit as well. The ob-gyn can review a patient’s medical history, lifestyle habits, and medication and recommend any necessary changes. A physical exam can also be performed to ensure that the body is physically ready for pregnancy.
- Begin taking folic acid: Again, most women realize the importance of taking pre-natal vitamins throughout pregnancy, but taking folic acid before conception is extremely important as well. Women who take folic acid at least a month before conception can decrease the chances of the baby developing spina bifida and other birth defects.
- Quit smoking and drinking: Not only can these habits put the baby’s health at risk, but studies show that smoking and drinking may also make it more difficult to conceive. When preparing for pregnancy, it is best to avoid these habits all together.
- Cut back on caffeine: Some studies indicate that consumption of a large amount of caffeine can lead to fertility problems. Doctors also recommend limiting caffeine during pregnancy so it is good to get a head start on kicking that caffeine habit.
- Get proper nutrition: Now is the time to get eating habits in check. For a healthy pregnancy, it is important that the body gets the nutrient it needs. The best way to do this is through a healthy and well-balanced diet.
This advice is useful to any woman trying to conceive. Even those patients of ours who are undergoing fertility treatment can benefit from following the steps above. For instance, for our patients in Houston, in vitro fertilization is more likely to be successful when the woman’s body is in the optimal condition for conception and pregnancy.
Schedule a Consultation
For couples that have had difficulty conceiving, trying these pregnancy planning tips may help. However, if difficulty continues, it may be time to explore additional options. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sonja Kristiansen to learn more about the many fertility treatments available at Houston Fertility Center.