7 Things to Know (and Do) Before You're Pregnant
While the first step—hitting the bedroom—may be obvious, you might be wondering what else you should know and do before getting pregnant. We went straight to the pros (MDs and moms) for pointers. Back away from the 1 AM Google searches and dig in!
Get Your Pre-Baby Kicks
“Overdose on all of the things you can’t do with a baby in tow—linger in restaurants late into the night, spend the entire weekend in bed with your spouse, travel to countries with suspect water supplies,” says Carolyn Jones, an Austin, Texas mom of one who blogs at Spoiled Fruits Of Empire. “You won’t even want to do any of this once you’re a new mom—except for the staying in bed part.”
Get Some Good Sleep, Too
The second you’re pregnant, everyone and their mother will tell you to enjoy your sleep before the baby comes. Why wait? Start now! OK, it’s not like you can ‘bank’ sleep before you get preggers to use later. “But you definitely want to indulge!” says Meg Taylor, a mom of two in Wakefield, Rhode Island. “Between nausea, getting up to pee in the middle of the night and being uncomfortable in the third trimester, you can miss out on quality sleep.”
Find a Good Doc
Hooking up with an OB/GYN you like will help you best feel more prepared before rocking the bump. “Some women like to go in for preconception counseling with an OB/GYN or midwife, where they can discuss their health history and any concerns,” notes Dr. Melody T. McCloud, an Atlanta-based OB/GYN. One good way to find a health practitioner: Ask mommy friends for recommendations. Also check out sites like RateMDs.com for reviews.
Kick Bad Habits
“Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, along with taking a prenatal vitamin with a lot of folic acid, are the top to-dos for a woman who’s going to try getting pregnant,” says Dr. Alice Domar, author of Conquering Infertility. “Research shows that the more alcohol a woman consumes per week, the longer it will take her to conceive.”
“The vast majority of women conceive easily, 85 percent within a year of trying,” says Dr. Domar. Heard that being stressed can squash your fertility? Don’t stress! The majority of conception issues couples run into are physical ones, notes Dr. Domar, “although it’s always beneficial to look at one’s life and see how to reduce stress and anxiety.” So go get a massage or take a mini vacay—doctor’s orders.
“I wish someone had told me (bluntly!) to enjoy every selfish moment I could—peeing with the door shut, buying expensive sunglasses just because I liked them,” says Jill Smokler, a mom of three in Baltimore, Maryland, who’s reminisced about her pre-parent self on Scary Mommy. “Those days were totally numbered.”
Don't Sweat the When—Enjoy the <i>How</i>
“We’ve all seen movies about surprise pregnancies, and watched countless hours of 16 and Pregnant, but don’t be surprised or discouraged if you don’t get pregnant as easily as people in movies and on TV do,” says Jennifer Johnson, a mom of one in central Texas who blogs at Babymaking Machine. “I wish I hadn’t stressed myself out as much about when I’d get pregnant, and that I’d just enjoyed practicing instead.”
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN