Your TTC Strategy 1: Prepare to Be Pregnant
What you should know up to 12 months before you start trying to get pregnant
Preconception Care Checklist
Foresight’s results are impressive. The organization followed 367 couples between the ages of 22 and 45 years of age. At the end of the study, 89 percent had given birth. These results are impressive considering that 37 percent of the couples had a history of infertility, 38 percent had a previous miscarriage, 15 percent had had small-for-dates babies, and 70 percent had never been pregnant.
- Are there unresolved issues in your relationship? Now is a good time to get some counseling.
- If you have pets, how compatible will they be with a baby? Does your dog need obedience training?
- Stop smoking, drinking, caffeine, and recreational drugs. All of these are toxic to sperm and eggs.
- Both partners should schedule appointments for complete exams with their healthcare providers.
- Assess your level of exercise: Is it too much, too little, appropriate for pregnancy?
- Is your weight close to ideal? If not, plan a sensible weight loss regimen.
- Get a handle on stress. Simplify your life. Delegate. Avoid excesses in work hours, exercise, overfilled calendars, etc.
- Make sure vaccinations are up to date, including tetanus, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis, and flu. If you are unsure whether you are immune you can take a simple blood test to measure antibodies.
- Have a dental checkup. Gum and dental disease can adversely affect your pregnancy.
- Get tested for hepatitis B and C, genitourinary infections, and HIV.
- Assess the status of chronic illnesses (diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, epilepsy, thyroid problems, or chronic pain). Are they controlled as well as possible?
- Review your medications, supplements, and herbs with your healthcare provider and determine whether they are safe in pregnancy.
- Develop a plan for transitioning from birth control pills, IUD, or injected contraceptives to other types of contraception while you prepare.
- Review your diet. Remove refined foods, chemicals, and additives. Eat organic as much as possible. Three meals a day.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid chemicals such as household cleaning agents, pesticides, herbicides, and work-related chemicals.
- Consider having an assessment for heavy metal, chemical exposures, allergies, and parasites.
- Determine whether you have other risk factors for infertility: DES exposure, abdominal or pelvic surgery, or past secually transmitted disease.
- Do you and your partner know your blood types?
- Assess your family history. Do you and your partner need genetic counseling?
- Do you have fertility factors that need to be addressed even before you attempt conception?
- Do you know how to determine the most fertile days of the month?
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