Planning to get pregnant – 15 things you should do to have a healthy pregnancy

The time you spend preparing for your pregnancy can improve the health of your baby. If you are hoping to conceive within the next year, now is the time to make health improvements. These 15 things support a healthy pregnancy.
1. Create a conception and pregnancy plan. Include what you want to do to boost your health, as well as the changes you will need to make once you are pregnant.
2. Discuss your health history with your doctor. Determine if the women in your family have had healthy pregnancies.
3. Ask your doctor if testing is necessary before your pregnancy. Tests can show the risk for genetic disorders and other problems before it is an issue.
4. Ask your doctor for a medication evaluation. Any medications you take while pregnant or while breastfeeding affects your baby.
5. Consider folic acid supplements. Research shows folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects. Your doctor can provide information for specific dosage during pregnancy.
6. Decrease your use of alcohol and eliminate smoking and drug use. Even casual use of alcohol and drugs can affect your baby’s health so clean up your body as quickly as possible.
7. Avoid environmental contaminants. The items in your home affect your health, as well as the health of your unborn child. Replace the toxic products in your home with natural, healthier alternatives.
8. Drop those excess pounds. Being overweight affects your health and puts your pregnancy at risk. Losing weight before you are pregnant also makes it easier to drop post-pregnancy pounds.
9. Surround yourself with positive support. Reducing the negativity in your life reduces stress and helps you do the things that will improve the health of your baby.
10. Improve your mental health. The better your coping skills before pregnancy the easier it will be to care for your baby once he or she arrives. A positive attitude also affects your physical health and makes the minor health challenges associated with pregnancy easier to overcome. If you have serious issues with mental health, schedule an appointment with a counselor.
11. Incorporate yoga into your daily routine. It helps with stress, eliminates minor aches and pains, and is a great way to stay fit and healthy once you are pregnant.
12. Avoid caffeine. Kicking a caffeine habit is easier when done gradually, so start now before you are pregnant.
13. Find a pregnancy support group. Not everyone needs to spend time surrounded by pregnant ladies, but it can be helpful if you are having a troubled pregnancy. The same is true if you are reproductively challenged. Even women with easy pregnancies can benefit from the support of others.
14. Research alternative care for your pregnancy. Many pregnant women find things like massage therapy helpful during pregnancy. Choose therapists with experience treating pregnant women.
15. Consider hiring a doula or birth coach for your pregnancy and delivery. You may want to work with a traditional doctor, but support focused completely on your comfort and health makes for a better experience.