Whether you want to conceive now or at some point in the future, making some changes to your health habits can help. Some of the lifestyle changes you make can improve your overall health, which will make your pregnancy healthier whenever you conceive.
Some of the lifestyle habits you practice before pregnancy can have a big impact on your future pregnancy, including your baby’s health. Many of the prenatal care strategies are simply good practices for your health. In this blog, Dr. Alan Patterson at Alan Patterson OB/GYN explains more about some of the prenatal care strategies you should implement today.
Make sure immunizations are up to date
If you haven’t had a recent checkup, you may have missed out on some of your recommended immunizations. You may not have had a recent tetanus booster, for example. The CDC recommends that all adults get a Td or Tdap vaccine.
However, if you haven’t had a recent tetanus shot, you may want to wait until you’re pregnant and get the Tdap vaccine in the third trimester. The Tdap vaccine may help you to prevent the risk of transmitting pertussis to your baby.
You also need to get an annual flu shot and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Start taking folic acid supplements
Folic acid supplements can help to prevent birth defects. But you have to take it before you become pregnant to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your baby. Neural tube defects can cause disorders in your baby, the most common of which is spina bifida.
Focus on eating well
Focusing on eating well is an important part of your pregnancy – as well as your general overall health.
You need to eat a well-rounded, nutritious diet. Try to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, making sure to choose produce of every color to get the maximum amount of nutrients. Plan to eat a good amount of lean protein as well. Good choices include chicken, fish, and lean cuts of beef.
Of course, you also want to drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Aim for 64 ounces a day at the very least.
Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs
You may not think you need to worry about consuming alcohol or recreational drugs if you’re not pregnant yet. But you should still avoid them for your health, especially if you’re considering becoming pregnant.
It’s possible to get pregnant before you’re planning to, which makes the potential consequences of drinking or using recreational drugs more serious. You’re better off just avoiding it altogether.
And if you smoke, you should quit. If you need help, talk to Dr. Patterson to develop some strategies to effectively quit smoking.
Work on reducing stress
If you have a high-stress lifestyle, you will benefit from reducing your stress in many ways. Stress may impact your fertility, according to several studies. Although the link between stress and infertility isn’t conclusive, having too much stress is never good for your health.
You may want to try meditation or prayer, journaling, or even exercise. These practices will reduce your stress, which can also reduce your blood pressure.
When you’re thinking about getting pregnant in the future, it’s always a good idea to schedule a preconception appointment, in which you can review your current health and see what kind of changes you might need to make. Contact Dr. Alan Patterson or make an appointment online.
- We are back to normal about seeing all Obstetric patients for prenatal care. We are also back to normal seeing all Gynecology patients for well woman and or problem exams. You must still wear a mask in our office, and we prefer no visitors, but we are granting one other person can come with you, as long as you ask us in advance, & that person wears a mask,& is Covid free and consents to have their temperature taken just like we are doing with all of our patients. And we are accepting new OB and GYN patients and OB transfer patients depending on your clinical situation.
- Here's what we're doing to ensure the safety of our patients who come into the office for their appointments. We are:
- Ensuring that patients are not experiencing respiratory issues when they visit our office.
- Sanitizing all services on a regular basis.
- Wearing masks and gloves to reduce the probability of virus transmission.
- Washing our hands for 20 seconds after every interaction we have, inside and outside of the office.
- We’re offering telemedicine appointments for the following conditions: yeast infections, UTIs, birth control consults, vaginitis (vaginal infections), hormone replacement therapy consults, premenopause, menopause, amenorrhea, and abnormal periods. Please call us to determine if your need for services qualifies for a telemedicine appointment.