Congratulations on your decision to start or expand your family. Like other women who are planning to become pregnant, you have a lot to consider, yet this as an exciting time. Your OB/GYN is your best resource for women’s health and wellness and can guide you through the process of planning the healthiest pregnancy possible.
A few months before you plan to try to become pregnant, Parisa Pourzand, MD, recommends that you add these steps to your preconception to-do list.
1. Visit your OB/GYN
A preconception visit with an OB/GYN like Dr. Pourzand is a must if you plan to become pregnant. From exams and blood tests to genetic and medical history, Dr. Pourzand has you covered. Because your baby begins developing before you know you’re pregnant, your preconception visit is one of the most important steps you can take.
2. Slim down if you’re overweight
Age isn’t the only factor that influences fertility. Did you that women who are overweight take longer to become pregnant than their healthy-weight peers? Excess body weight can interfere with important hormones, impairing fertility. Overweight women are also at an increased risk of first-trimester miscarriage.
If you’re overweight, discuss a plan to slim down and get to a healthy weight so that you improve your chances of becoming pregnant and boost your body’s ability to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
3. Discuss starting prenatal vitamins
It’s a good idea to talk to Dr. Pourzand about taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant. Several vitamins are vital to fetal development, and you need enough of them to prevent birth defects.
Boosting your body’s levels of these vitamins before you conceive puts you in the best position to provide the nutrients necessary for your baby to develop and thrive.
4. Step up your nutrition
People often think of pregnancy as a time when women can eat anything they want, junk food included. Contrary to this belief, pregnancy is a time when your baby relies solely on you for all their nutritive needs. Not only is it necessary to eat a nutrient-dense, balanced diet throughout your pregnancy, but it’s also best to start doing so before you conceive.
Eating low-nutrient foods high in fat and sugar harms your chances of becoming pregnant. Women who eat diets higher in sugar take longer to conceive. Additionally, regularly consuming soft drinks reduces fertility, according to the latest clinical data.
Dr. Pourzand and her staff can provide dietary counseling and resources so that you know what to eat and what foods to avoid to ensure your diet supports a healthy pregnancy.
5. Maintain fitness
If you aren’t getting a lot of physical activity, dust off your old gym membership before you get pregnant. Healthy habits like getting enough exercise to support fertility and are an excellent way to prepare your body for pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Exercise is also safe and beneficial for you and your baby during pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that you should overdo it. Engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week gets your muscles working and provides a host of other health benefits.
6. Reduce your chemical exposure
You may not think about it on a day-to-day basis, but women expose themselves to a host of chemicals. From beauty products to cleaning supplies, chemicals are everywhere. Some chemicals are linked to fertility issues and problems during pregnancy.
Consider an overhaul of the products in your home, the products you use on your skin, and other chemicals you’re exposed to daily.
7. See your dentist
When you think of preparing your body for pregnancy, visiting your dentist likely isn’t something that comes to mind. But gum disease can impact fertility, increasing the time it takes to become pregnant.
The harmful bacteria that cause gum disease can hitchhike a ride in your bloodstream, traveling to other parts of your body and setting off inflammation along the way. It’s this resulting inflammation that damages your body and interferes with various health processes. See your dentist for a checkup as part of your preconception preparation.
Serving Glendale and the Los Angeles area, Dr. Pourzand makes women’s wellness a priority throughout pregnancy and beyond. If you’re considering becoming pregnant, contact her office to schedule your appointment.