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Preparing your body for pregnancy

WOMAN'S INSTINCT
By HANNAH CHIRA | May 26th 2012

If you are planning to get pregnant, get your body in the right state so that it can give forth a healthy baby, writes HANNAH CHIRA

When most couples decide they are ready to have a baby, often the action taken is to get the woman off the birth control method they are using and get busy at the baby making process.

Preconception planning is often not given a thought, yet is key to boosting your chances of a healthy pregnancy. If you are at the stage where you are trying for a baby, then preconception planning is something you ought to consider.

Getting your body ready

Having decided on getting pregnant, you already must have prepared emotionally to have a baby. The question though is, is your body ready for the task ahead? Preconception planning up to a year in advance may be helpful.

Schedule a preconception appointment with your doctor as soon as you begin thinking about pregnancy just to help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. These are some of the issues that will be addressed at such a meeting.

Birth control method

If you have been on the pill, take a pill-free break before trying to conceive. This allows your reproductive system to go through several normal cycles before you conceive. This makes it easier to determine when ovulation occurred and establish an expected due day.

You may want to use condoms or another barrier method of contraception during this time. Your fertility may return to normal two weeks after you stop taking the pill.

If you’ve been on a long-term method of birth control, such as contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera), you can try to conceive as soon as you stop using birth control — but it may take several months for fertility to return.

Do you have any chronic medical conditions?

If you have a chronic medical condition — such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure — make sure it’s under control before you conceive. In some cases, your health care provider may recommend adjusting your medication or other treatments before pregnancy. Your health care provider also will explain any special care you may need during pregnancy. 

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