#2 Small Talk blog 2019
The “right” time has come!
So, you and your partner have come to the momentous decision that now is the “right” time for you to start a family. This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime! The creation of a little human is nothing short of a miracle. To give your baby the best start in life you should make sure that your body is in peak condition BEFORE you fall pregnant. Below are a few things to mull over before you go ahead and do what you must to fall pregnant!!!
The way forward
- It is never too early to prepare. Ideally you should prepare for a pregnancy 3-6 months before you actually fall pregnant!
- It is advisable to have a general health check up with your GP and that dreaded pap smear is also advisable.
- The healthier you are will give you a better chance of falling pregnant as well as having a healthy baby.
How to get a healthy body
- The development of your baby will be dependent upon your getting the correct amount of appropriate nutrients both before and once you fall pregnant.
- Taking vitamins alone will NOT take the place of healthy eating. So what is “healthy eating”?
- A variety of nutritious foods is the way to go – fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains as opposed to highly refined food, dairy products and high protein foods should be a part of your daily intake before you even fall pregnant. You should also try to avoid skipping a meal and those ‘fast foods’ should be limited.
- Underweight at the beginning of your pregnancy is not a good thing for you or your baby. Neither is being overweight. If you have no idea of where to begin with your diet, do consult a dietician/nutritionist!
- Believe it or not, the health of your teeth and gums can affect the growth and development of your baby! So a visit to your dentist is also advisable, much as you may hate the idea.
- Check that all your vaccinations are up to date especially the rubella vaccine. Rubella in the first 4 months of pregnancy can cause serious sight and hearing as well as heart defects in your baby.
- Last, but not least, it’s wise to know your HIV status. If you are HIV positive, you can prevent passing it on to your baby if you are treated appropriately.
- We all know that exercising helps with all sorts of things – from depression, to weight loss and generally just making one feel better.
- So, if you are already in an exercise program, well done! Continue the good job! If not, then choose an activity that you will enjoy such as walking, cycling or swimming.
- Start gradually and slowly build up the intensity of whatever exercise you choose.
- Try to pick an exercise that you will continue with even after giving birth.
- In the first few weeks of your pregnancy avoid saunas and hot tubs as overheating may be harmful.
Hazards in the work place and home
- If you work in the medical environment or in a laboratory be aware of all the chemicals and limit your exposure to the potentially harmful ones. Remember x-rays can be harmful to the foetus and X-ray technicians need to know if you are pregnant so that they can take the appropriate precautions.
- At home check that the paint on your walls is lead free – in the modern world this should not be a problem as only old paint or old water pipes used to contain lead. Watch out for exposure to insecticides and pesticides which may be used in your garden or in flea collars for your pet.
During these 3-6 months before falling pregnant, you should avoid the contraceptive pill, discontinue the contraceptive injection and interuterine contraceptive device (IUCD). Rather use the diaphragm or condom during these few months until you experience a normal cycle. Once this 3-6 month period is over you can attempt to conceive.
Not all women are fortunate enough to fall pregnant immediately. The good news is that 80% of women will usually fall pregnant within one year of trying!
Parenthood is an awesome responsibility and I wish you every success and good health in your journey towards a little one.
Yours in lifestyle newborn photography