Everyone knows that in order to prepare for pregnancy, your health should be in its prime. There are things that women and couples should do to increase their chances of optimal fertility and have healthy pregnancies. When trying to get pregnant, there are so many things you should be aware of, such as your fertility status, your nutrition, and even the products you use on your body and in your home.
I’m sharing lifestyle changes that you should make to prepare for pregnancy.
Check your fertility to prepare for pregnancy
Doctors suggest seeing a fertility specialist if you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more; however, if you want to be proactive, you should check your fertility status. Both males and females should get tested. For women, the specialist will check to see if you have a normal menstrual cycle, ovulate on your own, check your hormone levels, and your ovarian reserve. For males, they will do a semen analysis to check sperm count and function. Tests for sexually transmitted diseases or infections will be done for both males and females.
Eat healthily to help prepare for pregnancy
Having a healthy diet is probably a no-brainer when you’re preparing your body for pregnancy. When you are preparing for pregnancy, you should eat foods rich in folic acid, iron, and calcium. You want to eat less inflammatory foods like dairy. Adopting a whole foods diet is a good idea. I’ve personally been doing Whole30 off and on for a few months and it has helped me shed a few unwanted pounds, as well as feel better physically.
Take vitamins to prepare for pregnancy
Once you’ve decided you want to conceive, should start taking a prenatal vitamin. To be honest, I haven’t stopped using a prenatal vitamin since I had my daughter. Because you never know what may happen. I opt for whole prenatal vitamins, but any prenatal vitamin you choose to take should contain the following:
- Folic acid (folate is better)
- Vitamin D
Further Reading: 9 Tips to Help During your Journey to Getting Pregnant
Checking your fertility and changing your diet are not the only things to do during pre-pregnancy planning. Eliminating exposure to toxins in products you use daily is key, as well. These can include things like your skincare and body products and even your household products. I know it is impossible to eliminate all environmental exposure to harmful chemicals when you’re trying to get pregnant or when you’re pregnant, but you can reduce regular exposure to these chemicals with a few simple product swaps. See my suggestions below.
Switch to Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products
Your skin absorbs what is put on it, which is a good reason to think about the products you use on it like lotions, perfumes, body wash, and deodorants. You can start by switching to mostly unscented or natural skincare and body products when possible.
The main ingredients to avoid in skincare and beauty products are salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, hydroquinone, parabens, retinoids, and tetracycline antibiotics. In deodorants, you should avoid aluminum, parabens, and perfumes.
I’ve been using a crystal I picked up during my last visit to Morocco, but I have also used the CRYSTAL brand and Schmidt’s.
Further Reading: Pregnant, Nursing or Trying to Conceive? Avoid These 3-5 Ingredients Found in Nail Polishes
Change your household cleaning products to pregnancy-safe cleaning products
There are ingredients in household products you should look out for that may be harmful to a developing baby. These ingredients include:
Avoiding harmful ingredients in household cleaning products is as simple as creating DIY all-purpose, all-natural cleaners. Or if you’re not the DIY type, you can check out green brands like truce, that makes cleaning products that contain natural, organic ingredients instead of chemicals.
My family has added two truce products to our household cleaning routines:
truce Safe & Simple Laundry Powder – Six-ingredient unscented laundry powder that’s hypoallergenic, free of toxins, parabens, dyes, SLS, phthalates, and is cruelty-free.
truce Safe & Simple All-Purpose Cleaner – This five-ingredient, all-purpose cleaner is safe to use on all washable, non-porous surfaces.
Even when you are using organic cleaners, be sure to follow these general guidelines if you’re housecleaning during pregnancy:
- Always use cleaning products in a well-ventilated room.
- Limit direct contact with cleaning products by using rubber gloves.
- Never use or mix ammonia with your cleaners.
- Avoid spray and aerosol cleaners; prenatal exposure to spray cleaners is associated with an increased risk of asthma.
- If you find that any cleaning products make you feel nauseated, ask someone else to do the cleaning for you!