Although I’d love to take full ownership of these 5 tips, I have to give credit where credit’s due. Just recently, I interviewed OB-GYN Dr. Christine Sterling for the expert corner of the Mother Strong League, our workout and nutrition program specifically tailored to moms. (Currently, our doors are closed, but you can sign up to get notified when we’re live again!) During the interview, I asked her to share some tips for women who are thinking about becoming pregnant in the near future and trying to conceive.
Of course, some of these things are a bit out of your control if an unexpected pregnancy happens! But maybe you’re trying to find a “perfect time.” (And just FYI, I don’t really believe there is an exact “perfect time”…but there are times when a pregnancy is more manageable.) And if that’s the case, these tips are for you!
I found her advice to be extremely useful and actionable, so I thought it would be a great idea to make a blog post about it. Here they are:
Check your physical health
Make sure you’re getting some exercise, and don’t wait until you get pregnant to start thinking about losing extra weight. (It’s not really ideal to be on any kind of weight loss regimen while expecting).
Especially since some women might not be able to exercise when pregnant, which makes it even more important to really take care of your physical health, fitness, and nutrition before pregnancy.
Optimize any health issues before your pregnancy
Some health issues can complicate a pregnancy, so if you can iron them out beforehand, it might make things a little less stressful in the long run. If you have conditions like thyroid issues, diabetes, or high blood pressure, for example, it’s important to work with your health care providers in advance to get these conditions under control.
And as you make long-term plans, don’t forget to verify that any medications you’re taking are safe for pregnant women.
Ready your mind and spirit
Although a pregnancy and a new baby will bring A LOT of joy to your life, they’ll also bring a lot stress. Going into your pregnancy, you’ll want as little on your plate as possible so you can focus on this new time in your life.
If you are caring for a terminally ill parent, for example, it might not be the best time to get pregnant. Especially considering the hormonal fluctuations and naturally emotional state pregnant women live in! Of course, you can’t control everything, and only YOU know what you’re capable of. But either way, it’s smart to take your stress limits into account.
Consider your relationship
A pregnancy and a baby bring a lot of changes to the family dynamic. As you start talking about your future together, it’s crucial that both parents are on the same page, and on board with having a baby!
Plus, just to reiterate the tip above: avoid extra stress on your plate by making sure your relationship is in a good place before the pregnancy. Of course, you don’t have to be in a “perfect” relationship…but it’s still important to try and resolve any big conflicts first, before adding a baby to the mix!
Have a financial plan in place
Probably it comes as no surprise, but babies are expensive little things! Even more, if a mom has any complications or sickness during her pregnancy, she might even need to stop working for a bit to go on disability. In some countries, women in disability don’t get paid—or they get paid substantially less than their base salary—so that may negatively affect the family’s financial stability.
Before your pregnancy, try to have some extra money saved up for all the things you’ll need: professional help after birth (a lactation consultant, house cleaning help, babysitter for any other children), plus all the baby basics (diapers, clothes, first doctor appointments, etc.)
It might sound like a lot of planning in advance, but trust me when I say that these 5 tips are honestly lifesavers! Doing all the mental heavy lifting and prep, before the baby’s here, makes it so much easier to welcome your new little one into your life.
And if you’re looking for a little extra planning help for exercise during pregnancy, don’t forget to check out my FREE Full Body pregnancy workout plan (+10 Exercises to avoid during pregnancy), so you can start preparing that too!