Your baby’s journey starts in the beginning of week 1 – your ovulation period. You are not pregnant yet, but you’re going there, that is, if one of those eggs released from your body meets a sperm and gets fertilized.
Modern, fast-paced society and a busy lifestyle may not make it easy for women to get pregnant, so if you are planning a family, it helps to learn a few things about your menstrual cycle and when’s the best time to conceive.
Remember that the first day of your pregnancy starts on the first day of your last menstrual period or LMP. This will help your caregiver calculate your due date. It’s like counting the days two weeks before you’re actually pregnant, which is also the reason why there’s a two-week window in expecting your actual due date.
It is always best to prepare for your baby even before you conceive. Your body is preparing itself to nourish a fertilized egg and a symphony of processes in your menstrual cycle occur just for the successful implantation of a fertilized egg. You will not be aware of any signs of pregnancy at this time.
Prior to pregnancy, prepare your body to be in its healthiest state possible. Doing so ensures healthy fetal development as well as a healthy pregnancy. Here are some things to do to prepare for pregnancy:
- Nix any habits that might harm your baby’s development once you conceive. Do away with smoking, drinking alcohol, and not getting enough rest and sleep. Smoking slows fetal growth and is linked to miscarriage, preterm birth, still birth and placental problems.
- Talk with your partner about each other’s medical history and make a list of any illnesses or disorders on both sides of the family. This will be very useful for a doctor who will run tests to detect genetic defects.
- Ask your doctor about adding folic acid to your vitamin supplements. Folic acid taken before pregnancy and in the early weeks of pregnancy helps protect your baby from developing birth defects that affect the heart, brain and spinal cord.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Extra weight can affect your chances of conceiving as it affects your fertility. Then again if already pregnant, overweight women are predisposed to health risks like gestational diabetes, hypertension induced by pregnancy and difficulty in labor, leading to a C-section delivery.
If you are underweight there’s a chance of not being able to sustain your baby to complete term.
On the other hand, if you’re already pregnant, this is not the time to drastically change your diet and lifestyle. If overweight, try to include more fruits and vegetables in healthy portions, and if underweight try to have more frequent, well-balanced, healthy meals.
To get in your best shape for nurturing your baby, ask your doctor about any prescription drugs that you’re taking and find out what affects your body in case you’ll be pregnant.Tell him you’re planning to conceive, so he can provide an alternative, or advise natural ways for relief.