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Five Things You Need to Do Before Planning a Baby

Getting ready to have a baby is an exciting time in life. It means you're ready for the many changes in your life that come with having a child. Since you're planning for the upcoming events, you need to start preparing your body and your life for what is to come. Day to day living will be that much easier when you know that the big issues are out of the way beforehand. Avoiding unpleasant surprises during this time makes for much less stress on you. Your body will be stressing you out enough as it is!

Here is a pregnancy checklist of things to do to get ready:

1. Getting in Shape

The better condition your body is in before pregnancy, the better you will feel during. And, once you get started exercising, there is no reason to stop after a pregnancy is confirmed. Being at or near an ideal weight is beneficial and avoids complications from having too much body fat during pregnancy. Benefits of exercise before and during pregnancy include:

• Weight Control

• Strong Core Muscles

• Strong Arms and Legs for the Effort that will be Needed Post-Pregnancy

• Overall Mood Improvements

2. Stop Birth Control

Plan a date to stop birth control. The experts recommend stopping three months before you plan to conceive, but some women become pregnant the first time they ovulate after giving up the pill. Determine a time frame that you feel comfortable with actively trying to conceive and stop the contraception a month before.

3. Review Your Insurance Coverage

Check your insurance policy for coverage even if you've read it already. Make sure you don't miss any changes in coverage. Insurance companies are constantly changing how they cover medical bills, and employers are always trying to save money on the policies. Making sure you will have a majority of expenses covered means that you won't be scrambling to pay an unexpected bill later.

4. Step-up Your Diet

Change your eating habits to increase vitamin and mineral consumption. Organs develop in the first three months of pregnancy, a time when most women are unaware that they are pregnant. Preparing your body with everything that you and the future baby are going to need will minimize the risk of birth defects. The most important vitamins and minerals to consume are folic acid, iron and calcium.

5. See Your Doctor

Have an in-depth conversation with your OB/GYN about your plans. If you do not currently have an OB/GYN, ask your doctor for a referral. You want to be comfortable with the person who is going to be involved with an intimate part of your life. The right OB/GYN will make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Preparing your body for pregnancy is the best thing you can do for yourself and the baby to be. Being strong and healthy will help you cope with the changes that much better in the upcoming 9 months. How will you prepare for your new arrival?

Featured in Health