You are not actually pregnant yet but you will hopefully have already made choices that will help ensure that you and your baby-to-be will have the healthiest possible pregnancy.
The first week of your pregnancy is measured from the beginning of a menstrual period, so if you are hoping to become pregnant make a note of the date your period starts and finishes.
You and your baby are what you eat. Eating well before and during your pregnancy will help your body to grow a healthy baby and will help you to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and avoid many of the common physical discomforts that can arise during pregnancy. Eat fresh, seasonal, additive free foods. Reduce your intake of high fat foods and high sugar foods and drinks. (Avoid artificial sweeteners too – the long-term effects for your baby, of exposure to these chemical sweeteners during pregnancy are unknown.) Reduce or eliminate caffeinated and high sugar soft drinks, energy drinks and coffee from your diet.
You and your baby’s father should have stopped drinking alcohol, smoking, taking any drugs both recreational and medicinal. (If you need to take medication for a chronic medical condition make sure that your doctor knows that you are planning to become pregnant and has checked that the medication you have been prescribed is safe for pregnant women – you can also do an internet search yourself.)
You and your baby’s father should be doing some exercise about 3 times each week. If you don’t want to play a sport, go to a gym or attend a regular exercise class you can always take an after dinner walk together.
You and your baby’s father should try to get 7 – 8 hours sleep every night.
Talk to your local naturopath, doctor or pharmacist about prenatal vitamin supplements. You may want to take a multivitamin/mineral/omega oil supplement throughout your pregnancy. It is recommended that all women take 400 – 600mcg of folic acid daily for 4 weeks prior to becoming pregnant and up until you are between 8 and 12 weeks pregnant. Folic Acid supplementation pre-conceptually and during early pregnancy has been shown to reduce the incidence of Neural Tube defects e.g. Spina Bifida, anencephaly.
If you work in an environment where you are exposed to solvents and other hormone disrupting chemicals you should change your job before you become pregnant. Regular and/or prolonged exposure to these chemicals can cause infertility and miscarriage as well as physical and developmental defects in your baby.
If you haven’t had a dental check-up in the last six months, try to get an appointment before the end of this week. This will be your last chance for a while to safely have a dental x-ray. Gum disease can cause miscarriage and other problems during pregnancy so making sure that your teeth and gums are healthy before you become pregnant is important.