Pre-Pregnancy Check List

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Written by: Angela, Nutritionist

Here is a pre-pregnancy check list to get you started on your way to a healthy happy pregnancy!

q If you haven’t already done so, schedule your first prenatal visit with your practitioner.

q Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, both first-hand and second-hand smoke.

q If your immunizations are not up to date, let your practitioner know.

q Stay hydrated: drink 8-10 glasses of filtered spring water each day.

q Focus on whole foods. If you can picture a food growing and your grandmother would recognize it as food, then it is most likely a whole food.

q Stick to a diet naturally high in folic acid. Folate “foliage” is found in beans and vegetables and is especially high broccoli, black beans, spinach and asparagus.

q Eat iron-rich foods like beans, raisins, spinach, quinoa and dried prunes and apricots. Add a food rich in vitamin C to increase the absorption of iron, like a squeeze of lemon juice or mandarin oranges. Calcium enriched foods or supplements should be eaten away from iron rich foods, which inhibits the absorption of iron.

q Choose organic as often as possible and especially for the following twelve fruits and vegetables: strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, celery, apples, red raspberries, imported grapes (Chile), nectarines, peaches, pears, and potatoes (US).

q Keep your blood sugar level in check by eating 4-5 small meals through the day. The meals should be visually composed of 70% complex carbohydrate: 25% high quality protein: 5% healthy fat.

q As a general rule, avoid over the counter medication and consult with your doctor regarding current prescription medication.

q Get plenty of sleep, and try to nap if you feel tired during the day. 8 hours is ideal.

q Exercise, but moderately. Don’t start a new vigorous exercise regimen when you’re pregnant, and be careful not to become overheated for prolonged periods. Walking is safe for pretty much everyone and, if done consistently, will help increase your circulation, moderate your moods and keep your weight in check.

q If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to decaf or try herbal or decaffeinated tea. Current recommendations are to reduce your caffeine intake to < 300 mg. To be on the safe side, make a goal of reducing your caffeine intake to < 100 mg.

q If your family has a history of genetic disorders, consider prenatal testing and consult a genetic counselor.

q Cats are perfectly safe to be around when you are pregnant. The concern is toxoplasmosis. The risk is specifically in hand to mouth transmission. Do not touch your face while changing your cat’s box. Next to cat boxes, gardening poses a greater threat to contracting toxoplasmosis. This can easily be avoided by using gloves while gardening and taking extra care to not touch your face. (Truth be told, you have a greater chance at contracting toxoplasmosis from your garden than you do a cat’s box. This is because numerous outside cats or other animals may use your garden to defecate in). Ask another family member to change the cat box. If you are the only person in your household then use gloves, a paper mask and use proper hygienic habits, lots of soap and warm water, after cleaning the cat box. If your cat is an indoor cat and does not have access to raw meat, there is a very minute chance that your feline has toxoplasmosis. Better safe than sorry, but there is NO need to get rid of your kitty.

q Home garden? Take special care to wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them raw or prepare them.

q Start budgeting for your new life with baby.

q Choose a place to give birth (hospital, birthing center, home).

q Consider who will help you through the birth (doula, midwife, OBGYN). Ask your friends or coworkers for referrals, check with your insurance for a list of providers and/ or check with your preferred birthing center or hospital for a list of practitioners who hold privileges at that location. Be sure to interview candidates. This is your pregnancy and you will want to be sure that the practitioner you choose holds your same views on how the pregnancy and birth process is to proceed.

q Consider starting a pregnancy diary and having someone take a picture of you (and your expanding belly) each month.

q Refrain from getting perms, dyes, manicures or pedicures and other hair treatments involving heavy chemicals.

Angela Pifer, MSN, CN Certified Nutritionist Enjoy the day to day support, structure and accountability that will finally help you meet your health goals! New! Online Wellness Programs!

Categories: Pregnancy

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