You and your husband have decided that you are ready for a baby. Whether this is baby #1 or #5, there are plenty of things to do in preparation. Are you eating healthy? Are you overweight or underweight? Is your body ready for pregnancy? How are your finances (babies cost a significant amount of money)? Do you have insurance? These are just a couple of things that will help get your pregnancy off to a great start.
1. Exercise. Hopefully, you are already exercising. If you are not, it’s time to get fit and healthy. Give yourself about six weeks of clean eating and strenuous workouts to get your body back into shape. After that, you should still workout but you can limit your workouts to 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. This does not mean that you have to lose a ton of weight, but if you are overweight, you should definitely set some reasonable goals for yourself. This helped me a lot. Before I became pregnant with Baby Rae I got down to my desired pre-pregnancy size within 6 weeks. Then I set my own goals based on how much weight I could gain during pregnancy (things happen and this doesn’t always work).
2. Diet. Make sure you watch what you are eating. Drink water. Limit your caffeine intake to 200 mg per day. That is about a 12 oz cup of coffee. Eat plenty of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and try your best not to eat too many processed foods. You should also start taking prenatal vitamins.
3. Check your insurance plans. If you do not have insurance, you have other options:
– Get a midwife instead of a doctor. They charge anywhere between 4-6k for everything (prenatal, delivery, post-natal). Most of them have payment plans available.
– Apply for your state’s Medicaid. You will first need pregnancy confirmation. Then you will need to go to a social service office in your area (county) and apply for the temporary insurance. If they accept you, you will be covered until after your postpartum visit and your baby will be covered for their first year.
– Try to get an insurance plan. They are offered for individuals but can be pretty expensive. Especially, if you have a budget to maintain.
4. Decide what kind of birth you want to experience. I suggest looking for a doctor or midwife that is in-network with your insurance plan. That will help keep the out-of-pocket expenses low. If you are planning a home birth, make sure you check to see if your insurance covers them. For example, I had Aetna with Baby Rae and they have a ‘No Home Birth’ policy in the state of New Jersey. That changed my birth plan significantly since I originally wanted a home birth. I would have had to pay 4K in out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance would cover anything. That’s crazy! After you know your insurance information you can start interviewing doctors and/or midwives.
5. Get a checkup. Call your doctor or midwife for an annual exam. Don’t forget to ask any questions you may have about getting pregnant. Your spouse can get a checkup with his doctor too. There is nothing wrong with checking out his little swimmers.
6. Start charting your ovulation. It is now time to get to know your body. Start tracking your period so you can determine ovulation days. The two apps I like to use are Iperiod and Ovia. The only problem I encountered using the apps is that sometimes your peak ovulation days are miscalculated. The easiest way to determine your peak fertile days is to purchase an ovulation kit. I used the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test and I loved it! Simple to use, easy to understand, very effective. It helped me get pregnant the second month of trying and that is only because I did not use it the first month. You can also check you BBT (basal body temperature) every morning, as soon as you wake up, and keep a record of it. When you notice a spike in your temperature, that is usually because you are ovulating. I tried this method several times, but I didn’t have the patience for it and some mornings I would forget. Another method, which didn’t work for me either, is to check you cervical mucus (discharge). If your discharge is slimy and stretchy like egg whites, that means you are ovulating. Your body can change, which will make it a little more difficult to figure out when you are ovulating. So again, if you’re a busy mom like me, the digital test is probably best for you.
7. Avoid stress. Relax and have fun! Plan fun date nights around the time you will be ovulating. They can be as simple as a picnic on the bed. As long as you have each other that is all you need.
8. Start praying! Pray for the baby that you want the Lord to bring forth. Pray for the baby after you get pregnant. Pray for a safe delivery. Pray that the Lord guides that baby to be all that HE has called he or she to be in life. NEVER STOP PRAYING.
9. SEX!!!! The most important part of getting pregnant is to have sex and have lots of it! Don’t make it a pregnancy chore! Have fun doing it and make it memorable. When you are finished, do not hop up to clean yourself off. Lay there for a few minutes with your pelvis tilted. Sometimes you need to rely on gravity. I mentioned this before but……HAVE FUN!
What methods or tips do you have to prepare for pregnancy? I would love to hear them! Let’s get pregnant! Until next time…… Lady Ki