Preparing for Pregnancy

Health Changes

  • Your nutritional needs are higher than women during pregnancy and this may not be met with a balanced diet. If you are undernourished during pregnancy, you will lack the capability to support your baby’s development.  Make sure to meet your daily nutritional requirement of Folate, which is a key nutrient for your baby’s proper brain and body development. It also helps reduce the risk of Neural Tube Defects. In two glasses of Anmum, you meet your daily nutritional requirement of key nutrients such as Folate, Calcium, and Vitamin D.

  • Start taking folic acid (folate). This is an important B vitamin that's been shown to prevent birth defects. The recommended dose is 400mcg a day, to be taken starting three months prior to conception. Finding a source of folate need not be difficult as two glasses of Anmum Materna, when taken daily, fulfills the daily folate requirement. Anmum Materna is the only maternal milk that is clinically tested.

  • If you are smoker, it would be best to quit smoking. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, as well as preterm birth (when a birth happens too early) and low birth weight. Stopping smoking isn't simple or easy, but it is impossible to overcome your craving for cigarettes. Whenever your cravings hit, try chewing gum or sucking a mint. Keep your mouth busy! Avoid contact with smokers, and ask nonsmoking friends and family members to encourage you. A support system is very important, as they remind you that not smoking is best for both you and the baby.

  • Avoid alcohol. There is no concrete proof that small amounts of alcohol directly affects pregnancy, however, studies show that excessive drinking is directly linked to miscarriage or stillbirth. To be safe, it is best to avoid it altogether.

  • Start being aware of any previous or genetic health problems such as Diabetes that run in your family. List them down and ask your OB-gyne as to how you can prevent or cure them.

Emotional Changes

  • During the first trimester, some new mothers might be filled with anxiety about losing their baby. These fears are normal. During this period, the new mother may also experience irritability or mood swings due to the hormonal changes she is experiencing. To help you with the anxiety, do some yoga for pregnant women and avoid any strenuous activities. Have regular visits to your doctor to keep the baby’s growth in check and to get more information on how you can help keep your little one healthy and safe.

  • The mood swings will usually be less intense during the second trimester since the stress and anxiety of the first trimester has passed. During this time, many mothers begin to feel self-conscious about the weight they are gaining to support the baby. It is important to remember that weight gain during pregnancy is perfectly healthy, natural, and essential for the baby's health. However, if you have any concerns about the amount of weight gain that you are experiencing (if you feel it is either too much or too little) do check with your doctor.

  • During the third trimester, worries about labor and childbirth become stronger in anticipation of “the day” but always remember that being prepared is the best remedy for the worries and stress.

Financial Adjustments

Consider your current financial situation before planning a pregnancy. Having a baby is no simple feat, and will lead to an increase in your household expenses . Think long-term, and be sure you are financially capable of independently raising a child.

Here are a few financial tips to help you plan ahead for your pregnancy:

  • Start small. As early as possible, start setting aside enough cash to cover pregnancy costs and living expenses during your maternity leave.

  • Cut back on luxuries such as expensive restaurant meals and opt for a more budget-friendly lifestyle in anticipation of the baby.

  • Divert some of your current savings into a separate account for your future baby expenses.

  • Take a critical look at your current monthly expenditures and be prepared to make adjustments. If you find that you can live without (or with a cheaper version of) your cell phone services, cable connection, or gym membership, this may be a good time to reconsider your needs and wants.

  • Prepare a budget for basic expenses such as hospital fees (doctor visits and labor/delivery), nursery furniture, milk, food, diapers, and clothing.

  • Prepare for the loss of income  if you and your partner plan to leave work for any length of time after birth.  

Resources:
BBC: fertility preconception
BellyBelly: pre pregnancy checklist
WhatToExpect: getting your finances in order
WhatToExpect: planning ahead to avoid baby sticker shock
Preparing for pregnancy: The financial impact of having a baby
SheKnows: how to quit smoking during pregnancy
HowStuffWorks: understanding psychological changes during pregnancy