Preconception Health Brings Benefits for You and Baby
It sounds simple enough: being healthy before you get pregnant means you’re more likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. With this in mind, here are a few tips from the March of Dimes to help you get active and healthier before conception.
According to the organization, you are less likely to have serious complications during your pregnancy if you are at a healthy weight before conception compared to women weighing too much or too little. Those complications might include diabetes or high blood pressure. In addition, the March of Dimes noted that you are less likely to have a baby with a birth defect or have a premature baby.
Your body mass index (BMI) will show if you are currently at a healthy weight. BMI is a measurement of body fat that’s based on your weight and height. A healthy BMI may increase the chance of conception.
Becoming more physically active doesn’t necessarily mean joining a gym. The March of Dimes suggests the following aerobic and stretching activities to help you get started:
- Water aerobics
- Riding a bicycle
- Sports, such as volleyball, softball or baseball
- Basic body stretches – for example, reaching down to touch your toes or reaching up above your head
Check with your health care provider before you start a new exercise routine and to schedule a preconception visit. All adults should get about 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days per week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Also, ask your health care provider about prenatal vitamins and other nutrients that may be important like folic acid and DHA.