Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
While it can take some time to actually get pregnant—plus nine months of waiting for your little one to grow—you can start preparing for pregnancy years in advance. If you definitely want to have children down the road, there are some expert-approved ways to get started right this very minute. And we’re not talking about freezing your eggs (although depending on your situation, that may not be a bad way to start!).
According to a new article on Mindbodygreen that features advice from integrative fertility expert and Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness founder Angela Le, preparing for pregnancy is similar to learning to love yourself before entering a romantic relationship—you should prep your body and your mind before adding another person to your family. Below, we’ve rounded up the top three things that you can do right now to prepare for having a baby later:
Eat clean: What you eat will also be your baby’s diet, so you should start making healthy changes now. Begin by eating organic, whole foods and cutting down on sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol, and caffeine. Le also suggests taking a prenatal vitamin if you're currently trying to get pregnant—look for one that has at least 800 mcg of folate, fish oil, vitamin D, and probiotics.
Practice mindfulness: “Practicing mindfulness to be aware and present in the moment is probably the most important and compassionate habit to build while you're trying to conceive,” says Le. “I’ve seen many women grow tense with their focus on conception and as a result, become emotionally absent in their own lives.” Start out by trying a meditation app like Headspace, or look for a local studio if you want a bit more guided practice.
Develop an exercise routine: Not only is working out great for your mental health, but you also won’t be cleared to work out while you’re pregnant (unless it’s already a part of your routine pre-conception). Get started now so you can stay in shape before, during, and after you give birth.
Head over to Mindbodygreen for more suggestions, and be sure to share any go-to tips for preparing for motherhood in the comments!