Planning & Preparing for Pregnancy
Planning a pregnancy can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. You’re somewhat aware of what lies ahead, but that doesn’t mean you’re anywhere near close to preparing for it. Of course, your body will undergo some big changes when you’re pregnant. So, it’s very important to take your health into consideration before you go ahead with anything.
With that in mind, what can you do to plan and prepare for pregnancy?
Stay physically active
The Australian government says that women should be aiming for 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This can include things like walking, jogging or even some household chores. Of the 150-300 mins of exercise, two sessions per week should include resistance training. Staying active is important at all times; particularly when planning for pregnancy.
For one, it can ensure you stay in good physical shape throughout your pregnancy, making it easier when it’s time to give birth. You can also prevent or lessen common problems – like back and joint pain. There is also some evidence to suggest that regular exercise can decrease the risk of miscarriage and increase the chance of having a baby in some women.
Strengthen your pelvic floor
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that are at the base of the pelvis. Their main role is to maintain continence of urine and feaces, support the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowel) and provide sexual sensation.
Due to the hormonal process and growing weight of a baby, many women experience weakness of their pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy. This results in many women experiencing urinary incontinence during this stage of life. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles prior to and during pregnancy, can help to prevent symptoms such as incontinence developing.
Take a folic acid supplement
It’s highly recommended that you take a folic acid supplement every day before and during pregnancy. Studies show that this B vitamin can help prevent a lot of birth defects relating to a baby’s spine and brain. You can find good quality supplements anywhere, but feel free to speak to your doctor for recommendations.
Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
If you want to conceive and have a stress-free pregnancy that leads to a healthy baby, it is recommended that you cut out alcohol and cigarettes. It is widely known that drinking alcohol and using certain drugs while pregnant will cause a whole host of complications. Steer clear from them until your doctor tells you it is safe for you to consume once more.
There you have it: how to plan and prepare your body for pregnancy and beyond. At Sydney Pelvic Clinic, we have a strong belief in the role of pelvic floor exercise for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Our pelvic physiotherapy team can help you get ready for this big moment in your life, ensuring you are physically capable of giving birth. We specialise in pelvic health services, allowing us to assess the health of your pelvis and the pelvic floor muscles. If you’d like our help to plan and prepare your body for pregnancy and beyond, book a pre-pregnancy or pregnancy assessment with us today.