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Parenting Starts Before Pregnancy

Parenting Starts Before Pregnancy

Parenting your child starts well before he or she ever leaves the womb. In fact, it begins even before you conceive - by eating well and monitoring your exercise, lifestyle and stress levels. Your baby feels everything you do whether it is smoking a cigarette or being under a great deal of pressure at work.

Your relationship with your spouse is extremely important to your baby's health. If you are angry or upset with your partner, your baby will feel it. Learn how to lower your stress levels with deep breathing or go somewhere else to cool down if you are feeling overwhelmed. It can be extremely stressful for a marriage during pregnancy and birth, so find ways to embrace your couplehood even as you move towards being parents.

Emotionally, take time for yourself each day to do something that you enjoy. Studies have shown that women who are relaxed about conception often become pregnant sooner. Embrace your spiritual health, whether it involves a religious belief or faith in yourself.

Mothers-to-be need to take responsibility for their health before conception. This includes ensuring that your diet is rich with nutritious foods, eliminating alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and getting a good night's sleep. You also need to be getting regular exercise, which can help regulate moods and get your body ready for pregnancy.

Get a physical exam at your doctor's office to rule out potential complications. Although you cannot predict every problem that you may face in pregnancy, you will feel peace of mind if you receive a clean bill of health, or can treat any conditions before you conceive. If you have a chronic health problem, your doctor will advise you on safe treatments during conception and pregnancy.

One of the best gifts that you can give your child is to live a healthy life. This includes stopping any alcohol, drug or tobacco use that could harm your fetus. If you need support during withdrawal, there are numerous support groups and agencies that can help.

Finally, spend time with other couples who have children. This can be a great way to embrace the idea of having a child, but also to see the work involved in caring for one! If your relatives have children, offer to baby-sit for a weekend, or go on a family outing. Many parents have a romantic idea about parenting, and being responsible for a baby or child can go a long way in preparing you for what is to come.


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