If you decide to get pregnant, it’s probably because you got your ducks all in a row. You’re in a good place with your career and finances. You and your partner feel ready. And the timing is just right. But what about your body? Pretty soon, it’s going to carry another little person, so it’s a good idea to get as healthy as you can before you get pregnant.

Check your thyroid health

Before you get pregnant, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t have hypothyroidism – a condition where the thyroid is under active. According to Jani R. Jensen, M.D., “low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with the release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation), which impairs fertility. In addition, some of the underlying causes of hypothyroidism…may impair fertility.”

Are your vaccines up to date?

Author of The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant, Jean Twenge, PhD, recommends that women get their MMR vaccination (measles, mumps, rubella) at least three months before they get pregnant. That’s because rubella during pregnancy can be a very dangerous.

Take the right supplements

Folic acid is absolutely essential for the health development of the baby. So, stock up on folic acid and start taking that before you get pregnant. This, along with other supplements like, Vitamins B12 and B6, along with omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help to ensure that you and your baby are healthy during pregnancy.

Exercise regularly

A regular fitness routine can help to boost your immune system, improve your mood and also help you avoid lots of unwanted weight after the baby’s born. Just be sure it’s not a stressful routine, but instead, something you enjoy and can stick to in the long run.

Reduce stress whenever and wherever you can

Stress might not have a huge impact on your fertility, but it can make pregnancy difficult. That’s because a mother’s stress can negatively impact the health of the child, from immune, endocrine and cognitive function, according to Ann Diamon Weinstein, PhD, a preconception, prenatal and early parenting specialist.

So, before you get pregnant, consider starting some stress-reducing habits that you can carry with you into your pregnancy.

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