Once you and your partner have made the big decision to start expanding your family, whether in the next few months or years, thinking about how to prepare can be a little overwhelming. Don't worry! Some simple steps and an optimistic attitude can help pave the way for a healthy pregnancy.
Rosie Pope, co-founder of Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep, is expecting her third child this May, her first girl. The Bravo "Pregnant in Heels" star has plenty of helpful tips for women who are trying to conceive or may start trying soon.
1. Take prenatal vitamins before you're pregnant: It's important to take prenatal vitamins if planning to get pregnant in the next few months or even in the next few years. "Most women don't start taking them until they become pregnant, at which point a lot of the benefits from nutrients, such as folic acid, won't be as effective," says Rosie. "If you're even thinking about having a baby, talk to your doctor so you can start taking prenatal vitamins before you even start trying to have a baby."
2. Know your cycle: Understanding your body and its cycle can help you have more control in the baby-making process and eliminate some of the frustration many women experience when they don't get pregnant as quickly as they thought they would. A recent poll conducted by Clearblue and ModernMom.com showed that one in four women surveyed don't know when they're ovulating, which means they may be trying to get pregnant during the wrong days of their cycles.
3. Take an accurate and easy-to-use test: The Clearblue and ModernMom.com poll also found that four out of five women surveyed say "accuracy" is the most important factor when selecting a pregnancy test. Make sure to do your research before buying.
4. Call your doctor: Once you receive a positive result on a home pregnancy test, call your doctor and schedule a visit. This is important because your doctor can give you a full exam, confirm the pregnancy, and help you understand what to expect in the first few months as your body changes and your baby grows. You probably will have lots of questions so be sure to write them down and bring them to the appointment. Going through this process can help ensure you don't forget anything you want to discuss.