Developing Healthy Habits Before Conception

August 17, 2010

You're excited to start trying to conceive a baby and you want to be sure you're in the best condition possible before you become pregnant. How can you change your lifestyle to be compatible with a great pregnancy? Well, first of all, you have to start long before you conceive - especially if there are quite a few things you want to address in terms of health and wellness.

Preconption Care: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

Most of us tend to head of wildly in all directions when we're excited about something. You know you have to quit smoking and drinking, your diet needs some attention, and you haven't seen the inside of the gym since you can't remember when. It's pretty ambitious to try to change all of that at one time, and what usually happens is that it is too much and you can become discouraged. Instead, bite off small chunks at a time. Start with the habit that will build the most confidence in you to continue. That might be the toughest one on the list to break - start there and go forward.

Getting Pregnant

Make sure what you want to do is "doable". Instead of making a major change in one fell swoop, break it down. Let's take smoking. Give yourself a "due-date" to achieve your goal and make a promise to yourself that you'll get there. Break the larger goal of quitting smoking down into doable segments - not buying cigarettes, smoking fewer cigarettes a day, cutting out your cigarette with coffee - and keep a record of your successes. Confront the fear that keeps you hooked to the habit and celebrate your freedom when you conquer that fear.

Gather a cheering team to help you celebrate your accomplishments as you tackle your goals for change. Be nice to yourself and keep your self-talk positive - be your own best supporter. Once your new, healthy habit is formed and the old, unhealthy one totally gone then it is time to start on the next goal.

Be Specific, Be Accountable, Avoid Temptation

Be specific with your intentions. You want to get fit, so rather than saying you will exercise more, start walking with a friend three times a week. Be accountable to that friend and keep a record of your goals and successes that you can share. Accountability, first to yourself, and then to someone else, helps immensely to stay on track and get those goals accomplished.

If you need to clean up your eating habits, then get rid of the temptations that will give you grief. Support your new behavior by arranging your environment in such as fashion that you feel upheld rather than downtrodden. If you want to stop drinking, don't have wine in the house. Get your partner to help you by supporting your decisions and helping to create the kind of environment where temptation is minimal.

Reward Yourself and Remember Why You're Doing It

Acknowledge your victories and celebrate them with something healthy and rewarding. A massage, a date with your friends, a pedicure or a new haircut do wonders in helping to reinforce your positive behaviors. Most important, remember why you're making all of these changes to your lifestyle. Keep focused on how healthy you are becoming as you move towards being prepared to conceive and carry your baby.

 

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