Preparing for Pregnancy
Challenge Support

Click here to access and print the Preparing for Pregnancy Challenge

One of the most important decisions you can make as future parents is to prepare for pregnancy. It’s a proactive approach rather than reactive. Advanced planning prepares your body and mind for a healthy pregnancy and offers the best start for your future child.

One of the most important decisions you can make as future parents is to prepare for pregnancy. It’s a proactive rather than a reactive approach. Advanced planning prepares your body and mind for a healthy pregnancy and offers the best start for your future child.

 

You will Prepare for Pregnancy by evaluating and implementing improvements in your:

  • Lifestyle habits around tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, substances, physical activity, sleep, and stress

  • Nutritional practices including foods, beverages, and supplements, and weight management

  • Health and medical conditions

  • Environmental exposures to toxins and chemicals

 

During this challenge you will focus on the 4 areas of Lifestyle, Nutrition, Medical, and Environmental at the same time. The Challenge Support material offers an in-depth focus on one of these topics at a time.

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

Wellness Initiative Categories.png

1: Lifestyle 

Lifestyle_Icon.png

“Trying to get pregnant is a journey that requires hope, grit, and sometimes struggle.” Anonymous

All of us can make improvements in some area of our life. Now is an important time to be honest with yourself about you and your partner’s less than perfect habits. Your lifestyle or the way you live sets the stage for personal health and the health of your child. Some lifestyle habits are associated with reduced fertility and poor pregnancy outcomes. Learn about the impacts and guidelines concerning your lifestyle choices.

 

Important Factors in Preparing for Pregnancy Include:

 

  • Avoiding tobacco, marijuana, and recreational drugs

  • Minimizing alcohol and caffeine

  • Physical activity and exercise

  • Healthy sleep

  • Stress management

 

Take an honest inventory of your lifestyle habits and consider those that you are willing to learn about, take action on, and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to prioritize the most important changes. Revisit and repeat the process each month until you are ready to conceive and become pregnant.

“Healthy bodies make healthy babies.” Anonymous

PFP_Challenge_Support_Image_U_1.png

2: Nutrition

Nutrition_Icon.png

“Good food and beverage choices are good investments!” Anonymous

For both men and women, food and fertility are linked. A healthy diet not only improves your health, it boosts your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. Now is the time to double down on healthy nutrition and get your weight in the “healthy zone” so that you can be ready to produce a healthy baby and carry it to term.

 

Learn the guidelines for healthy food and beverage choices:

  • Establishing healthy eating patterns

  • Eating whole foods from all of the food groups

  • Choosing healthy ingredients

  • “Right-sizing” your portions

  • Hydrating well

  • Taking supplements while preparing for pregnancy

Take an honest inventory of your food and beverage habits and consider those that you are willing to learn about, take action on, and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to prioritize the most important changes. Revisit and repeat the process each month until you are ready to conceive and become pregnant.

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” 

Anonymous

PFP_Challenge_Support_Image_U_2.png

3: Medical

Medical_Icon.png

“There is beauty in the process of becoming pregnant.” Anonymous

A preconception visit to your healthcare provider is an important step to a successful pregnancy.

 

Be Aware. Now is the time to:

  • Discuss your reproductive life plans

  • Consider preconception genetic screening and testing

 

Take Action. Work with your healthcare team to:

  • Optimize fertility

  • Document your medical and fertility history

  • Ensure proper management of any chronic medical conditions

  • Review all medications and supplements for both partners

  • Keep your immunizations current and up-to-date

  • Maintain preventive medical and dental care

 

Close to one in six U.S. couples don’t get pregnant despite a year of trying. Learn about the causes and treatment for infertility, and other ways to become a parent.

Take a proactive approach to medical care prior to conception. Use your Challenge Sheet to prioritize the most important changes. Revisit and repeat the process each month until you are ready to conceive and become pregnant.

“There is purpose in your season of waiting.” Megan Smalley

PFP_Challenge_Support_Image_U_3.png

4: Environmental

Environmental_Icon.png

“Your body is the child’s instrument of birth.” Penelope Leach

Exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals can affect your fertility and have long-lasting effects on your baby. Now is the time to take steps to minimize your exposure to environmental toxins that can compromise your health and fertility.

 

Items to Avoid when Preparing for Pregnancy

​​

  • Phthalates and heavy metals in your personal care products

  • Radiation caused by your profession or a medical procedure

  • Heat including tanning beds, electric blankets, and hot tubs

  • Secondhand smoke

  • Toxoplasmosis — cat litter/feces

  • Fruits and vegetables grown with heavy use of pesticides

  • Meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products with additives and hormones

  • Heating food in plastic containers or wrap

  • Traveling to regions where Zika is present

 

Take an honest inventory of your exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins and consider those that you are willing to learn about, and take action on to create the healthiest environment possible. Use your Challenge Sheet to prioritize the most important changes. Revisit and repeat the process each month until you are ready to conceive and become pregnant.

“Let’s clean up our environment. Let’s clean up our bodies, but most importantly, let’s not permit our babies of the future to be polluted before they are even born.” Louise Slaughter

PFP_Challenge_Support_Image4.png

Congratulations!

 

You have made a conscious choice to Prepare for Pregnancy. It’s one of the most important decisions you can make as future parents. You’ve taken an honest look at your lifestyle habits, nutritional practices including foods, beverages, and supplements and incorporated healthy habits into daily living. You’ve taken a proactive approach to your preconception medical care and reviewed your environments to minimize exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, read the articles and watched the videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to improve your lifestyle and environment to prepare for pregnancy. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet until you are ready to conceive and become pregnant.

CW_Preparing_for_Pregnancy_Stork_Icon.png

“Never give up on a dream just because it will take time to accomplish it.” Reproductive Care Center

Click here to access and print the Preparing for Pregnancy Challenge.

 Copyright © 2022 ConnectWell - Integrating Wellness into Life®