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Your Pre-Bun To-Do List


    Your Pre-Bun To-Do List

    Join the Gym

    Why now? Getting to a healthy weight will help improve your odds of get- ting pregnant. If you start an exercise program before you get pregnant, it’ll be easier for you to maintain it during your pregnancy.That means you’ll feel better, have an outlet for stress, and will probably gain less excess weight. It also might be a great way to meet other soon-to-be moms. Turn to page 103 for tips on exercise during pregnancy.

    See Your Ob

    It used to be that you wouldn’t call your doc until you were already knocked up, but these days most ob-gyns, like Dr. Maggie R. Somerall, an obstetri- cian/gynecologist in Birmingham, Alabama, are encouraging their patients to schedule pre-conception visits with their partners.23 The  rst prenatal visit is generally done at six to ten weeks, and a lot is going on with your baby’s development by then. In order to ease your mind (and probably your spouse’s, too), schedule the pre-conception visit about three months before you start trying to conceive.This allows your doctor to advise you about several topics, including current medical issues, losing or gaining weight, discontinuing any potentially harmful medication or herbal supplements, discussing family history, and getting baseline height and weight measure- ments. Dr. Somerall performs a complete health screening for all her obese patients to check for any underlying health issues.
    Your doctor may suggest getting tested to see if you and your partner carry genes for cystic  brosis,Tay-Sachs disease, or other inherited genetic diseases.Talk to your parents and siblings to see if any of them are carriers for hereditary diseases.You’ll probably dig up some surprising informa- tion, so don’t be afraid to ask. Because my husband is adopted and I’m of Eastern-European Jewish heritage, we decided to pony up for several genetic tests. Unfortunately, many insurance companies don’t cover the tests, but the peace of mind you’ll get from a negative test is well worth the price. And if there is an issue, it’s comforting to understand your options before you become pregnant.
    Remember when you last had a measles shot? It’s probably not at the forefront of your mind, but since certain immunizations are recommended for mothers-to-be, try to  nd your immunization records.Your doctor will also want to know if you may be exposed to any potential environmental or occupational hazards (for example, if you work in a beauty salon or a dental practice).Your ob-gyn should ask you about your current diet and make sure you know about the importance of folic acid, and she may recommend that you begin taking prenatal vitamins.You should bring up any concerns you have and ask burning questions, such as “Can I still take my favorite spin class?”


    Toss Your Pills

    Most ob-gyns advise that you stop taking birth control pills (or other hormone-based contraceptives) three months before trying to get preg- gers. It’s not that it’s unsafe to get pregnant immediately after going off the Pill, but it may take you a while to start ovulating normally and hav- ing regular periods—especially if you’re irregular like I am. Regulating your menstrual cycle will make it easier for you to chart your cycle and therefore get pregnant. It will also help your doctor determine your date of conception. But be sure to talk to your doc; she might think addressing your “ticking clock” is more important than waiting a quarter of a year. Also, long-term use of the Pill can deplete your stores of folic acid and other B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin C, so it’s smart to start a balanced diet and folate supplements before you begin trying.

    See the Dentist

    I know it’s probably not one of your all-time faves, but it’s best to see the dentist now and make sure you don’t have any major dental worries. If you need X-rays or  llings, get them taken care of before you get pregnant. Researchers now know that periodontal disease (gum disease) can lead to low-birth weight and/or premature babies.
    You don’t need to do anything fancy—just keep up your regular good oral hygiene, brushing with  uoride toothpaste and  ossing once or twice a day.Yes— ossing really does make a difference. Pregnancy hormones (hello, progesterone) and the increased blood volume that goes along with preg- nancy will make your gums more swollen and in amed, which means that if you haven’t always been a  osser, you might end up with some seriously bloody gums. And oh, joy: 50 to 70 percent of all pregnant women develop gingivitis (the  rst stage of periodontal disease)—in amed gums caused by plaque buildup. Even more irritating are tumors called pregnancy granu- lomas, which can develop on your gums due to plaque and food particles. These uncomfortable lumps (10 percent of us get them) aren’t cancerous or contagious, but they can make it tough to eat and to talk.The good news? Just keep it clean, girl! A regular brushing,  ossing, and rinsing routine will help prevent them.24
    It’s a good idea to see your dentist for a thorough cleaning at least once during your pregnancy, preferably during the second trimester, when it’s less risky and uncomfortable for you. Of course, make sure you let her know that you’ve got a little bun in the oven.


    Have a Girls’ Weekend

    ...Or take a trip with the hubby. Yes, there will be time later for a babymoon, but let’s face it: circumstances will be a bit different.There’ll be no more falling into bed together for hot sex after a couple of glasses of Cabernet and salsa dancing or après-ski warmups in the hot tub. Go someplace you know will be off-limits (or at least not as much fun) later, such as Napa or South Beach. It’s not likely that you’re going to want to hit the bars with your friends once you’re preggers (plus I don’t recommend it), so live it up now, chica!
    Another fun and self-indulgent move would be to take a weekend trip (or even a day trip) by yourself. Revel in a little people watching or indulge in an entire brownie in a fancy hotel bed—all by yourself. After all, once you have a little one, you won’t be spending much quality time alone.

    Have a “Last Supper”

    Okay, remember all those things I told you to lay off on page 5? (You’ll  nd more of them upcoming in “Chapter 5:What to Shelve for Nine Months.”) Well, go ahead and eat them one more time! Go for runny cheeses, sushi, wine, and the fattest slice of chocolate cake you can  nd...and don’t forget to  nish the meal with a nice espresso.

    Buy a Sexy Nightie

    You’ll be having sex. A lot. Probably more than you were before you were trying. Since “purposeful” sex doesn’t always feel as spontaneous and steamy as when you’re just fooling around for the heck of it, you might need a few fun items and out ts to help you get in the mood more often. If you and your partner haven’t experimented with sex toys much or if you haven’t changed your routine since your honeymoon, now’s the time to get creative!