Thinking of pregnancy? These are my top 3 tips to prepare your body & mind

Sharon Reid

When planning a baby

I know how it does feel, the expectations, the excitement, the happiness and joy that comes with the decision of being a mom. But maybe you just found out, or you're still deciding if this is the right moment to take off on this beautiful journey.

It may be a bit obvious about pregnancy and what is involved, but you must remember that age, ovulation, and infertility issues can significantly influence becoming pregnant.

Trying to conceive can be overwhelming, and, at times, it may feel like things are mainly out of your hands. But there are plenty of factors you can control. If you're thinking about getting pregnant, getting your body in tip-top shape can only help the process. At least three months before you start trying; ideally, starting earlier would be the ideal scenario, but sometimes this cannot always be the case.


I have a few suggestion points to follow that are proven to help mentality and physically prepare you for pregnancy and help guard and protect your body from pains during and after pregnancy.

1 – Maintain a healthy weight

Having a normal body mass index (*BMI) is essential for your overall health, but it's also vital for conception. Being underweight or overweight can increase your chances of encountering fertility issues. While many underweight or overweight women have no problem conceiving, ovulation issues are more common in these two groups.

You can consider a BMI between 19 and 34 as normal, while below 19 is underweight and above 24 is overweight or obese.  

If you're unsure how to calculate your BMI, you can use this online calculator.

  • A BMI of 18.5 or less often causes irregular menstrual cycles and may cause ovulation to stop altogether.
  • A BMI in the obese range may also lead to irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation. However, consider that obese women with regular ovulation cycles have lower pregnancy rates than normal-weight women, so ovulation isn't the only factor.

Health Tip: If you're under-or overweight, visit your doctor before trying to conceive to identify any potential roadblocks.

2 – Bring up your intake of nutrients

A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and dairy will promote the normal functioning of your reproductive system. The American Pregnancy Association also recommends consuming more of the following nutrients before getting pregnant.

Folic acid: Women of childbearing age should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. This vitamin can be obtained through dark leafy greens, citrus, legumes, and fortified bread and cereal. You can also take a supplement. (Talk to your doctor about finding the proper prenatal vitamin and correct dosage of folic acid to take before you get pregnant).

Calcium: Women of childbearing age should consume at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, which can be obtained through low-fat milk, yoghurt, dark leafy greens, and even tofu.

Prenatal vitamins: You can try out different prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant to see what works best for you. Some options include vegan, vegetarian, and gummy varieties. Some brands already contain *DHA, or you might need an additional supplement. Depending on your needs, your doctor may also recommend a prescription prenatal vitamin.

*DHA is Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain development during pregnancy and early childhood. It is also linked to improved heart health, vision, and reduced inflammatory response.

3 – Start a regular workout routine

Not only will being fit make pregnancy and labour/delivery easier on your body but participating in moderate physical activity may help you to conceive as well.

One study found by Holly Ernst, PA-C, found that moderate exercise (considered walking, leisurely biking, and golfing) was related to a shorter conception period.


On the other hand, the study also found that among normal-weight women who were struggling to conceive, intense exercise (such as running, biking, and vigorous swimming) decreased the chance of conception by 42 per cent. This effect was not seen in women who were overweight or obese. Exercise helps reduce the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. It also boosts muscle and heart (cardiovascular) strength. The strength you'll need to carry that extra baby weight. 

During pregnancy, the muscles and ligaments that support pelvic organs weaken. In addition, the repetitive forces of some exercises, such as high impact like running,  can cause these organs to descend. This effect is known as pelvic organ prolapse. Therefore, physical therapists strongly recommend that women wear pelvic floor supports or compression shorts while pregnant and for a while after delivery. These garments can help to prevent pelvic organ prolapse. 

Pregnant- Exercising-Online Learning

Confused about how to exercise while pregnant? or how to get ready for pregnancy?

Each case is different; if you aren't sure where or how to start your physical routine, let's have a chat. I love to connect with my client's doctors to get aligned and give the best recommendations.


Mindset: Is your mind ready for you to be pregnant?

There is a lot of information about getting your body ready for pregnancy, eating a balanced diet, getting all the necessary prenatal vitamins, and doing the right exercises for the body to carry your baby. But what about your mental health and state of mind?


Studies published in 2012 have shown that mental and emotional well-being during pregnancy can impact birth outcomes and mental states during the postpartum period. So even if you have a complicated pregnancy or if your experience is not quite what you expected, there are steps that you can take to keep yourself mentally healthy.

Probably the most significant emotional challenge you'll face is that pregnancy is so unknown.

You don't know how you'll feel, what birth will be like, or what you may experience along the way. I can speak from experience, I did do much reading and research, but when it comes to the real deal, the books really don't tell you how it feels, only what to expect. So try to accept the unknown and take each day at a time.

I think I mentioned all the worries and realities that come with pregnancy and parenthood, be sure to get excited too. First smile, first steps, first word, first hug – there's a lot to look forward to.

There are many ways to deal with all the emotions that come with preparing for pregnancy.

Read books and websites to gather plenty of ideas about what's ahead. Write letters to your future child. Start a diary, so you've got an outlet for all your thoughts and concerns. Talk to your friends or family who are parents to find out their experiences. Join social media groups or online forums and connect with people in the same position.

What to take away with you from this article

Moderate exercise, a healthy, well-balanced diet full of the good stuff, clear your mind and read as much as you can. Kicking bad habits helps lower the chances of infertility among women of childbearing age. In addition, it's a good idea to schedule a checkup with your doctor to discuss your health and any questions you may have about getting pregnant.

More research needs to be done on the correlation between vigorous physical activity and infertility. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. If you already maintain a high-intensity exercise regime, there's likely no reason to stop if you try to get pregnant. However, if you are still struggling to conceive after a few months, your doctor may suggest cutting back.

If you don't exercise regularly, aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise most days of the week, plus two to three days of whole-body strength training focusing on your core.


A book I can recommend reading to help you prepare for what is about to come is:


If you are a mom-to-be or a woman who wants a better pregnancy experience, I can't reinforce enough the importance of movement and a balanced diet.


Stay tuned. I will be debunking some myths about "eating for two" and sharing my recommendations to approach nutrition smartly in an effortless way.

About the Author

Sharon Reid is the founder of Sharon Online Training.

When she’s not serving her clients, she's juggling between house work, husband, doggies and son (no order of priority here). She calls Dubai her home.