What Should I Stop Doing Before Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
What should I stop doing before pregnancy?
Making these 12 lifestyle changes can help you prepare for pregnancy and increase your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Most women understand the need to see a doctor or midwife and make lifestyle modifications while pregnant. However, it is crucial to begin making certain lifestyle adjustments before becoming pregnant.

These measures will assist you in preparing yourself and your body for pregnancy and will increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

Here are 12 things that you should stop doing before pregnancy.

12 things to stop doing before pregnancy

  1. Stop contraception: You must give up on all sorts of contraceptive use and indulge in unprotected sex with your partner to get pregnant. When you quit using various contraceptive methods, such as male and female condoms, caps, diaphragm, and natural family planning, your monthly cycles and fertility will not be altered. However, your cycles alter with the use of hormonal contraceptives including pills and injections. It may take some time for your monthly cycles to return to normal after discontinuing the contraception. Although there is no reason why you can't start trying for a baby right away, some women choose to wait a few months to re-establish their normal cycles, start taking folic acid and thoroughly prepare their bodies.
  2. Don’t overdo it: Many couples believe that having sex every day is essential while attempting to conceive for any period. Sex is frequently viewed as a duty rather than a personal, pleasurable action shared by two people who adore one other. Stress from feeling forced to have sex, such as other pressures, might interfere with conception. During your reproductive window, most doctors recommend having sex every other day.
  3. Avoid excessive exercise: You may be tempted to exercise more than the prescribed amount because being in shape is one of the most critical things you can do to ensure your success when trying to conceive. This can overstress your body and alter your period pattern, postponing or even eliminating ovulation.
  4. Quit alcohol: Alcohol is a harmful substance that can cause various defects in the fetus. Even in modest doses, alcohol can damage a developing fetus (unborn baby). Drinking alcohol while pregnant can result in long-term difficulties for your kid, including intellectual handicaps, behavioral challenges, cognitive disabilities, and facial and heart deformities.
  5. Quit smoking and substance abuse: According to studies, tobacco usage may affect your fertility and reduce your partner's sperm count. Smoking is harmful to unborn infants and increases your child's risk of health problems later in life. Smoking will make it more difficult for you to get pregnant. Drugs not prescribed by a doctor (including illicit drugs) can be hazardous to your health at any time in your life. Using illicit substances while pregnant might lead to major complications. These medications have a high potential for addiction. They can increase the likelihood of miscarriage and poor birth weight.
  6. Your partner should give up substance use: Your male partner should abstain from dangerous substances before you try to get pregnant. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs can disrupt a man's sperm cells and harm the fetus. During pregnancy, your spouse and anybody else residing with you should not smoke in your presence. Secondhand smoking might expose your fetus to harmful substances. Secondhand smoking has been related to an increased incidence of sudden infant death syndrome.
  7. Avoid exposure to toxic substances and radiation: If your occupation demands exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation, you must completely understand what type of chemicals you are being exposed to. Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, or chemicals such as pesticides or solvents, and radiation from machines can be harmful to the developing fetus. You must relocate your workspace from such locations, and if it is not possible, you can opt for a leave until a successful pregnancy and birth of your child. Always inform your doctor before going for an imaging test if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
  8. Avoid certain foods to get pregnant: Some foods can harm your chances of conceiving for both men and women. Such foods include:
    • Processed meat: Processed meat contains nitrates and trans fats that cause inflammation in the body. It can negatively affect fertility in both men and women. The count of healthy sperm in men reduces, and ovulatory dysfunction may occur in women.
    • Caffeine: Caffeine interferes with estrogen production and other reproductive hormones. This can affect ovulation, the amount of time a woman is fertile and other components of the menstrual cycle.
    • Refined carbohydrates and sugars: Intake of high-sugary foods such as sweets or sodas and refined carbs have been linked to reduced fertility. These foods are known to reduce the quality of semen and cause male infertility. High toxins present in these foods cause inflammation and harm the cells that line the uterus and prevent healthy pregnancy. Sugary drinks have been related to polycystic ovary syndrome—a significant cause of infertility.
    • Raw foods: You may be surprised to learn that some vegetables and fruits should be avoided in their raw form if you are attempting to conceive. Most raw sprouts, such as moong, radish, and others, may contain germs that might harm your health. Eating fresh, well-cooked organic foods is always a better choice when it comes to increasing your chances of conception.
    • Fish: With water pollution at an all-time high, some types of fish have been found to contain a high amount of mercury, which is toxic to health. To gain the advantages of fish, you should restrict your consumption and adhere to certain varieties such as salmon, cod, or shrimp.
  9. Reduce stress: Avoiding stress and caring for your mental health can lead to a better pregnancy. Make time to do activities that you like and that relax you. You are free to enjoy your sexuality. Sex or masturbation can help relieve stress and anxiety, and many women experience increased sex drive during pregnancy. If you want to have sex during your pregnancy, it's entirely natural and healthy as long as your doctor doesn’t advise you otherwise.
  10. Stop certain medications: Certain drugs that you take regularly such as antibiotics, antidiabetic drugs, and some antiacne medications can affect your baby's health, whereas some drugs can affect your fertility. If you're attempting to conceive, you should talk to your doctor about switching to more baby-friendly choices before getting pregnant.
  11. Don’t alter your weight drastically: You have a lesser probability of becoming pregnant if you weigh too much or too little. Either of these conditions can result in disturbed ovulation or irregular menstrual periods. Weight changes can sometimes induce fluctuations in hormone levels, which can lead to infertility. Your objective should be to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. Experts recommend that expectant mothers strive for a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9. Obesity increases your risk of the following:
  12. Stop using lubricants: Certain lubricants contain chemicals that affect sperm motility and ultimately affect your chances of conceiving. However, the use of a fertility-friendly lubricant is safe when trying to conceive because they are pH-balanced to mimic your body's natural lubrication while not interfering with your partner's sperm.


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Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Planning for Pregnancy: https://www.cdc.gov/preconception/planning.html

Take Care of Yourself Before Pregnancy: https://familydoctor.org/take-care-pregnancy/

Should I change my lifestyle when I am planning a pregnancy? https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/pregnancy/pre-pregnancy-health/should-i-change-my-lifestyle-when-i-am-planning-pregnancy