When you find out you’re expecting, there is a whole slew of things you likely decide to clean up in your diet and personal habits. You give up the triple espresso lattes for a less caffeinated jolt. You make sure to get in those daily prenatal vitamins. You avoid situations in which you would be exposed to a lot of second-hand smoke. You’re more thoughtful about your diet.

But ideally, these changes and others should be made when you first start considering growing your family. Putting healthy habits into practice before you conceive can give you better peace of mind during your pregnancy and is better for your baby. And if you’re considering growing your family through adoption, you’ll want to be in the best physical health you can be when the adoption is final so that you can keep up with your new baby.

Altrua HealthShare has memberships that include sharing in eligible maternity and adoption costs (please note that the State of Texas does not allow for adoption cost sharing). Maternity cost sharing with Altrua HealthShare allows you to select an OB/GYN or a midwife as your healthcare provider during your pregnancy. If you’re currently a Member of Altrua HealthShare and want to determine if your membership includes maternity or adoption sharing, you can contact Member Services about your membership. If you’re not currently an Altrua HealthShare Member and are considering joining, a Member Services Representative can help you determine what membership is right for you and will be able to explain waiting period requirements and eligibility. 

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3-4

As you begin thinking about growing your family, check out these ideas that can help you be at your healthiest:

Schedule a preconception checkup: Schedule a physical to identify any areas in your physical health that need to be addressed before trying for a baby. You’ll also receive helpful guidance on nutrition, supplementation, any changes you need to make to your lifestyle, and other help as you begin the journey to parenthood.

Also schedule some time for counseling: It’s natural to focus on the physical impact of conception and pregnancy. But what about your emotional health and the health of your marriage? If you’re an Altrua HealthShare Member on certain memberships, you have access to LifeWorks, a counseling service that can help you in a variety of ways. Schedule some time with a counselor to make sure your relationship with your spouse is strong. Schedule some time for yourself as you prepare for how parenthood will challenge and change you. Consider a few sessions to get coaching on your finances before you take on the additional costs of a growing family. These are all things you can work on with a LifeWorks coach and are included at no additional cost on certain Altrua HealthShare memberships. If you’re not sure if your level of membership with Altrua HealthShare includes LifeWorks, or if you’re not yet a Member and want to make sure you sign up for a membership that gives you access to LifeWorks, you can contact Member Services for more information. 

Maximize your healthy lifestyle: Staying away from tobacco, managing your stress, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, these are all things that are important for mom and dad. We often focus on the health habits of the mom when it comes to a healthy pregnancy, but dad’s health and habits also play an important role. If you have areas where you need additional help to get healthy before conception, work with your healthcare provider to put together strategies that help you stay in peak health before conception, during pregnancy, and on into parenthood. And if you’re an Altrua HealthShare Member on certain memberships, you have access to the Altrua HealthShare App. The Altrua HealthShare App can help you set and keep important health goals and also gives you access to equipment and rewards for achieving your best health! 

Read, learn, educate: There is a lot to be learned about conception and pregnancy. And like never before, you have access to excellent resources to help you better understand menstrual cycles, ovulation, and your fertility window. Knowing how your body works can help you maximize your chances of conceiving. 

Your road to parenthood is as unique as you! Take the time with your healthcare provider to understand how your body works and how you can best support your physical and emotional health on your road to pregnancy or adoption.