They are also good for every day life as well :)
1) Start exercising, even if it's only for 30 minutes a day, moderate exercise not only increases blood flow but also helps you to stay fit, increases your stamina (really good for during an unexpectedly long labour and also great for those sleepless nights with a newborn), increases oxygenation of your blood and makes you feel better too (once you get past the sore and tiring stage in the beginning anyway lol).
2) Eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet, if you are eating too much reduce your portion sizes and eat more fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. If you are overweight this can also help you to either loose weight or be healthier in general even if you don't lose any weight.
3) Increase your protein intake. Protein is needed to keep your muscles healthy and strong and to help them to grow, the uterus is a bunch of muscles in 3 layers and it needs protein to stay strong and healthy too. This is extremely important if you have previously had surgery involving your uterus, whether it was for a uterine rupture/tear, the removal of a fibroid, a D&C, a previous cesarean section or other uterine surgery.
4) Start drinking red raspberry leaf tea for 6 months prior to trying to become pregnant, not only does it contain trace vitamins and minerals that are very good for you but it also tones the muscles of the uterus which helps the uterus to be stronger and healthier during pregnancy and helps the uterine muscles to be more effective during labour, and the tea also helps to improve digestion of food, the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals and can help reduce the severity of PMT/PMS symptoms. If you don't have any risk factors or prior history of premature labour then you can continue drinking it throughout pregnancy to keep your uterus toned and strong.
5) Do your kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you don't do this already then start doing it now! Your pelvic floor is needed to help your baby move through your pelvis and down the birth canal when you are pushing, and a weak pelvic floor can (not always) result in weak and ineffective pushing which can lead to interventions like forceps or ventouse/vacuum delivery and cesarean section.
6) Research your options for pregnancy and birth, from which doctor/obstetrician who will support you to achieve the birth you want to the hospital you want to deliver at (if you have more than one hospital in your area), pain relief (or lack of it if you decide to go all natural), Doula's, Independant or student Midwives and how you want to give birth eg. at home, in a birthing center, in a hospital, in a birthing pool, in the bath, standing up or sitting down, lying down etc or wherever/whatever else you can think of.
7) Start putting together notes for your birth plan. Don't finish it now as things may change when you are pregnant but you can put together a rough draft of what you want it to be like, type it up on the computer (if you have one) so that you can edit it as things change. This will also help you to find a supportive care provider as you can use it as a guide when asking questions.
8) Start working on your household budget, do up one for your current circumstances, do one for emergency circumstances and do another one for the future taking into account another baby and the expenses involved in caring for another child. If you feel the need to save up some money just in case then implement the future budget and put what you would be spending on another child in future into a savings account (for example the ANZ bank have a Progress Saver account where for every $10+ you deposit one transaction each month without any withdrawals you get 10% interest on that deposit for that month, other banks will have something similar and possibly even better so shop around for the best deal).
9) Plan ahead. This is similar to #7 but for physical/practical things. Start implementing a weekly/fortnightly meal plan if you don't have one already. Do a weekly bulk cook up - spend one day a week cooking up 7 days worth of meals, this will save you time, especially once you are pregnant or have a newborn, and once you are pregnant you can then cook extra and freeze it for a later date (really good for when you get home from hospital and are too tired or too busy with your new baby to cook). Also start putting together lists of the things you will need for a new baby, if it has been a few years since you last had a baby or you haven't had a baby yet this can be really helpful, you can start buying a few things in the lead up to trying to get pregnant, a few packs of wipes (they are also great for wiping up spills and cleaning bench tops), some baby socks, some blankets, sheets, wraps etc, you can also start pricing car seats, prams, nursery furniture and nappies (disposable or cloth) and this will help you to find out what you really want/need and if you write it all down now you can compare prices when you are pregnant and know if you are getting real value for money.
10) Take some time out for you. Whether this is just time to read a good book, a massage, manicure/pedicure etc, it is essential that you are happy and stress free when you are trying for a baby. This extends to pregnancy and labour, and post birth as well. Oxytocin is the happy hormone, it is also the predominant thing that kick starts dilation and labour and gets contractions going, and it also starts breastmilk production (baby is the other thing, if baby isn't ready to be born and isn't releasing the birth/labour hormones then labour won't start without medical intervention). A happy mum also makes a happy baby as they pick up on our moods and react to them accordingly, so start working on things that make you happy and stress free now so that you have plenty of practice for once you are pregnant and after baby is here.
11) Research, Research, Research. I can't stress how important this is, and I have mentioned it subtly in the above points. Whether it is the prices of baby items or the method of birth you would like always do your research. If a doctor tells you something during pregnancy that concerns/worries you then research it and get 2nd/3rd/4th opinions until you are 100% satisfied that there are no other options or that you have chosen the right option. Medical professionals aren't God's, they are human and they don't know everything, and like any human they can and will use their personal opinions to influence you to do something that you wouldn't otherwise do, most notably in women who have had a previous cesarean and are thinking of having a VBAC the "dead baby" card is often brought into play to scare women into having a repeat cesarean, and in women with gestational diabetes the "big baby" card is thrown around and those mums are told that their babies will be too big for them to push out their vagina which means an early induction before baby is ready or a cesarean. Not only are these two things wrong in general but they also go against current evidence based research and ACOG and WHO guidelines. Women have birthed big babies (10 pounds +) for millennia with few or no complications, so why in this day and age is it more dangerous to deliver a larger baby than a small baby vaginally? This is why you need to research, and also why you need to research labour and birthing positions if you are given the "big baby" card.
I hope this post has been helpful. Feel free to share it.
Student Birth Doula