If you are trying to have a baby or even just thinking about it, it's never too early to start getting ready for pregnancy. There are things you can focus on before and between pregnancies to increase the chances of having a healthy baby. For some women, getting their body ready for pregnancy takes a few months. For other women, it might take longer. Regardless of whether you're preparing for your first pregnancy or if you've had several children already, here are some things you can do to be the best you can be:
- See Your Doctor -- Before getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about preconception health care. Your doctor will want to discuss your health history and any medical conditions you currently have that could affect a pregnancy. He or she also will discuss any previous pregnancy problems, medicines that you currently are taking, vaccinations that you might need, and steps you can take before pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects.
- Take 400 Micrograms of Folic Acid Every Day -- Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least 1 month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.
- Stop Drinking Alcohol, Smoking, and Using Street Drugs -- Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using street drugs can cause many problems during pregnancy for a woman and her baby, such as premature birth, birth defects, and infant death.
- Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight --People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your doctor about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
- Get Mentally Healthy -- To be at your best, you need to feel good about your life and value yourself. Everyone feels worried, anxious, sad, or stressed sometimes. However, if these feelings do not go away and they interfere with your daily life, get help. Talk with your doctor or another health professional about your feelings and treatment options.
- Have a Healthy Pregnancy -- Once you are pregnant, be sure to keep up all your new healthy habits and see your doctor regularly throughout pregnancy for prenatal care.
Talk to any of our doctors if you are considering becoming pregnant. Our team is here to help with all of you women's health and pregnancy needs!