Preparing for Pregnancy
Remember: As soon as you know you are pregnant, get regular prenatal care.
Even before you become pregnant, your health matters to your future baby. Adopt good health habits today. And take care of any medical problems you have before becoming pregnant.
Things to Consider
Read through the list below. The more items that describe you, the healthier you may be.
I limit the amount of fat I eat.
I keep physically active.
I have my health problems under control.
My weight is about right.
I don’t smoke.
I don’t use recreational drugs.
I don’t have a drinking problem.
Think about the following:
Who will help you through pregnancy and with childcare?
Do you have health insurance?
Do you have the money needed to cover childcare and other day-to-day child expenses?
Will you be able to take the time you need away from your job for maternity needs and childcare?
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Each of the following tips can improve your health as you prepare for pregnancy:
Take a daily vitamin supplement that contains folic acid (a vitamin that reduces the chance of some birth defects) and iron.
Eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Exercise 3 or more times a week.
Get within 15 pounds of your ideal weight.
The first weeks of pregnancy are the most important time in a baby’s development. Before you become pregnant:
Don’t use recreational drugs.
Don’t drink alcohol.
Working with Your Health Care Provider
Your health care provider can help answer any questions you may have. Do you know when to stop taking birth control pills? Are any over-the-counter medicines safe for pregnant women? You can also ask about special care you may need if you have any of the following:
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as herpes or chlamydia
High blood pressure
Other chronic health problems