Preconception Health

Pregnancies Need a Healthy Head Start

If you’re planning a pregnancy, it’s important to understand how some health conditions and risk factors can affect you and your unborn baby. Some chronic conditions and medications can harm a developing baby, and can even damage your eggs before you conceive.

Pre-pregnancy care should begin at least three months before you plan to start trying for a baby. Some women need more time to get their bodies ready for pregnancy. The information below will help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy. 

  1. Start taking at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day before becoming pregnant to help prevent birth defects.
  2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  3. Make sure that any medical conditions are under control. (e.g., asthma, diabetes, obesity, epilepsy, and others)
  4. Be sure that your vaccinations are up to date.
  5. Visit your doctor.


  • Family planning/contraception
  • Folic acid
  • Vaccinations and screenings you may need (pap smear and screenings for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV)
  • Controlling health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, obesity, and oral health issues
  • Medications you use, including all over the counter, herbal, and prescription drugs
  • Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Your partner’s health and any health conditions that run in your partner’s family
  • Issues with any past pregnancies, including preterm labor
  • Family concerns that could affect your health, such as domestic violence or lack of support

Having a baby requires a lot of preparation—from regular doctor visits, to choosing a name, to decorating the nursery—let us help you create a reproductive life plan so you have the happy and healthy pregnancy you deserve. Speak to one of our nurses by calling 1-877-878-8785 and pressing option 2.

Call toll free:  1-877-878-8785 option 2 (TTY 711)