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.
- Start taking at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day before becoming pregnant to help prevent birth defects.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Make sure that any medical conditions are under control. (e.g., asthma, diabetes, obesity, epilepsy, and others)
- Be sure that your vaccinations are up to date.
- Visit your doctor.
Topics to Discuss With 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
- 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
Ask Our Nurses
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.
Community Wellness Programs & Support Groups
If you or a loved one needs additional pre-pregnancy support, we have a list of services available.