Is motherhood calling your name? If you’re thinking about having a baby, it’s just as important to care for yourself now as it is when you’re pregnant.
We can help with your preconception planning. Take these healthy steps to help reduce risks for you and your baby.
Schedule a pre-pregnancy exam
When you decide you want to grow your family, set up a pre-pregnancy appointment to:
- Go over your personal and family medical history
- Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date
- Discuss whether you’re interested in genetic testing
- Screen for infections such as sexually transmitted diseases or a urinary tract infection
If your doctor or midwife finds something that could add risk to a pregnancy, they can treat the condition or refer you to one of our specialists for counseling or more specialized care.
Find an OB-GYN or midwife.
Take specific steps now to reduce complications during pregnancy:
Eat a balanced diet
Old habits die hard, so if you have a sweet tooth, it’s time to practice replacing your favorite desserts with healthier options, such as fruit or yogurt.
Good nutrition is not only good for you, but also helps nourish a growing fetus.
Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
No, this doesn’t mean you need to train for a triathlon! If you’re active, your doctor or midwife may encourage you to begin or maintain an exercise program as long as it’s safe for you and your baby.
If exercise isn’t your “thing,” walking is a good way to start.
Manage any medical conditions
Before getting pregnant, talk with your doctor to make sure conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure are under control.
Take 400 mg of folic acid daily
Folic acid is a form of folate, which can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects, or defects of the brain and spinal cord. While there is folate in fortified foods, it’s good to supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid one month before you get pregnant.
Have someone else change the cat litter
Cat feces may contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which can cause serious birth defects and even fetal death. Ask someone else clean up after your cat to avoid potential exposure.
Get a more detailed preconception checklist.
Could I have a fertility problem?
When your heart is set on starting a family but things aren’t going according to plan, you might be wondering if there’s something wrong.
Nearly 11 percent of American couples experience problems conceiving, but before you throw in the towel, our fertility experts can help by finding and addressing any underlying health problems you may have and guide you toward a solution that works for you.
Learn more about your family-building options.