Preparing for Pregnancy
Preparing for Pregnancy
GET YOUR BODY 'BABY-READY'
If you've made the decision to conceive, make sure you prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. We're here to help you along your journey! Here's your first to-do list you'll want to check off as you prepare for your pregnancy. Here's another great website to check out as you get your body baby-ready.
STOCK UP ON PRENATAL VITAMINS LIKE FOLIC ACID
Yes, you should start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid even before you’re pregnant. The CDC suggests taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for at least one month prior to pregnancy and at least three months into pregnancy. Folic acid is a key nutrient in the development of a healthy fetus. Check with your doctor to make sure you get comprehensive vitamins that include everything you need like B-complex vitamins, zinc, and iron, among others.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that you establish healthy habits. Get enough sleep, quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol, exercise regularly and try to reduce stress. You want to be sure that your body can function at its best to support the healthy development of the fetus. Making healthy choices can help lessen your chances of infertility, birth defects, or other complications.
PROTECT YOURSELF. GET IMMUNIZED.
Make sure your immunizations are up to date. Immunizations not only protect you from infectious disease but benefit baby, too. Immunity can be passed to him or her from mom. The March of Dimes recommends waiting at least one month after an immunization before trying to get pregnant.
CHECK THINGS OUT
Schedule a preconception health check up with your doctor since some health conditions and lifestyle choices may affect the development of a healthy fetus. Preconception counseling will ensure that you are healthy before you conceive. The doctor will perform a pelvic exam, review your medical history including any prior and existing medical conditions, and discuss any questions you may have.
REEVALUATE YOUR MEDICATIONS
This one is best left to your doctor. While some prescriptions and over the counter medications are all right to continue in small doses, others can be extremely harmful to a developing fetus. ALWAYS consult your doctor. He or she will be able to confirm which medications are safe to continue using and which can be harmful.
TESTING FOR GENETIC DISEASES
Genetic testing will allow your doctor to evaluate family patterns in health and screen for these issues in a patient. Sometimes, screening is beneficial for your partner as well. This can prevent serious genetic disorders from being passed on. Consult your doctor or genetic counselor to help determine if these tests are necessary.