The building blocks for a healthy pregnancy are laid months before conception. If you are thinking about having a baby, preconception care can help you have a healthier pregnancy and healthier baby. It can also help you improve your chances of conceiving.
You should schedule a preconception appointment with your ob-gyn at least three months before you plan to become pregnant. This will give you an opportunity to discuss any health conditions and risk factors that could affect you or your growing baby and give you time to make changes that can benefit you both.
Here are three steps to get you started on the path to a healthy pregnancy:
- Folic acid: folic acid is vital to the development of healthy babies. Start supplementing your diet with 400-800 micrograms of folic acid for three months before getting pregnant and continue through at least the first three months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of brain and spine defects in your baby.
- Proper immunizations: if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, verify that you have been properly vaccinated for certain diseases, such as chicken pox or rubella. It is important to get these vaccinations before becoming pregnant because these diseases can harm a developing baby.
- Healthy behaviors:
having a healthy weight and diet and getting regular physical activity can help both the mother and baby during pregnancy. Avoiding smoking, alcohol or drug use is also important. In addition, certain medications and exposures in the environment can be harmful to your baby, so it is important to avoid them during pregnancy.
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