You’ve made the decision to have a baby — congratulations! But don’t wait for that bump to appear before you start preparing for your little one. Begin planning now.
If possible, consult your obstetrician before you conceive. Discuss your family medical history, past or current health problems, medications you’re currently taking, and any issues with previous pregnancies. Your doctor can also provide valuable pre-conception health and wellness information to put you on the path to a healthy pregnancy.
Also talk to your partner and about your parenting ideas — working versus stay-at-home arrangements, thoughts on education, methods of discipline. Not to worry if your ideas differ. There’s plenty of time to make those decisions and find that middle ground. The important thing is to get the dialogue going.
Prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy Today
- Don’t forget the folic acid: Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Healthcare professionals agree that women should start taking 400mg of folic acid per day at least a month before trying to conceive to decrease your baby’s risk.
- Start moving: If you don’t exercise, now’s the perfect time to begin — even something as simple as walking three to four times a week. Keep it up while you’re pregnant and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy; you’ll benefit from healthy weight gain and less swelling and back pain.
- Breathe clean: Exposure to toxins such as pesticides and everyday household cleansers can harm the reproductive systems of both men and women and potentially lead to birth defects. Avoid cleansers containing ammonia, chlorine and strong fragrances. Opt for natural cleansers or try making your own.
- Eat enough for two, but not too much: Make sure you’re eating enough of the right things. Talk to your doctor to design an individualized eating plan with enough calories to sustain a pregnancy. Maintain a healthy weight now and during pregnancy. Don’t let the occasional sweet indulgence derail your healthy eating goals.