Pre-pregnancy planning

If you suspect that now is the right time to start or add to your family, hold on just a moment. With a little planning, you can get your pregnancy – and your baby – off to a great start.

When you are as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant, your baby has the best chance of growing healthy and strong. Read on to see how these simple steps can help you create a healthy, nourishing environment for you and your baby, even before you conceive.
  • Folic acid: Pregnant moms need extra folic acid in their diets to help reduce your baby's risk of being born with birth defects of the brain and spine. This is especially critical in the first weeks of pregnancy. Start taking high quality prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of this B vitamin before you plan to conceive.
     
  • Healthy weight: Everyone knows that pregnant moms gain weight during the nine-month miracle. But many hopeful parents don't know that it is important for mom to achieve a healthy weight before becoming pregnant. Being over- or underweight can cause complications in your pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthful diet before pregnancy can give your baby the best chance at healthy development.
     
  • Eliminate alcohol and tobacco: Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause a host of birth defects. Give your baby the best chance for good health by cutting out smoking and drinking before conception. Speak with your doctor if you need support in quitting.
     
  • Preconception visit: Schedule a preconception visit with your doctor to make sure you are in the best possible health for pregnancy. In addition to discussing diet, exercise, and supplements, your doctor can address any health concerns, chronic diseases, or medications that may impact your pregnancy.
Want even more information? Visit Pondering Pregnancy to learn about our Pregnancy 101: Pondering Pregnancy class or request a Pondering Pregnancy DVD. You can also visit our Birth Center Resources page for additional resources.