The building blocks for a healthy pregnancy
If you’re thinking about having a baby, we’re here to help you take the right steps toward a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby – months before you conceive.
We recommend you 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; it also gives you time to make changes that can benefit you both.
Here are three essential ways to get started on the path to a healthy pregnancy:
- Folic acid – Folic acid is vital to the development of a healthy baby. Start supplementing your diet with 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid for three months before getting pregnant; continue throughout the pregnancy as recommended by your ob-gyn to reduce the risk of brain and spine defects in your baby.
- Proper immunizations – If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, ensure 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 – Planning for pregnancy can be a great motivation to improve your health habits; it can provide greater peace of mind to know you’re doing all you can to give your baby a healthy start. Strive for a healthy weight and diet. Exercise regularly, get enough rest and sleep and try to keep stresses to a minimum. Now is a great time to quit smoking; you’ll also want to abstain from alcohol and drug use. Certain medications and exposures in the environment can be harmful to your baby so it is important to avoid them during pregnancy. Speak with your doctor for more information.