Getting Prepared

Planning to add a new member to your family is an exciting moment.  There are things that you and your partner can do to prepare for a successful and healthy pregnancy.   Here are some ways to prepare your body to nurture a healthy baby.

  • Achieving a normal weight leads to healthy moms and babies.

  • Maintaining adequate exercise and a balanced diet.

  • Avoid excessive caffeinated drinks.  Limit to 1-2 coffee or teas a day.

  • Taking a prenatal vitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid at least three months before trying to conceive.

  • Stop smoking before planning to conceive.  Encourage your partner to also quit to minimize the side effects of second hand smoke.

  • Stop any alcohol and illicit drugs.

  • Test and treat any infections or sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Discontinue any unnecessary medications.  However, check with your doctor before stopping any prescription medication.  In some situations, discontinuing a medication may lead to worsening of certain conditions, which may be more harmful to the pregnancy than the medication’s potential side effects.

  • If you have any chronic medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, or psychiatric conditions, it is best to optimize these conditions before trying to conceive to minimize adverse effects.

  • Proper immunization before conceiving.  Being vaccinated protects you and your child from diseases that can cause serious complications contracted during pregnancy.  Some vaccinations require that you wait a month before you become pregnant to avoid any side effects.

  • Talk to your doctor about genetics screening, particularly if you have a family history of genetics disorder or if you belong to a high-risk ethnicity group.