5 Things You Can Do To Prepare For A Healthy Pregnancy

5 Things You Can Do To Prepare For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy and prenatal care are important for delivering a healthy baby. During the first trimester, prenatal care includes physical exams, blood tests, conversations about lifestyle and much more.

Keep in mind, a healthy pregnancy is rooted in good health before you are even carrying a baby. Before you get pregnant, consider your preconception health. It’s good to prep your body for a healthy pregnancy. Preconception preparation usually starts three months before getting pregnant.

Here are five steps you can take to prepare for a healthy pregnancy from the Office on Women's Health

  1. Be sure your medical conditions are under control
  2. Take 400 to 800 mg of folic acid every day for three months
  3. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials
  4. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  5. Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter or prescription medications

It doesn't matter if this is your first pregnancy or your third, early prenatal care is a critical part of every healthy pregnancy. Selecting a doctor to coordinate your care is a big decision. You can use our Provider Finder® to see care providers and hospitals that specialize in maternity care.

Whether you choose a family doctor, obstetrician, midwife or group prenatal care, here's what you can expect during the first few prenatal appointments.

Your First Doctor’s Visit

As soon as you think you're pregnant, schedule your first prenatal appointment. You and your health care provider have plenty to discuss. You may want to include your partner in the appointment, but only if that makes you comfortable.

You can expect your doctor to cover the basics, says the Mayo Clinic

  • Conduct a physical exam
  • Review of your medical history
  • Screen for fetal abnormalities
  • Note the date of your last menstrual cycle
  • Collect blood and urine samples for lab work
  • Talk about lifestyle issues
Things to Remember When You’re Pregnant
  • Tell your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking. This includes herbal and dietary supplements.
  • Avoid really hot baths or use of hot tubs or saunas.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Also drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t eat uncooked or undercooked meats or fish high in mercury. Always clean, cook and store food properly.

Your health and your baby’s health is very important. See your doctor regularly and follow his or her advice to make sure you’re both ready for the big day.

Sources: Pregnancy Week by Week,   Mayo Clinic, 2020.  Prenatal Care,   Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019.

Originally published 11/30/2015; Revised 2021

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