5 Things You Can Do To Prepare For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy and prenatal care go hand in hand. During the first trimester, prenatal care includes blood tests, a physical exam, conversations about lifestyle and more. But before pregnancy, you should think about preconception health. This is when you start preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy, usually 3 months before getting pregnant.

5 important things to do to prepare for a healthy pregnancy:

  1. Take 400 to 800 mg of Folic Acid daily for 3 months before pregnancy
  2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  3. Be sure your medical conditions are under control
  4. Talk to your physician about any over-the-counter or prescription medications
  5. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials

Even if it’s your first or third pregnancy, early prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Choosing a doctor to coordinate your care during, before and during pregnancy is a big decision. Whether you choose a family physician, obstetrician, midwife or group prenatal care, here's what to expect during the first few prenatal appointments.

Your first prenatal doctors visit
As soon as you think you're pregnant, schedule your first prenatal appointment. Set aside enough time for the visit. You and your health care provider have plenty to discuss! You might want to include your partner in the appointment as well.

What to expect:

  • Review of your medical history
  • Share the date of your last menstrual cycle
  • Physical exam
  • Blood and urine samples collected for lab work
  • Lifestyle issues
  • Screening tests for fetal abnormalities

A few things to remember when you’re pregnant

  • Talk to your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking. This includes herbal and dietary supplements.
  • 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.
  • Don’t take very hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.

Your health and your baby’s health is top priority. The best way to make sure you’re both ready for the big day is to see your doctor regularly and follow his orders.

REFERENCES:
Pregnancy week by week
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882

Prenatal Care
http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.pdf

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