Preparing for a Pregnancy: 3 Steps for Staying Healthy

Preparing for a Pregnancy: 3 Steps for Staying Healthy

You may not be planning to have another baby right now. But there are some simple, commonsense steps you can take to prepare for a pregnancy when you are ready. Find out what to do.

Maybe you’re considering becoming pregnant for the first time, or perhaps thinking about what it would be like to have another baby in the house.

Steps you take now will help you protect your health — as well as that of your unborn child — when and if you do decide to get pregnant.

Step One: Take a Multivitamin

The trick is to take one that contains 400 mcg of folic acid. Folic acid is one of the B vitamins so important for fetal growth and development. And it's best to get plenty of it even before you are pregnant, either as part of a multivitamin or as a separate preparation.

Step Two: See Your Health Care Provider

Schedule a preconception visit. This kind of visit — remember, you're not pregnant at this point — focuses on your overall health and wellbeing as it relates to pregnancy. Your provider may check that you are up-do-date on shots such as rubella (German measles) and Pertussis (whooping cough).

Also during a preconception visit, your health care provider should review any medications you take routinely. She may adjust dosages or even prescribe different medications to take into account the possibility of a pregnancy.

You may need to see whether you are anemic or have thyroid problems, which can bring on a fatigue you may have attributed to the effort of keeping up with a toddler.

Step Three: See Your Dentist

Complex dental procedures add infection risks to a pregnancy, so get those pearly whites cleaned and tuned up now so your oral health is at its best.

These three steps, as well as exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, are the best way to be sure you're ready for any pregnancy — planned or not.

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