Preconception Healthcare: Planning for Pregnancy
Preconception health care is the medical care a woman or man receives from the doctor or other health professionals that focuses on the parts of health that have been shown to increase the chance of having a healthy baby.
Preconception health is important for every woman―not just those planning pregnancy. It means taking control and choosing healthy habits. It means living well, being healthy, and feeling good about your life.
Preconception health care is different for every person, depending on his or her individual health―ask us about it!
Planning for pregnancy:
Make a plan and take action
See your doctor
Take 400 micrograms of Folic acid every day
Stop drinking alcohol, smoking and using certain drugs
Avoid toxic substances and environmental contaminants
Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Learn your family medical history
Get mentally healthy
Get help for violence
Your doctor will want to discuss your health history and any medical conditions you currently have that could affect a pregnancy, any previous pregnancy problems, medicines that you currently are taking, vaccinations that you might need, and steps you can take before pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects.
Avoid harmful chemicals, environmental contaminants, and other toxic substances such as synthetic chemicals, metals, fertilizer, bug spray, and cat or rodent feces around the home and in the workplace.
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon). People who are underweight are also at risk for serious health problems.
Collecting your family’s health history can be important for your child’s health. Your doctor may recommend you or your spouse consider genetic counseling before getting pregnant. Reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, trouble getting pregnant (infertility), or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.
Mental health is how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. To be at your best, you need to feel good about your life and value yourself. Everyone feels worried, anxious, sad, or stressed sometimes. However, if these feelings do not go away and they interfere with your daily life, talk to your doctor.
Violence can lead to injury and death among women at any stage of life, including during pregnancy. The number of violent deaths experienced by women tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with lifelong physical and emotional scars.If someone is violent toward you or you are violent toward your loved ones―get help. Violence destroys relationships and families.