Your health has a big impact on conception and pregnancy. If you’re planning to get pregnant, these tips can help:
Get Preconception Counseling
Schedule a preconception counseling visit with your doctor at least three months before you plan to get pregnant. During your visit, your healthcare provider will assess your overall health and offer suggestions to help you improve your health and well-being, so your body is prepared for a healthy pregnancy. Your provider will help you:
- Get any chronic health conditions under control
- Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date
- Adjust your prescription medications, if needed
If you are planning to try to get pregnant, make a preconception counseling appointment with Dignity Health. We understand that women have unique health and wellness needs. Our women’s health care team can help you create a strategy and birth plan for a healthy and happy pregnancy. If you would like to learn more about preconception counseling in Arizona, Find a Doctor online.
Eat Healthy Foods & Maintain a Healthy Weight
Steer away from prepackaged convenience foods whenever possible. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. If you are overweight, losing weight before conception may help you avoid health complications in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes.
Stop Drinking, Smoking, & Using Drugs
To provide the best possible start for your baby, stop drinking alcohol, smoking, and using drugs before trying to conceive. Alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and street drugs can cause complications during pregnancy, including preterm labor and stillbirth. They can also harm an unborn baby. Need help quitting? Talk to your health care provider about smoking cessation resources.
If you regularly work with chemicals or other harmful substances, talk to your healthcare provider before conception. Many chemicals and other substances are known to cause birth defects or problems during pregnancy. Even common substances, such as bug spray, fertilizer, and cat feces, can be harmful. Together, you and your health care provider can develop a plan to minimize your exposure.
Take Folic Acid Daily
Start taking folic acid (o)r a multivitamin containing folic acid at least one month before trying to get pregnant, if possible. Taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid, a type of B vitamin, daily can help prevent serious spine and brain birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Visit the Dentist
Gum disease has been associated with preterm birth. Get your teeth cleaned and checked, and have any dental issues treated before pregnancy, if possible.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology care to help you get pregnant in Arizona.