Your health has a big impact on conception and pregnancy. If you’re planning to get pregnant, some simple tips can help.
Schedule Preconception Counseling
It’s a good idea to see your doctor at least three months before trying to conceive. During a preconception counseling visit, your doctor will:
- Assess your overall health
- Offer suggestions to help prepare for a healthy pregnancy
- Make sure your vaccines are up to date
- Adjust your prescription medications, if needed
- Help you control any chronic health conditions
At Dignity Health, our team of obstetrics experts are dedicated to providing you all the tools you may need during your childbirth journey, including tips for a healthy pregnancy, in the Bay Area. Find a Doctor online near you and schedule an appointment.
Some chemicals and other substances can cause birth defects or problems during pregnancy. Even common substances, such as bug spray, fertilizer, and cat feces, can be harmful. If you regularly work with chemicals or other harmful substances, talk to your doctor before conception.
Don’t Smoke, Drink, or Use Drugs
To provide the best possible start for your baby, stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs before trying to conceive. The use of these substances can harm your unborn baby and can cause problems during pregnancy, including preterm labor and stillbirth. If you need help quitting any of these activities, talk to your doctor.
Take Folic Acid Daily
Folic acid is a type of B vitamin. Taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid daily can help prevent serious spine and brain birth defects, such as spina bifida. Talk to your doctor about when to start taking folic acid (or a multivitamin containing folic acid) before trying to get pregnant, if possible.
Visit the Dentist
Gum disease has been associated with preterm birth. Have any dental issues treated before pregnancy, and get regular dental cleanings and checkups.
Eat Healthy Foods & Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy diet is important for everyone. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Stay away from prepackaged convenience foods whenever possible. If you are overweight, losing weight before pregnancy may help you avoid health complications, such as gestational diabetes.
Your care team at Dignity Health wants to give you the tools you need to have a healthy pregnancy from day one. Reach out to an OB/GYN today for trusted advice in family planning and pregnancy tips in the Bay Area.
Dignity Health provides complete preconception care, including tips for getting pregnant, in Santa Cruz and Redwood City.