Your health plays a big role in conception and pregnancy. If you’re planning to get pregnant, the pregnancy health tips below can help.
At Dignity Health Southern California hospitals, our specialized team of obstetrics specialists and nurses are committed to the health of you and your baby — from conception to delivery and beyond. Find a Doctor for advice and tips on having a healthy pregnancy in South California.
Stay away from chemicals and other substances that are known to cause birth defects or other health problems. Even common substances, such as fertilizer, bug spray, and cat feces, can be harmful. If you work with chemicals or other harmful substances, schedule a family planning appointment with your doctor before getting pregnant.
Avoid Drinking, Smoking, & Drugs
Cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs can cause serious problems during pregnancy, including preterm labor and stillbirth. To provide the best possible start for your baby, stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs before trying to conceive.
Take Folic Acid Every Day
Taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid, a type of vitamin B, daily can help prevent serious spine and brain birth defects such as spina bifida. If possible, start taking folic acid or a multivitamin containing folic acid at least one month before trying to get pregnant.
Schedule Preconception Counseling
It’s a good idea to see your doctor at least three months before you try conceiving. During a preconception counseling visit, your doctor will assess your overall health and offer suggestions to help you improve your health and well-being. That way, your body will be as healthy as possible for pregnancy. Your doctor will adjust your prescription medications, if needed; make sure your vaccines are up to date; and help you get any chronic health conditions under control.
Maintain a Healthy Weight & Eat Healthy Foods
A healthy diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats helps your body work well. Stay away from prepackaged convenience foods whenever possible. If you are overweight, losing weight before conception may help you avoid health complications in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes.
Visit the Dentist
Gum disease has been associated with preterm birth. Get your teeth cleaned and checked, and seek treatment for any dental issues before pregnancy, if possible.
At Dignity Health Southern California hospitals, with locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and the Inland Empire, including urgent care in Fontana and Highland, our care team will do everything they can to help you have the most healthy pregnancy possible.
The dedicated doctors at Dignity Health specialize in pregnancy health in Southern California.