Thursday, June 8, 2017

Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy

Planning for a healthy baby begins long before you actually get pregnant. When you are ready to have a baby, the CDC recommends the following:

Talk with your doctor. Discuss your health history and how to control any health conditions you might have that could impact a pregnancy. Your doctor will review any previous pregnancy difficulties you might have experienced, medicines you are taking and vaccinations you should get.

Boost your folic acid intake. It’s important to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily at least one month before and throughout your pregnancy. This B vitamin can help prevent major brain and spine birth defects.

Quit smoking and drinking. Cigarettes and alcohol, as well as drugs, can cause difficulties for you and your baby, including premature birth, birth defects and infant death.

Steer clear of harmful chemicals. Substances such as synthetic chemicals, metals, fertilizer, bug spray and cat or rodent feces can hurt male and female reproductive systems. This can make it harder to conceive and can cause health problems for children.

Manage your weight. Overweight or obese women have a higher risk for serious medical conditions, including pregnancy complications. Being underweight can also increase your health risks.

Know your family tree. For example, if you have a relative with a heart defect or sickle-cell disease, tell your doctor. You might be referred for genetic counseling.
Ease your mind. Talk with your doctor and discuss mental health treatment options if you persistently feel worried, anxious, sad or stressed.

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