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5 Things You Can Do To Prepare For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy and prenatal care are closely linked to healthy pregnancy. During the first trimester, prenatal care includes physical exams, blood tests, conversations about lifestyle and much more. Pregnancy is a process. But before you get pregnant, you should consider preconception health. This is when you start prepping your body for a healthy pregnancy. Preconception preparation usually starts 3 months before getting pregnant.

5 actions you can take to prepare for a healthy pregnancy:

  1. Be sure your medical conditions are under control
  2. Take 400 to 800 mg of Folic Acid daily for 3 months before pregnancy
  3. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials
  4. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  5. Talk to your physician about any over-the-counter or prescription medications

Even if it is your third or first pregnancy, early prenatal care is a critical part of a healthy pregnancy. Selecting a doctor to coordinate your care during, before and during pregnancy is a big decision. You can use Provider Finder ® to see providers and hospitals that specialize in maternity care. Whether you choose a family physician, obstetrician, midwife or group prenatal care, here's what to expect during the first few prenatal appointments.

Your first prenatal doctors visit
As soon as you think you're pregnant, schedule your first prenatal appointment. You and your health care provider have plenty to discuss! Set aside enough time for the visit. You may want to include your partner in the appointment as well, but only if that makes you comfortable.

What you can expect:

  • Physical exam
  • Review of your medical history
  • Screening tests for fetal abnormalities
  • Share the date of your last menstrual cycle
  • Blood and urine samples collected for lab work
  • Lifestyle issues

Some things to remember when you’re pregnant

  • Talk to your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking. This includes herbal and dietary supplements.
  • Don’t take very hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Also drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t eat uncooked or undercooked meats or fish high in mercury. Always clean, cook and store food properly.

Your health and your baby’s health is very important. The best way to make sure you’re both ready for the big day is to see your doctor regularly and follow his orders.

REFERENCES:
Pregnancy week by week
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882

Prenatal Care
http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.pdf

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