Are you thinking about having a baby? If the answer is yes, then now is the time to start planning and preparing. What you and your partner do to get ready even before you get pregnant will help your baby get the best start possible.
Did you know that almost half of all pregnancies are not planned. Many women do not even realize they are pregnant when the fetus is most vulnerable to outside factors. The 2 to 8 weeks after conception (fertilization) is when most of the baby’s organs and central nervous system are developing. You can prepare for pregnancy:
Physically – Healthy parents tend to have healthy babies. So taking folic acid before you conceive, eating nutritious foods, getting enough exercise, rest and avoiding harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco are especially important if you’re thinking about having a baby. You also should visit your health care provider for a preconception visit.
Emotionally – Be sure that you are committed to becoming a parent. This means being able to handle the responsibilities of caring for and nurturing a baby. It also means providing guidance and love throughout your child’s developing years.
Financially – Unfortunately, diapers aren’t free, and babies don’t come with their own bank accounts. It’s best to start planning as early as possible for the extra costs of having children.
If you are planning to get pregnant, you should see your doctor. This allows the doctor to detect and treat any health problems that might pose a risk to the health of a pregnancy.
To learn more about how to stay healthy before pregnancy, click on any of the topics listed.
- Get a Head Start
- Heads Up Lifestyle Quiz
- Heads Up...for a healthy lifestyle
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Preconception