Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy
It’s never too early to start preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy. Even if you have already given birth before, every pregnancy is different—and you should be prioritizing yourself and your health as much as you can when you’re expecting.
›› See your doctor. Before you begin trying for a baby, it’s important to discuss a few things with your doctor, including: current or past medical conditions, your lifestyle and behaviors and your vaccination status. Ask them about any vitamins you should be taking.
›› Start taking vitamins. Prenatal vitamins, typically taken in the month leading up to pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of being pregnant, can ensure the health of you and your baby during a stressful time on your body. Common prenatal vitamins include folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D.
›› Stop smoking, taking drugs and/or drinking alcohol. Any of these behaviors can cause problems during a pregnancy, including preterm birth or infant death.
›› Learn your family history. Your family health history could give you and your doctor important information on what to expect for your own pregnancy. Difficulties during pregnancy can be genetic, and the more knowledge you have the better you can prepare for any complications by optimizing your lifestyle and care plan.
›› Prioritize your mental wellness. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health—especially when you’re preparing to have a child. While it’s completely normal to feel anxious, stressed or sad sometimes, if you feel overwhelmed by negative feelings or if they do not subside after a few days, it’s important to speak with a doctor to get help. They may offer useful methods for coping or other treatment options.This is a paid partnership between March of Dimes and Philadelphia Magazine