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A Healthy Beginning for Pregnancy

Why managing your health, your weight, and your habits is so important before conception.

A Healthy Pregnancy: The Right Steps continued...

Other vaccines like tetanus or hepatitis B shots can be given during pregnancy. In fact, women who will be in their second or third trimesters during the flu season should get flu shots. Your doctor can help you figure out what vaccines you need and when it's safe to get them.

Stress reduction: It is not fully understood, but the cortisol hormone that the body releases during times of stress seems to make conception more difficult, says Graves. "Stress is difficult to avoid, but exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and developing a good support system can help reduce stress."

If you've stayed true to a healthy lifestyle over the years, it can translate into a healthy pregnancy -- especially helpful if you're past the "prime" fertility years, says Graves.

Reviewed on March 16, 2009

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