Even though you're not pregnant yet, you might already be thinking about which room to turn into the baby's room and how to decorate it. And you might be making lists of all the baby clothes and supplies that you'll need.
But it's also a good time to take some steps to help yourself have a happy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Now more than ever, it's smart to get regular exercise, eat healthy
foods, and drink plenty of water, as well as to reduce or stop drinking
caffeine. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. When possible, avoid using
medicines, including over-the-counter medicines. Always talk to your doctor first before you stop or start any medicines.
If you are not sure when you are most likely to get pregnant (when you are fertile), use the Interactive Tool: When Are You Most Fertile?
If you haven't yet chosen a health
professional for pregnancy, childbirth, and after-birth (postpartum) care, give
some thought to your many options. For more information, see
Choosing Your Health Professional for Pregnancy Care.
If you use an intrauterine device (IUD), arrange to have it removed.
If you have been taking the Pill (oral contraception) or using birth control shots (such as Depo-Provera), try to wait until you've had your
first full menstrual period before you try to conceive. This may take up to 1
Keep track of your menstrual periods
Understanding how pregnancy occurs and using fertility awareness can help increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Keep track of your menstrual cycle and when you have sexual
intercourse. This information will help in figuring out your due date and your
gestational age after you become pregnant.
Talk to your doctor about your medicines
Before trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about any
medicines or dietary supplements you are taking. You and your doctor may decide that it's best to stop taking the medicine, to take a different medicine, or to keep taking it.
Cut out junk food, and eat a balanced diet. Pregnancy is not the time
to lose weight. If you want to lose weight, do it before becoming pregnant.
Don't go on a crash diet, because you may end up with a nutritional deficiency
that could be harmful to you or the baby.
Take a daily vitamin-mineral supplement. Taking a
supplement with 0.4 mg to 0.8 mg (400 mcg to 800 mcg) of folic acidbefore becoming pregnant
reduces the chance of having a baby with a
neural tube defect.
- If you have a family history of
neural tube defects, have had a previous infant with a neural tube defect, or
are on medicines to prevent seizures, take a daily supplement containing
4 mg (4000 mcg) of folic acid.
You also need other vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, for your
health and that of your baby.