Healthy Body, Healthy Pregnancy

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Before trying to get pregnant, you should try to be as healthy as possible. In fact, most doctors will recommend that you make an appointment with your obstetrician before you’re pregnant.

At this preconception visit, you’ll talk about existing health problems and get screened for genetic diseases. You can also address other health concerns you might have.

Your doctor might recommend that you make lifestyle changes before you get pregnant. These might include:

  • Getting to a healthy weight
  • Improving diet/exercise habits
  • Eliminating alcohol
  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke
  • Cutting back on caffeine

If you drink a lot of coffee or soda, it may be helpful to begin cutting back now. Current recommendations are to limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. This is equivalent to a 12-ounce cup of coffee.

You should also start taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day as soon as you decide to start trying to conceive. This is to reduce the risk of certain birth defects.

When to get help

Most healthy couples will conceive within a year of actively trying to get pregnant. If you don’t get pregnant within a year and are under age 35, you should see your doctor for a fertility evaluation.

If you’re over 35, you should only wait six months before seeing a doctor.

Couples should also see a fertility specialist if they have a history of multiple miscarriages or know that they have a genetic or medical condition that might affect their fertility.


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