If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is not too early to prepare for a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. You should see your health care provider for preconception care.
Preconception care is care you receive before you get pregnant. Your health care provider can help you figure out which steps you need to take now, such as
- Finding and taking care of any problems that might affect you and your baby later, like diabetes or high blood pressure
- Increasing the amount of folic acid you get to prevent neural tube defects
- Getting up to date on vaccines
- Avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs
- Trying to reach a healthy weight
By taking action on health issues before pregnancy, you can prevent many future problems for yourself and your baby. Once you're pregnant, you'll get prenatal care until your baby is born.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- Planning for Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Planning your pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
- Pre-Pregnancy Care and Prenatal Care (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Preconception Health (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in Spanish
- What Can a Woman Do to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy Before She Gets Pregnant? (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Your Checkup Before Pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Association of Improved Periconception Hemoglobin A1c With Pregnancy Outcomes in Women...
- Article: Improving the health of young African American women in the preconception...
- Article: Preconception Care Program for Women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Using Intervention...
- Preconception Care -- see more articles
- Healthy Sperm: Improving Your Fertility (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Paternal Age: How Does It Affect a Baby? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Preconception Health: Men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Fallopian Tubes: Is Pregnancy Possible with Only One? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Questions to ask your doctor about getting pregnant (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Steps to take before you get pregnant (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish