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
- Good Health Before Pregnancy: Preconception Care (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Also in Spanish
- Planning for Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Planning your pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
- Preconception Care and Prenatal Care (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? (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Higher Pregnancy Weight Tied to Raised Odds for Birth Defects (06/15/2017, HealthDay)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Your Checkup Before Pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
- Before You're Pregnant - Methylmercury (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- Facts about Folic Acid (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Getting Ready for Pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
- My Reproductive Life Plan (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Vitamins and Other Nutrients during Pregnancy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Women of Size and Pregnancy (American College of Nurse-Midwives) - PDF
Statistics and Research
- Pregnancy and Healthy Weight (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Impact of preconceptional micronutrient supplementation on maternal mental health during...
- Article: Strategies for Preventing HIV Infection Among HIV-Uninfected Women Attempting Conception...
- Article: Committee Opinion No. 693: Counseling About Genetic Testing and Communication...
- Preconception Care -- see more articles
- Fallopian Tubes: Is Pregnancy Possible with Only One? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)