Preconception Suggestions

September 8, 2011

Just about everyone knows to eat right and exercise during pregnancy, but those thinking about or actively trying to conceive have a few steps they can take to give that future baby the best start in life!


  • take a vitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid.  The best prevention of birth defects happens when the body has adequate levels of folic acid 3 months prior to conception!


  • Cut back or eliminate known toxic habits like smoking and alcohol


  • Consider your weight.  Those who are under- or over-weight will often have more difficulty conceiving, and may be more likely to experience special health issues during pregnancy.  Strive for a body mass index


between 19-25.  But if you have a long way to go, don’t give up!  Even a 5-10 # weight change can improve your health and reduce the chances of things like diabetes and high blood pressure, and since there’s no dieting during pregnancy, now’s your chance!  However, exercise can and should continue for most pregnant women.


  • Schedule a health maintainance visit with your doctor or midwife now.  If you can improve upon anemia now, have your Pap smear before pregnancy, and identify any health concerns early, you will have less to worry about when the pregnancy test is positive, and you may give your baby an early boost.  This is also a great time to ask your doctor or midwife some questions to help you decide if their style of care is a good match for how you’d like to birth.  Some ways to make that decision:


It might seem too early to ask about birth care when you’re not yet pregnant, but if you can identify a mismatch now, you won’t have to go through a change of care providers in the middle of pregnancy.  Just because someone does a gentle Pap smear doesn’t mean they will support your wishes around your pregnancy and birth. Find out now!