5 things you should know about prenatal care

Prenatal care is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby while pregnant. These quick tips will start your child’s life out happy and healthy before they are even born.

Important parts of prenatal care

Go to the doctor early and regularly

If you know you are pregnant or think you could be the first thing to do is schedule a visit with your doctor. They will spot any health problems in mothers and babies and be able to treat any health complications during pregnancy.

Start taking folic acid everyday

Ideally women should start taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid three months prior to getting pregnant. This will reduce your risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. A folic acid vitamin is the best and most efficient way to ensure you’re getting enough in your diet.

Get any medical conditions under control

Health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and many more should be under control before you start trying to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor about ways to control these conditions and what you can expect during pregnancy.

Make sure your vaccinations are up to date

When going to your doctor to prepare your body for pregnancy, ask about any vaccinations that will need to be updated within the next year. These should be completed before trying to get pregnant.

Stop smoking and drinking alcohol

Alcohol and nicotine can be very harmful to your baby. Give yourself enough time to quit and regain a healthy body before trying to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting and for useful resources.

Last reviewed: 
May 2016

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