Healthy Habits Are Key to Health Pregnancy

Not all birth defects can be prevented. But a woman can increase her chances of having a healthy pregnancy by adopting healthy behaviors, even before becoming pregnant. This is important because many birth defects happen very early during pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. 1 in 33 babies is born with a major birth defect in the US.

7 Ways to Prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy

  1. Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin B, folic acid every day before and during pregnancy.
  2. Avoid alcohol at any time during pregnancy, especially in excess.
  3. Don’t smoke.
  4. Talk to a healthcare provider about taking any medicine, both prescription and over-the-counter.
  5. Keep health conditions like diabetes under control.
  6. Eat a healthy diet and work to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  7. See a healthcare professional regularly.

Increasing awareness of these steps offers hope for reducing the number of birth defects in the United States. Pregnancy is an exciting time! But it also can be stressful. Knowing that you are doing all that you can to get ready for pregnancy, staying healthy during pregnancy, and giving your baby a healthy start will help you to have peace of mind.

ACOG recommendations for preparing for pregnancy:

  • See your doctor before becoming pregnant.
  • Know your risk factors.
  • Take a daily multivitamin before and during pregnancy.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Use medications wisely.
  • Take care of medical conditions before pregnancy.
  • Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Prevent infections.
  • Avoid known harmful agents.

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