What can I do to improve my chances having a healthy baby?

  1. See your doctor for a periconception visit.
  2. Don't drink alcohol before and during pregnancy.
  3. Don't smoke before and during pregnancy.
  4. Talk to your doctor if you take medications to make sure they are safe.
  5. Take a daily supplement which includes enough folic acid. The current recommendation for women of childbearing age is to take a daily supplement containing at least 0.6 mg of folic acid, in addition to consuming foods naturally rich in folic acid. Folic acid is naturally contained in leafy green vegetables, dried beans, liver and some citrus fruits.
  6. Improve your weight to be at the optimal BMI between 20 and 25. Check your BMI HERE.
  7. Limit your caffeine consumption to about 1-2 cups of coffee.
  8. Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need.
  9. Choose foods high in starch and fiber. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet: eat and drink at least 4 servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day, choose at least one source each of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and folic acid every day.
  10. Exercise regularly. Review your exercise program with your health care provider. Generally, you may continue your normal exercise routine throughout pregnancy unless you are instructed to decrease or modify your activities.
  11. In addition, be sure to obtain prenatal care, especially early in your pregnancy. The first eight weeks are especially critical in your baby's development. Early and regular prenatal care (health care during pregnancy) can increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
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