What Is Prenatal Care Before Pregnancy?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-QA-enHD-AR1.gifWhat should women who are planning a pregnancy do before they conceive? Find out here.pregnancy, trying to get pregnant, pregnancy precautions, health precautions, prepare for pregnancy, preparing for pregnancy,safe pregnancy, healthy pregnancy, folic acid, birth defects, smoking, alcohol, trying to conceive, want to have a baby, healthy pregnancy, spina bifida, preventing birth defects06/09/200609/24/201809/24/2018Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD09/17/2018656cb0b7-ed14-41c8-9be7-4b8c1cbfc7f1https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/precautions.html/<p><em>I think we're ready to start a family! What should I know about health care before I get pregnant?</em><br /><em>– Skyler</em></p> <p>Ideally, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-pregnancy.html/">prenatal care</a> should start before a woman gets pregnant. If you're planning a pregnancy, see your health care provider for a complete checkup. Routine testing can make sure you're in good health and that you don't have any illnesses or other conditions that could affect your <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/pregnancy-center.html/">pregnancy</a>. If you've been having any unusual symptoms, this is a good time to report them.</p> <p>If you're already being treated for a chronic condition — such as diabetes, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-basics.html/">asthma</a>, h<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypertension.html/">igh blood pressure</a>, a heart problem, allergies, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lupus.html/">lupus</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depression</a>, or another condition — talk to your doctor about whether it could affect a pregnancy.</p> <p>You may need to change or stop some medicines — especially during the first trimester (12 weeks) — to reduce risk to the fetus. Or, you may need to be even more careful about managing your condition. For example, women with diabetes must take extra care to keep their blood sugar levels under control — both before they try to conceive and during pregnancy.</p> <p>This is also a good time to talk with your health care provider about any habits that could be a risk to your baby, such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-alcohol.html/">drinking alcohol</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-smoking.html/">smoking</a>.</p> <p>Ask about taking a prenatal vitamin that has <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-folic-acid.html/">folic acid</a>, calcium, and iron. It's especially important for women who plan to become pregnant to take vitamins with folic acid because neural tube defects (problems with the development of the spine and nervous system) happen in the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she's pregnant.</p> <p>If you or your partner have a family history of a genetic disorder and think either of you may be a carrier, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetics.html/">genetic testing</a> may be wise. Talk this over with your health care provider, who can refer you to a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetic-counseling.html/">genetic counselor</a> if necessary.</p> <p>It's also a good idea to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Start cutting back on <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-caffeine.html/">caffeine</a>.</li> <li>Eat a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/moms-nutrients.html/">balanced, healthy</a> diet.</li> <li><a class="kh_anchor">Exercise</a> regularly.</li> </ul> <p>Also, make sure your immunizations are up to date and get your annual <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/flu-vaccine-good.html/">flu shot</a>.</p> <p>If you find out that you're pregnant before you do all of this, don't worry. It's not too late to get the care that you and your baby need.</p>
10 Things That Might Surprise You About Being PregnantHere are 10 common surprises that can come with pregnancy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy.html/69d2735f-ba99-483c-baa7-9dd859fca057
A Week-by-Week Pregnancy CalendarOur week-by-week illustrated pregnancy calendar is a detailed guide to all the changes taking place in your baby - and in you!https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-calendar-intro.html/f08368e4-e28d-4773-a168-306afac33137
Eating During PregnancyTo eat well during pregnancy, your extra calories should come from nutritious foods that contribute to your baby's growth and development.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-pregnancy.html/d1bea4f3-86e5-4b49-80c3-45c58c1d0fd4
Exercising During PregnancyMost women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to make a few changes to your normal exercise routine.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercising-pregnancy.html/0a251bbd-332e-4bcd-b36a-dd4d12e27ca4
Folic Acid and PregnancyOne of the most important things you can do to help prevent serious birth defects in your baby is to get enough folic acid every day - especially before conception and during early pregnancy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preg-folic-acid.html/08795631-a35f-4ff0-b855-ec8af80b7b0c
Medical Care During PregnancyThe sooner in pregnancy good care begins, the better for the health of both moms and their babies. Here's what to expect.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-pregnancy.html/697236c0-1f7e-4c28-bfc6-39ccf8ae2624
Pregnancy & Newborn CenterAdvice and information for expectant and new parents.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/pregnancy-center.html/c58d014a-89a3-4c90-8b54-c9cadf5d6016
Pregnancy Precautions: FAQsMoms-to-be have a lot of questions about what's safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can - and can't - do before your baby arrives.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-precautions.html/a5ee5bb7-1d8e-4553-b7bb-cec3f26960c6
Pregnant or Breastfeeding? Nutrients You NeedLearn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/moms-nutrients.html/5186a8b0-6ccd-4a91-b897-4a71a77c503d
Prenatal Genetic CounselingGenetic counselors work with people who are either planning to have a baby or are pregnant to determine whether they carry the genes for certain inherited disorders. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetic-counseling.html/ce3b2896-0a32-4c87-aa11-b2a7da9d790b
kh:age-NAkh:clinicalDesignation-obgynkh:genre-qAndAkh:primaryClinicalDesignation-obgynPregnancy & Infants Q&Ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/question/infants/1f888b1d-d0e9-48bd-b6e9-ab3bed0a9eb7