We hear an awful lot about the things that you should and shouldn’t do in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Yet, we often don’t hear very much about what you should do before you get pregnant to insure that your pregnancy is a happy and healthy one.
According to the Florida Department of Health’s Baby Steps program, there are a number of things that you need to be doing right from the time that you decide to become pregnant to help both you and your baby.
Here are some things the Florida Department of Health wants you to know:
- If you’re sexually active and of childbearing age, you can get pregnant. This is something you should already know, but it’s also a reminder that birth control methods aren’t 100% effective (although some come pretty close to 100%). How you live your life – even when you’re not planning on becoming pregnant – could affect your baby if you do become pregnant.
- Regular medical checkups are important. You need to be in contact with your health care provider on at least a yearly basis, not only to identify any potential problems that could occur if you decide to get pregnant but to check up on your own health. As well
- Dental checkups are a must, also. You might not know it, but something as simple as gum disease has actually been linked to premature delivery and babies of low birthweight.
- Exercise and diet will help both you and your baby. Exercise helps to protect you from being overweight or obese. These conditions can lead to pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and even miscarriage. Once you’re pregnant, there are plenty of exercise routines that are healthy and safe, including swimming, walking, yoga and more.
- Smoking can harm your baby before you know you’re pregnant. You know smoking can lead to cancer and that smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby, but even smoking during those first weeks of pregnancy – often before you realize you’re pregnant – can cause severe problems with your baby, as well.
If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, making lifestyle changes now can make your pregnancy a much smoother and happier one.