You plan for school, work, holidays and even your retirement. What about your baby? Babies begin to develop even before you know you are pregnant. This means that the time to prepare for your baby’s health is before you get pregnant.
Things to consider when planning a pregnancy:
- Folic Acid: Every person who could become pregnant should take a daily multivitamin supplement which has 0.4mg of folic acid.
- Healthy Eating: Making it a habit to eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods, will help build healthy sperm and eggs.
- Active Living: Be physically active for 150 minutes of heart pumping, moderate-to-high intensity physical activity a week. Just as important though, is looking at your movement throughout the whole day. This includes the amount of time spent on screens and sitting as well as getting enough sleep.
- Immunization: Look at your immunization record before pregnancy. There are some vaccines that you cannot receive while pregnant. Planning ahead allows you get up to date on vaccinations before becoming pregnant.
- Oral Health: Visiting a dentist before pregnancy is helpful to address any dental health issues. Serious dental health issues may lead to having a baby that is born too early.
- Mental Health: Being well means taking care of both your physical and mental health. Caring for your overall health is important as you plan a pregnancy.
- Alcohol, Tobacco and Cannabis: Avoiding the use of these substances is the safest choice when planning a pregnancy. If you would like help to reduce or stop substance use, ask your health care provider for information and support.
A reproductive life plan is a tool that can help you make decisions about if and when you are ready to have a baby. By answering questions in the plan, you can prepare for pregnancy and parenting.
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