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Before Pregnancy

If you’re thinking about having a baby, it’s important for both you and your partner to be in the best health, physically and emotionally. Your health will affect your baby’s health, so use the following guide to begin giving your baby the best care now.

 

Preparing Physically

  • Choose a physician and have a preconception checkup.
  • Have a dental checkup: Have any special dental work done before you become pregnant.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoid Infections: Wash your hands well with soap and water after using the bathroom, handling food products such as raw meats and vegetables, gardening, and outdoor cats and their litter boxes. Don’t visit where others are sick. Have sex only with your partner.
  • Avoid Hazards: Avoid hazardous chemicals both at work and home. If you have an older home, have both the water and paint tested for lead. Avoid strong smelling cleaners, chemicals, and paint. Wear a face mask and gloves; work in a well ventilated area if you must use such products.

 

Preparing Emotionally

  • Raising a child can be tough work, that’s why it is important to prepare yourself emotionally for the challenges ahead.
  • Consider why you want to have a baby and how a child will affect your future career/education/goals.
  • Discuss with your partner the values and beliefs you wish to teach your children so that any differences in opinion will be easier to handle in the future. Recognizing these challenges now will make your transition into parenthood easier.

 

The importance of reducing stress

 

Preconception can be frustrating and stressful. Getting pregnant doesn’t always happen as quickly as expected, however it is important to stay calm and reduce anxiety. Stress before and during a pregnancy can increase your risk of preterm labor, low birth weight, and possibly a miscarriage. Physical exercise, good nutrition, breathing exercises, and meditation are good ways to reduce stress.

 

Preparing Financially

 

Planning ahead will prevent many financial obstacles in the future.