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Planning for Baby

Prepregnancy Checklist


Updated May 16, 2014

A pregnant woman knitting at home
Kohei Hara/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Planning to get pregnant is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your baby. By actively pursuing good health, proper nutrition and removing potential harm from your life before conceiving you can increase your chances of a health pregnancy and a healthy baby. Here are some suggestions.

  • Have a preconception check up. This includes finding a practitioner before you get pregnant.


  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin, with folic acid.


  • Begin eliminating hazards from your life (chemicals, x-rays, etc.).


  • Discontinue smoking, caffeine and alcohol.


  • Discuss birth control use until you're ready to conceive.


  • Learn about the conception process and how to get pregnant.


  • Have a health insurance "check up." Does your insurance need revamping before baby?


  • Have your partner join you in a road to good health, including diet and exercise.


  • Become aware of families you know and their lives.

About half of all pregnancies are unplanned. By planning your pregnancy, you get a jump start on a whole host of things. This includes a potentially shorter time to get pregnant, a healthier pregnancy, fewer complications and painful symptoms, as well as time to think about what all of your options are for your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.

Remember to bring your partner into this time as well. Their health is just as important to the health of the family as is yours.

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