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Family planning tips

Are you thinking about having a baby? There are some things you can do now to improve your odds of becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. Get your baby's life started on the best foot possible by following these family planning tips.

Family PlanningSchedule a preconception visit

Talk to your OB/GYN doctor about your family history and any particular pregnancy concerns it may raise. That discussion will help you be proactive in your health and potential screening tests. This visit also gives you a chance to discuss your lifestyle and changes that you should make to help with a healthy pregnancy.

Four more things to do before getting pregnant

  1. Start taking a prenatal vitamin: You can get a prescription from your doctor or buy them over the counter.
  2. Give up unhealthy habits: now is the time to stop smoking, stop any recreational drug use and stop drinking.
  3. Watch your diet: a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and low-fat calcium is important. You should also cut back on caffeine intake. There are also certain types of foods that doctors recommend staying away from during and before pregnancy.
  4. Begin an exercise program: talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is best for you. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days each week. A brisk walk, lap swimming or pregnancy yoga are all excellent choices of exercise.

What pregnant women & parents should know about eating fish from the FDA

Concerned about infertility?

Becoming pregnant isn't always easy and the time between trying and actually conceiving varies between couples and even between pregnancies. Infertility is defined as not being able to conceive after a full year of trying. If you have been having regular, unprotected sex for 12 months and not been able to conceive, make an appointment with your doctor. Infertility issues can be caused by either (or both) male or female factors.

Learn more about pre-pregnancy concerns in our health library.

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TOPICS: OB/GYN, Women's Health