Gearing up for a healthy pregnancy
The following are some suggestions by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield on what to do before you become pregnant to guard against birth defects and to help ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy.
Visit with your health care providers. See your doctor for an exam, ask if you need any immunizations and try to get any health problems you may have under control. Ask your health care provider if any of the prescription/over-the-counter medicines and/or dietary supplements you may be taking are safe for pregnancy. Don’t forget to take care of any dental work you may need.
Take folic acid. Take a vitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid can help reduce the chances that your baby will have a major birth defect (such as spina bifida) by 50 percent to 70 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You can also start your day with a bowl of cereal that includes 100 percent of your daily value of folic acid. Click HERE for a list by the CDC of cereals that meet this criteria. Folic acid is also included in foods such as grains and pasta.
Eat a healthful diet. Stock up on nutritious foods (fruits; vegetables; proteins such as chicken, fish and dried beans; grains; and dairy) and avoid those that are high in fat and sugar.
Get fit. Being strong and healthy will help you better handle the pregnancy and childbirth. (It’ll also help improve your mood!)
Avoid alcohol. You don’t want to risk complications such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Don’t use illegal drugs, stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
For more information, go to:
- Facts about folic acid