Lakeview Health System
Planning for Pregnancy
Planning for your baby

  • Take a folic acid supplement of 800 mcg (0.8 mg) to prevent birth defects (a regular multivitamin has 400 mcg and any prenatal vitamin will have 600-1000 micrograms).
  • Make an appointment for an annual exam or preconception visit with a provider who could care for you in pregnancy. This is a good way to meet the provider in advance and do some health screening before pregnancy. This may include lab tests for anemia, infections, cancer (Pap test), genetic diseases or immunity to infections. Vaccines for flu, chicken pox, hepatitis and rubella (German measles) are available. Bring a list of medications and supplements you take so that your health care provider can review with you which are safe in pregnancy.
  • Think about your finances in advance. Review your benefits at work (for instance how is family medical leave handled — will you get paid or unpaid time off?
  • Eat a healthy diet. (Include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables every day! Not only do they have necessary nutrients, but pregnancy is constipating and the fiber will help)
  • Get in the habit of staying well hydrated — bring a water bottle with you wherever you go.
  • Exercise 30 minutes per day. If you are close to your optimal weight before pregnancy, you are more likely to have a healthy baby and you will feel better about the weight that you gain during pregnancy. Women who maintain an exercise routine have less depression, more comfortable third trimester, an easier labor and quicker recovery time.
  • Avoid alcohol in the month you plan to conceive. Quit smoking in the 3 months before conceiving to decrease your risk of miscarriage. Start by not smoking in the house or car.
  • Limit caffeine intake to 100mg or less to increase fertility. 100 mg = 16 oz of regular coffee, a 2 ounce espresso shot, 16 oz green or black tea, or 2 cans of soda pop.
  • Visit the dentist. This way you will avoid exposure to x-rays during pregnancy. Cavities (mini-infections) can decrease fertility and could be filled before pregnancy. Your gums are more likely to bleed in pregnancy so get them checked in advance.
  • When am I fertile? When you are feeling the sexiest (about 14 days before you period starts.) You can also use ovulation predictor tests. Write down the first day of each period. This will help you figure out how long your cycles are and will help you determine your due date once you are pregnant.