Prenatal Care: Talking to Your Doctor

Preconception care can improve your chances of becoming pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy, and delivering a healthy baby. Here is a helpful checklist of the things you should discuss with your doctor if you are considering becoming pregnant:

Family planning and choices for birth control.

Taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day as this helps lower the risks of birth defects.

Vaccines and screenings, such as a Pap test and tests for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Managing existing health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, obesity, depression, eating disorders, and asthma. Find out how pregnancy may affect, or be affected by health problems you have.
Medicines you use, including over-the-counter, herbal, and prescription drugs and supplements.

Ways to improve your overall health, such as reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, being physically active, caring for your teeth and gums, reducing stress, not smoking, and avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs.

How to avoid illness.

Avoiding hazards in your workplace or home that could harm you or your baby, including contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infection. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

Health problems that run in your family or in your partner’s family.

Problems you have had with prior pregnancies, including preterm birth.

Family concerns that could affect your health, such as domestic violence or lack of support.

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