What is preconceptional care and why is it important?
Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Getting early and regular preconceptional care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy. This care can begin even before pregnancy with a preconception care visit to a health care provider.
A preconception care visit can help women take steps for a safe and healthy pregnancy before they get pregnant.
Women can help to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth of a healthy infant by taking the following steps before they become pregnant
- Develop a plan for their reproductive life.
- Increase their daily intake of folic acid (one of the B vitamins) to at least 400 micrograms.
- Make sure their immunizations are up to date.
- Control diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.
- Attain a healthy weight.
- Learn about their family health history and that of their partner.
- Seek help for depression or anxiety.