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Your body has a 9-month job to perform when you are pregnant. If you are planning on having a baby soon, these simple steps will help ensure a healthy baby.

Reach a Healthy Weight

It may be more difficult to get pregnant if you are overweight or underweight. Your weight can affect whether or not your ovaries release eggs each month. You are also more likely to develop certain health issues during pregnancy like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.

If you are overweight or lose weight before trying to have a baby, you could be more likely to get pregnant. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits are key. Don’t be afraid to lose weight if you are very overweight. Even a small loss of weight can make a big difference.

Vitamins are important

Prenatal vitamins are important before you become pregnant. Why? Because most likely, you won’t know you’re pregnant until your period is over. This is usually several weeks after your baby begins to grow. You may not get the protection you need if you wait too long before you start taking vitamins.

Each day, take at least 400 micrograms folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects in the brain and spine of your baby. Iron is also found in prenatal vitamins, which is good news for you both. Iron helps to grow your baby’s muscles and prevents anemia (a condition where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells). Calcium is essential for the bones, muscles, nerves and heart of mother and child.

Ask your doctor before you begin taking any supplements.

Consider Chemicals

Pesticides, solvents and fertilizers can make it more difficult to get pregnant, or may cause harm to your baby after conception. You should think about what chemicals might be in your home and workplace. Talk to your doctor about which substances are safe and which ones you should avoid. Ask your employer if your job requires you to be near radiation, mercury, lead or other dangerous substances.

Consult Your Doctor

Your OB/GYN will check your health and discuss any medical conditions. Your diet, exercise, as well as other habits, will be discussed. They will prescribe prenatal vitamins, and ensure that you are up-to-date on all your vaccines.

You should consult your doctor if you have any health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or seizure disorder. You might be advised by your doctor to take care of your health before you attempt to have a child. They might recommend that you switch to a safer drug if you are taking medication. Your doctor may not allow you to stop taking your medication.

Quit Bad Habits

You should stop using tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana before trying to conceive. Before you know it, you could endanger your baby.

Talk to your doctor if you need assistance with quitting smoking and drinking. You can find programs that will make this process a lot easier.

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