Staying healthy is one of the best ways to lower the risk of having a difficult pregnancy. Many health care providers recommend that women who are thinking about becoming pregnant get evaluated to make sure they are in good preconception health. During pregnancy, there are also steps a woman can take to reduce the risk of certain problems1:
- Take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid (a type of vitamin B) every day before and during pregnancy.
- Get proper immunizations.
- Maintain a healthy weight; eat a good diet; get regular physical exercise; and avoid smoking, alcohol, or drug use.
- Start prenatal care appointments early during pregnancy and visit a health provider for regularly scheduled appointments throughout the pregnancy.
- March of Dimes. (2011). Getting ready for pregnancy. Retrieved August 7, 2012, from http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/getready.html