Preconception care is is the self care you do before planning to get pregnant. Sometimes ( 50 % of the time) pregnancies are unplanned. But ideally they are planned. I surveyed several of the best authoritative sites I could find and combined their best suggestions into a master list for you.
1. Review your life plan. Wow ! Who knew the CDC ( Center for Disease Control ) concerned themselves with such things. They have even provided a handy checklist HERE. Alternatively, make your own checklist. Include your partner. Factor in things like finances, education and career.
2. Do a Toxin Evaluation - UCSF ( University of California at San Francisco) has produced a great toxin evaluation checklist HERE. This deals with basic things like having your water tested for lead or other contaminants, and less basic things like workplace hazards. Avoid common toxins like pesticides, herbicides and potential sources of toxoplasmosis such as cat or rodent litter.
3. See your doctor.
- Evaluate your supplements with the assistance of your doctor.
- Start your Prenatal Vitamins (PNV) , which should include at least 800 mcg of folic acid to prevent birth defects in the brain and spine of the baby. Start PNV 3 months ahead of time since these problems occur in the first 28 days after conception, before many women realize they are pregnant.
- Evaluate your medications, and adjust them for pregnancy.
- Talk about any needs to stop smoking, using drugs, or drinking alcohol.
- Get up to date on your Gynecology care: Screen for sexually transmitted infections and get up to date on your Pap smear.
- Discuss how to properly transition off of your birth control.
- Discuss how to optimize your nutrition and your fitness.
- Discuss plans for any mental health issues.
4. Optimize your nutrition.
5. Get in good physical shape.
6. Identify and get help for any domestic violence issues.
7. Get your relationships in good shape. Seek couples counseling if needed.
Additional reading :
ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists