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Planning for pregnancy

Womens Health > Planning for pregnancy

Deciding to start a family is a very important, as well as life changing decision. Once you know that you will be emotionally and financially ready, you will also need to make sure that you will be physically ready.

A doctor can provide a pre-pregnancy exam to identify and address any problems and help you plan for the healthiest pregnancy possible. Ask friends, relatives and referral services for doctor recommendations. As you choose, have in mind a list of qualities you would value in an obstetrician or midwife. Your relationship with your healthcare professional can be a significantly positive or negative factor throughout your pregnancy.

In addition to a physical, your pre-pregnancy plan should include:

Working toward your ideal weight.

Making necessary dietary changes such as increasing fruits and vegetables and decreasing high fat selections.

Beginning or maintaining a moderate exercise plan, such as regular, brisk walking.

Beginning a smoking cessation program (if you smoke).

Your doctor may recommend multivitamins or pre-natal vitamins.

If you are using birth control pills or a similar method it is a good idea to discontinue use to allow your body time to adjust. You can use a condom or another barrier method until you are ready to conceive.

Conception occurs when an egg released through one of your fallopian tubes encounters sperm. Eggs are released during ovulation, which occurs once each month. Chart your cycle to pinpoint your fertile days. The fertilized egg is implanted in the lining of your uterus. When you are not pregnant the lining is shed during menstruation.

If you do not become pregnant immediately, do not assume all is lost. Conception can depend on a number of factors and often takes many months of trying. If you do not conceive within six to twelve months, talk with your healthcare professional for advice.

Womens Health > Planning for pregnancy