Be sure to take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
- Folic acid is very important because when taken before and during early pregnancy, it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. Our bodies use this B vitamin to make new cells.
Book a visit with your healthcare provider before stopping or starting any medicine.
- If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, now is a great time to start getting ready for pregnancy by talking with your doctor about medications you may be taking.
Become up-to-date with all vaccines, including the flu shot.
- Vaccines help protect you and your baby. Some vaccinations, such as the flu (influenza) vaccine and the Tdap vaccine (adult tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine), are specifically recommended during each pregnancy.
Before you get pregnant, try to reach a healthy weight.
- If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant. Eating healthy foods and being physically active are great ways to prepare for pregnancy.
Boost your health by avoiding harmful substances during pregnancy, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant.
- Tobacco: Smoking during pregnancy can harm the placenta and a developing baby and can cause certain birth defects
- Marijuana: During pregnancy, the chemicals in marijuana (in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) pass through mom to a developing baby, and can harm a baby’s development
- Prescription Opioids: Any type of opioid exposure during pregnancy can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition in which the newborn experiences withdrawal from certain drugs after exposure during pregnancy
- Other Drugs: Using certain drugs during pregnancy can cause health problems for a woman and her developing baby. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and can’t stop using drugs―please ask for help!
National Birth Defects Prevention Month Supplement Special
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