Center for Women's Health

125 Inverness Dr E, Suite 210
Englewood, CO 80112
303.755.0120

 

Countdown to a Healthy Pregnancy

3 Months in Advance

 

  • Stop smoking!
  • Start prenatal vitamins with at least 400 micro-grams (mcgs) of folic acid. This B vitamin can reduce the risk of major birth defects affecting the spine and brain by as much as 70 percent. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/173_15354.asp
  • Start the regular exercise program that you will maintain during your pregnancy. We don’t recommend starting training after you conceive.
  • Increase your vegetable and fruit intake to at least 5 servings/day to prevent constipation and maximize your body’s store of nutrients
  • Start gum care and regular flossing to prevent pregnancy complications like preterm labor/See your dentist to get dental x-rays done if needed
  • See your gynecologist for a pap smear and to discuss any pregnancy risk factors
  • Talk to your family to get a history of any genetic problems that may affect your child
  • Investigate your work’s policies on doctor’s appointments, maternity leave and parenting leave
  • Make sure that your health insurance covers pregnancy, delivery and newborn care
  • Check your commitments from mate, family and friends to support you during pregnancy and after the baby comes
  • Lose or gain weight to get close to your ideal body weight. Women who were overweight or obese before they became pregnant had an approximately 18 percent increased risk of having a baby with certain heart defects compared with women who were of normal body mass index (BMI) before they became pregnant.  Severely obese women had approximately a 30 percent increased risk, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So close to your ideal body weight before you get pregnant, especially because dieting during pregnancy is discouraged.
  • Improve your fertility by getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • Get a rubella vaccine if you are not already immune

2 Months in Advance

 

  • Stop your birth control pills
  • Have your IUD removed
  • Double-check your blood pressure if you have hypertension
  • Tightly control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
  • Talk to your doctor about which prescription medications should be avoided during pregnancy

4 Weeks in Advance

 

  • Consider fertility tracking like basal body temperatures or ovulation predictor kits
  • Reduce your exercise to 5 hours/week
  • Get your pets ready for change--correct bad habits now
  • Get a pertussis (whooping cough) booster
  • Read a pregnancy classic like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”
  • Review our list of Over-the-counter Medications to Avoid
  • Start closely tracking the first day of your periods and record them

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Our Providers

Asela C. Russell, MD
Leslie T. Scariano, MD
Grace M. Holub, MD
Heather Fitzler, MD

Phone: 303-755-0120
Fax: 303-309-6509
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Links

Center for Women:
Blog
Referrals
Center for Wellness MD

Hospitals:
Parker Adventist Hospital
Skyridge Medical Center
Castle Rock Adventist Hospital

Health:
American Heart Association
ACOG.net
WebMD
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