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Everyone knows it’s important to be healthy if you’re pregnant.
But did you know it’s just as important to get healthy before you even start thinking about having a baby?
The future is in your hands – whether or not you’re in a relationship or even planning to have children, it’s a good idea to take the time to figure out what you want.
A Reproductive Life Plan is a simple statement of how you see your life.
- Do you plan to have children?
- When and how many?
- How far apart?
- How does this affect your professional life?
Here are some things you can do before you decide to have a baby:
Get healthy now – Review these nine questions you should ask your doctor before you get pregnant. Check out this video about a healthy makeover! Make sure you and your partner have been checked and treated for sexually transmitted infections. They can make it harder to get pregnant and can hurt your developing baby.
Get to a healthy weight and stay there – Eating healthy foods is important, but so is eating enough of them and not eating too much. Get help balancing your diet and exercise so that you maintain a healthy BMI.
Manage your stress – Everybody’s got drama in their lives – it’s how you handle it that matters!
Coping with traumatic events can take a long time. This podcast describes the ways big events in our lives can affect our wellbeing.
4% of women are in abusive relationships before pregnancy and 4-8% experience abuse during their pregnancy. Get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
Maybe it’s your family that’s stressing you out. Communicate your needs and your limits and know when you need to step away. Your family should be a source of support that grows with you as you move into motherhood.
Money in the bank – Babies cost money. You feel ready for a baby, but can you support one?
Speaking of green – Folic acid is an important nutrient to build up in your body before you get pregnant. Folic acid is added to our foods like bread and cereal, but lots of us don’t get the 400 micrograms we need every day. It’s a good idea to start taking a multivitamin with folic acid BEFORE you decide to get pregnant.
External links are informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services.