Healthy Pregnancy

Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy

Family planning isn’t just about birth control and preventing pregnancy. Family planning clinics help women and men protect their health, decide if or when they want children (or more children), and plan for a healthy pregnancy when they are ready.

Do You Have a Reproductive Life Plan?

Family planning providers and many doctors recommend that women and men who want to achieve or prevent a pregnancy consider making a reproductive life plan.

Things to Think About:

  • Life goals, like school, job or career, and where you want to be in five years.

  • Whether you want to have children or more children.

    • If so, when and what do you want your life to be like?

  • What steps would help you reach your goals?

    • Using birth control until you are ready

    • Getting regular check-ups

    • Planning for pregnancy when you are ready

For more information about reproductive life planning, talk to your family planning provider or doctor, or go to: http://showyourlovetoday.com/

 What is Preconception Health?

Preconception health refers to the health of women and men during the years when they can have a baby. It focuses on taking steps now to get and stay healthy. Being healthy benefits everyone, and is especially important for the health of a future baby, if an unplanned pregnancy happens. Since almost half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, supporting the health of women and men of childbearing age is a goal for family planning and other health care providers.

What is Preconception Health Care?

Talking with a family planning provider or doctor about your pregnancy goals, your health, and lifestyle before you get pregnant will help you get off to a healthy start. A preconception health visit includes the following:

  • A discussion of your goals and desired timing for having a baby
  • A health assessment or screening to identify any risks or concerns
  • Education and/or counseling to address any identified needs
  • Referrals for any needed follow-up care

The following topics may be addressed at your preconception health visit:

  • Medical History
  • Reproductive Life Plan
  • Diet/Nutrition
  • Tobacco Use
  • Use of Folic Acid
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Use
  • Exercise
  • Sexually Transmited Infections (STIs)
  • Height, Weight, and Body Mass Index
  • Emotional Health
  • Immunizations
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Use of Medications
  • Birth Control Needs
  • Dental Health
  • Chronic Illness

 

For more information about preconception health, go to: http://www.michigan.gov/infantmortality/0,5312,7-306-64961_65217---,00.html or http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/index.html

When You are Ready for Pregnancy 

If you are trying to have a baby or just starting to think it, it is never too early to start getting ready. Here are some steps to take:

  • Make an appointment with your family planning clinic or doctor's office to talk about:
    • Any health conditions that could affect a pregnancy
    • Any medications you are taking
    • Prenatal vitamins or folic acid supplement
    • Getting immunizations up-to-date
    • Your diet and exercise habits
    • Lifestyle behaviors you may need to change
    • Any referrals you may need to get help
    • Where to get prenatal care when the time comes
  • If you have been trying to get pregnant, and think you may be pregnant, your family planning clinic or doctor's office can give you a pregnancy test and provide counseling to answer questions about your test results, as well as discuss your plans, and give you referrals for prenatal care and other services you may need during your pregnancy.
  • If you have been trying, but have not gotten pregnant, your family planning clinic or doctor's office can help with fertility awareness education, to help you better understand your body, how it works to become pregnant, and counseling to maximize fertility.
  • If you have been trying regularly for a year or longer (for 6 months if you are over 35 years) and are having trouble getting pregnant, your family planning clinic or doctor's office can provide basic infertility services, determine potential causes, and refer you to a specialist.

During Pregnancy

Significant infant growth and development occurs throughout your pregnancy. It is important to start prenatal care as early as possible. Your family planning clinic or doctor's office can confirm your pregnancy and refer you to prenatal care and to other services you may need during the pregnancy.

For more information about safe pregnancy, go to: http://www.michigan.gov/infantmortality/0,5312,7-306-64961_66041_66052---,00.html or http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/during.html