Unfortunately, the reality is that nothing can 100% guarantee a healthy baby. But there are many ways to give your baby the healthiest start possible. Ideally, speak to your doctor before a pregnancy. There are some things women can do while planning for a baby, such as:
- Review any medical conditions or medicines you are taking, in case they pose a risk to a pregnancy
- Take a multivitamin with folic acid at least 3 months before you start trying for a pregnancy
- Avoid drinking alcohol and using street drugs, as both can harm a pregnancy
You should also talk to your doctor about your and your partner’s family’s health history. Speaking to a genetic expert could help you understand any risks to a baby that you have. Certain family health patterns can be signs of genetic diseases. Genetic experts are medical professionals trained to look for these signs and help you understand how your genetic health could impact kids that you have. This may include talking about genetic testing. If you or your partner has a genetic risk factor, a genetic expert can help you consider genetic testing or other options to help keep your baby as healthy as possible.
If you talk to a genetic expert now, you can still talk with one later if you become pregnant or your family needs change.
To learn more about general ways to plan for a healthy pregnancy and baby, read information from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) by visiting www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Reducing-Risks-of-Birth-Defects.