Prenatal Care Health Center

The main sign of pregnancy is missing one or more menstrual periods in a row. Other signs of pregnancy may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting (morning sickness)
  • Sore breasts or nipples
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent urination

If you are interested in having children in the near future, you should begin preparing your body now.

To prepare your body for future pregnancy, there are five important things you can do:

  • Take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid every day for at least three months before getting pregnant. This lowers the risk of some birth defects in the brain and spine. While some foods contain folic acid, they do not have enough for your daily need if you are trying to become pregnant. Taking a vitamin with folic acid is the best and easiest way to make sure you're getting enough.
  • Stop smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.
  • If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor about how to keep it under control. Tell your doctor if you have any other health conditions, including asthma, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, thyroid disease or epilepsy. These conditions are often treated with medications that while safe for an adult woman, may not be safe for a developing fetus. Also discuss your vaccination status with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor about all of the medications — over-the-counter or prescription — that you are using. That also includes any dietary and herbal supplements. Some medications are not safe to take during pregnancy. However, stopping some medicines abruptly could be harmful and cause further risk.
  • Avoid all contact with toxic substances at home and at work that could potentially be harmful. Clear these materials out from your home and office. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

As soon as you become actively interested in having a child, you should consider looking into proper prenatal care. While you may be committed to your regular physician, ask about health care professionals who specifically specialize in prenatal and pregnancy care.

Review Date: 
August 9, 2012
Last Updated:
January 15, 2014