Most important health messages

Whether your patients are thinking about pregnancy someday, planning pregnancy or are pregnant already, we have tips they can use to stay healthy at any stage. 

How can women stay healthy before pregnancy?

Take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day and eat healthy foods. Folic acid can protect babies against birth defects and may protect women against heart disease.

How can women who are trying to get pregnant stay healthy?

  • Take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day and eat healthy foods. Folic acid can protect babies against birth defects and may protect women against heart disease.
  • Go for a pre-pregnancy checkup.
  • Don't smoke, drink alcohol, or use street drugs.
  • Eat healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight and exercise.
  • Keep your environment safe.
  • Avoid infections and stress.
  • Seek prenatal care as soon as you think you may be pregnant.

To learn more about preconception, visit Folic acid, Get ready for pregnancy and Trying to get pregnant.

How can women have a healthy pregnancy?

  • Seek early and regular prenatal care as soon as you think you may be pregnant.
  • Find out how much weight you should gain during pregnancy.
  • Never try to lose weight during pregnancy.
  • Don't drink alcohol, smoke or use street drugs during pregnancy. It's never too late to stop or cut back.
  • Ask your health care provider before taking medications or herbal teas or supplements during pregnancy.
  • Call your health care provider right away if you have signs of preterm labor.
  • Know that women are strong and quite capable of giving birth.
  • Be aware that your birth plan may have to change to protect the baby's health.
  • Find a pediatrician for your baby before he or she is born.