Preparing for pregnancy and birth

woman planning pregnancyIdeally, preparation for a holistic pregnancy and childbirth begins before you become pregnant. Your own good health helps your baby's health. And when you and the baby are healthy, you have more choices in childbirth.

To begin, see your healthcare provider

One of the first things you should do is schedule a preconception counseling appointment with your current healthcare provider to discuss your pregnancy plans. This can help you identify your health strengths, as well as any family history or health problems that might affect pregnancy, such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure.  Your healthcare provider will be interested to learn about your work or hobbies to help you identify whether you are at risk for developing certain viruses or infections.

Try to work with your provider to get any chronic health conditions under as much control as possible before you become pregnant. (Note: these issues can also be discussed during your routine "annual" exam.)