What is preconception health?
The health of women and men during their reproductive years is considered preconception health. Preconception health care focuses on health, lifestyle behaviors, family and medical history, and risk factors that may impact conception, pregnancy, and the health of the mom and baby.
Preconception health care and why it’s important
Whether you're planning to conceive now or down the road, it's never too early to work on optimizing your health for fertility, conception, and pregnancy. The first few weeks of pregnancy are critical to the baby's development—before you may even know you're pregnant. Preconception care helps set the stage for a healthy pregnancy right from the start.
Improves chances for a healthy pregnancy and baby
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preconception care can improve birth outcomes, including reducing the number of babies born prematurely or who have low birth weights. 1
Helps you get your body baby-ready
Preconception health can help you prepare your body for conception, pregnancy, and beyond.
Your doctor may identify conditions or risk factors that could possibly affect a future pregnancy and provide early intervention if necessary.
Benefits men, too
It can help men understand what they need to do to stay healthy and support their partner's health and well-being.
Preconception care to-dos
Make a preconception doctor visit
Thinking about getting pregnant? Share your plans with your healthcare provider. At your preconception visit, you’ll probably discuss your current contraception methods, medical and family history, prescription medications, and any risk factors that could be a concern.
If you have a medical condition or chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a seizure disorder, your doctor can help you carefully manage or treat your condition before, during, and after pregnancy.
Consider lifestyle changes
Now is an optimal time to consider curtailing activities that could negatively affect fetal development, like smoking, recreational drug use, and alcohol consumption.
Maintain a healthy weight and diet
A nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid certain pregnancy complications. You may also want to think about supplementing your diet with nutrients such as folate, which according to the U.S. Public Health Service, may help reduce a baby’s risk of neural tube congenital disabilities such as spina bifida. 2
More preconception health resources
Priming your body for pregnancy with these preconception health strategies can help improve your chances for a healthy baby. Explore our Tips and Resources section for more baby planning articles and videos, including:
- Preparing For Pregnancy Checklist: 9 Things To Do Before Getting Pregnant
- What To Expect at Your Preconception Counseling Appointment
- How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy: Your 3-Month Plan
As you take this initial first step toward pregnancy, Enfamil is with you. We understand that everyone's journey is different. We're happy to provide educational resources to help support you through whichever path leads you to parenthood.