Preparing to Conceive

Find out the most important ways to prepare yourself.

Question

My husband and I are ready to begin trying to conceive. I recently discontinued taking birth control pills and would like to get pregnant in the next three to six months. What is most important for us to keep in mind during this time?

Answer

First, and most important, you need to take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid. Talk to your ob-gyn about getting a prescription for these vitamins. Taking folic acid prior to conception is very helpful in reducing the risks of spina bifida and other neurological disorders.

Second, do not get frustrated if you are unable to conceive immediately. Give yourself several months, even up to one year. Most women conceive without difficulty when they go off the pill. If your cycles are normally 28 days, then your most fertile day will be day 14 of your cycle. During your most fertile period, you will notice a change in the cervical mucus. The discharge will be a clear, thin discharge, commonly referred to as egg white cervical mucus.

Third, if you are a smoker, this is the time to quit. Smoking can greatly increase your risk for miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight. If your partner smokes, he should also stop smoking. A baby should never be subjected to secondhand smoke as it has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, and allergies.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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