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14 Health Changes to Make Before You Get Pregnant

Keeping your baby-to-be healthy begins long before you get pregnant. Here's what to do before trying to conceive to have a thriving pregnancy (and baby).
birth control pills Toss your Birth Control

Before you can conceive, obviously you have to get rid of your birth control. But it's usually not as simple as quitting and then becoming pregnant the next week. You should stop using oral contraceptives, NuvaRing, or the Patch about two cycles before you want to get pregnant; have an IUD removed a month before; and let the last dose of injectable forms of birth control, like Depo-Provera, wear off three months before conception, says Lisa Mazzullo, M.D., co-author of Before Your Pregnancy: A 90-Day Guide for Couples on How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception. This will give your hormone levels a chance to reset, and will allow you to track your period and learn when ovulation -- the time you're most likely to get pregnant -- occurs. That said, some couples get pregnant right after stopping birth control. Always use barrier contraceptives so you don't get pregnant before you plan to.