Prepare your body

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A healthy pregnancy begins before you conceive.

Some of the ways you can prepare your body for nurturing a baby include:

  • eating well
  • exercising
  • not smoking
  • reaching a healthy weight
  • avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • limiting coffee and other caffeinated drinks to 1-2 cups a day
  • getting recommended immunizations
  • taking a multivitamin with 0.4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid
  • avoiding contact with lead or mercury and using appropriate safety gear (masks and gloves, for example) when working with chemicals
  • getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections
  • making sure any medications you’re on are safe to take while pregnant
  • getting a genetic screening test if you or your partner has a family history of genetic disorders

Smiling coupleIf you have a condition like diabetes or asthma, work with your doctor to make sure it's under control and that you are not taking medications that could cause birth defects. You and your baby will benefit most if you make lifestyle changes before you get pregnant.

Is your relationship respectful, safe and loving? If you’re being hit, hurt or threatened, this can seriously affect your health and your future family. Talk to your doctor or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you need help.

Kaiser Permanente members can learn more about your health plan benefits and our prenatal care commitment to you. And if you don't already have one, now is a good time to select a personal physician.

If you're not a member yet, learn about our plans and services.

Reviewed by: Jeff Convissar, MD, November 2015
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2015 Kaiser Permanente

Prenatal programs

Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and baby-care classes and programs near you.

Manage your pregnancy online

Use kp.org to make appointments, email your doctor, get test results, and more.

Mom-to-be tools