Before You are Pregnant

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What you need to know

​Tips for All Women and Men Before Pregnancy (Preconception Health)

Happy couple 

Preconception health concerns women and men's health during the years where they can have a baby.  During this time, the mother and father should focus on getting and staying healthy.

No one plans an unplanned pregnancy, yet it happens often.  About half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are not planned.  Being healthy when a pregnancy happens protects the health of a baby in the future. Take control and make healthy choices, live well and feel good about your life.

A healthy pregnancy starts long before you are pregnant, even before you think about being a mother.  Live a healthy and safe life and keep any health problems under control before getting pregnant.  Other areas of a woman's health can be influenced by things such as race, ethnicity, age and wages.  Learn what you can do to make sure your pregnancies are planned and healthy.

Becoming healthy before pregnancy can take a few months or longer for others.  The CDC has steps for men and women to take now to protect the health of a baby in the future.  Preconception health is vital for not only women, but for men as well.  Click on the links below to learn more.

Between Pregnancies (Interconception Health) 

Toddler and pregnant mother  

Interconception is the time between the end of one pregnancy and the starting of the next pregnancy.  During this time, the mother and father should focus on getting and staying healthy before being pregnant again. The goal of Interconception Health is to take healthy steps to help the result of the next pregnancy. Click on the links below to learn more.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)

STD's are very common, and if you are sexually active, you are at risk of being infected.  You may have an STD and not even know it.  Being tested and treated for STD's are a part of getting healthy before a pregnancy, as a STD during pregnancy can be harmful to both the mom and her baby.  If you have a STD, your sex partner(s) should also be tested and treated.

STDs (such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis) and bacterial vaginosis can be cured with antibiotics while STDs that are caused by viruses, like genital herpes, hepatitis B, or HIV cannot be cured. In some cases these infections can be treated with meds to drop the risk of infecting a future baby.

See the CDC Fact Sheets link below for facts on STD's.  Most fact sheets are in English, Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Russian and Vietnamese.

Infections Before and During Pregnancy

An infection before and during pregnancy can be harmful to both the mom and her baby.  They can cause sickness, birth defects and lifelong disabilities.

For more information, see the CDC 10 Tips for Preventing Infections Before and During Pregnancy for tips and information on Zika, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Toxoplasmosis, Chickenpox, group B Strep​ and more. 

Learn more about prevention of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) during pregnancy and how it can affect your baby's hearing at: Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

Resources


References used in the development of this content

 Pregnancy, Getting pregnant again. Womenshealth.gov. [Online] [Cited: October 8, 2014.] .​