Do you have a reproductive life plan? If not, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) wants you to write one.
A reproductive life plan simply indicates whether you’re going to have children or not, and how you’ll achieve that goal.
For example, if you don’t want children, how will you prevent pregnancy? If you’re not ready for children, how can you delay pregnancy? What health risks should you address now so that you can enter pregnancy as healthy as possible? When you and your partner both get healthy and prepared before pregnancy, research shows your efforts create better outcomes for all.
Think about education, your career, and other important things in your life. How does having a family fit in that picture? Let your values and circumstances guide your plan as an individual or as a couple. Make your plan personal and achievable; you can still change it whenever you want. You may even find that creating your reproductive life plan brings other goals into focus and puts you on the path to achieving what you want most out of life. Build your plan online at cdc.gov/preconception/reproductiveplan.html.
According to the CDC the 5 most important things a woman can do for preconception health are:
1. Take 400mcg of folic acid a day for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant to reduce the risk of birth defects.
2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
3. If you currently have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Conditions include but are not limited to asthma, diabetes, gum disease, obesity, or epilepsy. Be sure that your vaccinations are up to date.
4. Talk to your healthcare provider about any over the counter and prescription medicines you are taking, including vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements.
5. Avoid exposures to toxic substances or potentially infectious materials at work or at home, such as chemicals or cat and rodent feces.
Men matter, too:
Also read: Powerful Pregnancy