Get your body baby ready
The best way to give your baby the best start in life is to get your body baby ready, before trying to conceive.
Not only will this increase your chances of getting pregnant, it will also set you up for a healthy pregnancy.
Being a healthy weight will improve your chances of conceiving. A healthy body mass index (BMI) is between about 19 and 25.
Adopting a balanced diet and keeping fit now will also give you a great start to pregnancy.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can both cause serious health problems for your baby if you do conceive. They also increase your risk of miscarriage.
When you become pregnant, you're unlikely to realise straight away. So it's well worth quitting these harmful substances now, and protecting your baby in those crucial first days and weeks.
When it comes to alcohol, the safest thing is to avoid it completely. There is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
If you're taking any medication, you may need to make some changes to your treatment. This is because some types of medicine aren't safe to take when you're pregnant, and it may be several weeks before you know you've conceived. However, you should never stop taking any medication without discussing it with your doctor first.
As soon as you decide to try for a baby, start taking a daily supplement containing 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Taking folic acid has been found to greatly reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
You can buy folic acid supplements from pharmacies. If you choose to take folic acid as part of a multivitamin, make sure it's suitable for pregnant women and doesn't contain vitamin A. Too much vitamin A could harm your baby if you conceive while taking it.
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