Planning Pregnancy


You plan so many events. What about planning for pregnancy?

Parenting begins long before your baby is conceived. Babies begin to develop even before a woman knows she is pregnant. This means that the time to prepare for your baby's health is before you even get pregnant.

There are things that both men and women can do to improve the health of their future children.

If you are thinking of starting a family, you can:  

Ideally, try to begin planning for pregnancy three months in advance.


Tips on how to prepare

Prepare for Parenthood

To learn more, attend our Preparing for Parenthood program.

Discuss parenthood with your partner before you get pregnant. See more at What's Your Plan.

Are you and your partner ready for a baby? Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Why do we want a baby?
  • How will children affect our lifestyle?
  • How will having a baby affect work or career goals?
  • Can we afford it?
  • Do we have a supportive relationship?

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

*Folic Acid (or Folate), a B vitamin, taken daily before pregnancy and in early pregnancy, can reduce the risk of certain birth defects of the brain and spine. Such problems are known as neural tube defects. If you are planning a pregnancy and have never had a child with a neural tube defect:

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes foods rich in folic acid: green leafy vegetables, legumes (dried peas, beans and lentils), nuts and seeds, orange juice, whole grain and enriched breads and cereals.
  • Take a supplement containing 0.4 mg of folic acid every day.
  • Look for flour, pasta and other enriched grain products to which folic acid has been added.

Consider your Family History & Medical History

  • Are you 35 years of age or older?
  • Are you taking any medication?
  • Do you have any medical concerns?

Have a Medical Check-Up

  • Are you immune to Rubella, Chicken Pox and other communicable diseases
  • Get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Discuss any medications you are taking

To talk to a Public Health Nurse about planning a pregnancy, call 519-575-4400.

To receive free resources call the Public Health Resource Centre at 519-575-4400 ext. 2196, email phrc@regionofwaterloo.ca, or order online.

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