Preconception health means taking care of your own health now so you’ll be healthy for yourself and your future baby. Created: 10/1/2012 by National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).
Date Released: 10/1/2012. Series Name: Women's Health.
This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Woman 1] Me, have a baby? Are you kidding? I work a part-time job and I’m getting ready to go to college to be a nurse. I’ll choose when I want to start a family; until then, I’m gonna stay on my birth control pills. I wanna do well in school to get a good job, so, I’m taking care of my health. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my fun—but I don’t do illegal drugs or go crazy partying and drinking. I quit smoking. It was hard, but with help, I did it. I see my doctor for regular checkups and make sure my vaccinations are up-to-date. I can’t afford to let something get me down. The doctor suggested I take a multivitamin every day to get all the folic acid I need. Between school, a part time job, family, and friends, I’m pretty busy. But, I eat healthy and I try to stay physically active. Nothing’s gonna to stop me from living my dreams.
[Woman 2] Me? Have a baby? We’re thinking about it, in the next year or so.
[Man] Well, it’s a major decision, so there’s a lot to think about and to plan for.
[Woman 2] We’ve talked to the doctor about wanting a baby in the near future and she told us about the importance of preconception health.
[Man] I said “pre-what?”
[Woman 2] She explained preconception health is just what it sounds like . . . a woman’s health before getting pregnant and how it can affect the health of her baby.
[Man] Well that caught our attention!
[Woman 2] I didn’t know that what I do before I get pregnant can affect the health of our baby! So, I asked my doctor what I needed to do to get ready for my pregnancy and she said I should start by taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day. She also asked us some questions about our family health histories—we’ll have to talk more about that with our families.
[Man] She reminded us that we need to be physically active. That’s why we’re out here now.
[Woman 2] And we’ve started preparing healthier meals, too. We’re in this together! No illegal drugs, drinking, or smoking, which I don’t do anyway. My doctor also wants to switch me to medicines that are safer for pregnant women to take. And, all our vaccinations are up to date.
[Man] We’ve still got a lot of planning to do,
[Woman 2] But at least we now know about preconception health and why it’s so important for me . . . and for our baby-to-be.
[Woman 3] Me, have another baby? No estoy lista!—I’m not ready! No. I’m making sure to use birth control correctly until Juan and I are ready for more children. That won’t be anytime soon. I have my hands full with Rosa! She’s 17 months old now and really active. The doctor said that Juan and I should wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again . . . but, I’d like to wait a little longer. After Rosa was born, my doctor reminded me that I need to take good care of myself—so I can keep up with her! He told me to keep eating healthy and stay physically active, and to keep taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day. He also said don’t smoke or use illegal drugs—and no more than one alcohol drink a day. But I know that when we start trying to get pregnant again, I can’t drink anything with alcohol in it at all. I have diabetes and need to keep my blood sugar in control, especially before getting pregnant again. I know that if I don’t keep my blood sugar in control it can affect my health and the health of my next baby. So, I make regular doctor visits so that I keep a close watch on that. Rosa gets her vaccinations, and so do I! I want to be as healthy as I can so that I can keep up with this little one.
[Man] If you want to…
[Woman 2] …get pregnant in the next year or two…
[Man] …the time to think about your preconception health…
[Man and Woman2] …is now.
[Woman 1] Show yourself some love! There are important things that you can do for YOU. Set your goals and make a plan today.
[Woman 3] Para más información acerca del cuidado preconcepcional, habla con tu doctor y visite nuestra pagina web; esta información es muy importante para ti y toda tu familia.
For more information about your preconception health and the steps you can take, talk with your doctor and learn more at this website. It’s important, for you and your family.
For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.