Watch Your Weight
Are you thinking about conception? Taking the time to get healthy now will give your baby a fighting chance against birth defects, according to Dr. F. Sessions Cole, MD, director of the division of newborn medicine and head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
"The most important time in a pregnancy is the first four to eight weeks when most of a fetus's organs are being formed," says Dr. Cole, who is also a professor of pediatrics, cell biology, and physiology at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. "[Waiting] to stop smoking or drinking, taking some prescription medications, or [waiting to add] nutrients to your diet until you find out you're pregnant means you're weeks or months late."
So, what should you do to ensure that your body is ready for the fittest pregnancy possible? Dr. Cole suggests you and your spouse keep in mind the following points: