Planning Pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy (or pre-conception) decisions make a difference for your health and your baby’s health. Simply put, the healthier you are when you become pregnant, the more likely you are to have a healthy baby. The fetus’ organs begin to form in the first few weeks of pregnancy, before you may even know that you are pregnant. As this is a critical phase of development, the more planning you do, the greater the payoff can be in terms of a healthy pregnancy ending with a healthy mom and baby.

Getting your body and life ready before you become pregnant may help you:

  • Get pregnant (conceive) more easily

  • Have a healthier pregnancy

  • Avoid or minimize pregnancy complications

  • Give birth to a healthier baby

  • Recover more quickly and easily after giving birth

  • Have a more pleasant postpartum (post birthing) experience

  • Minimize your child's risk of future health problems, even into adulthood

If you are healthy, as most pregnant women in the United States are, you have decisions to make about who your maternity care provider will be and where you will give birth. Visit the Choosing a Care Provider and Choosing a Place of Birth pages of this website for more details on these topics.