Health Watch — Next Year: Planning for Pregnancy

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about making changes for the coming year. If you’ve decided that 2008 will be the year you start a family, this is the time to start preparing your body for pregnancy.

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician-gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says starting healthy habits and getting proper medical attention before pregnancy can reduce the risk of complications for mother and baby. Talk to your doctor about how any medications you take could affect a fetus and review your vaccinations. Get tested for HIV, diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure and other disorders, and get a complete physical exam, including a Pap smear. Start taking folic acid supplements, and stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Establish a healthy diet and exercise routine, and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in gynecology and obstetrics.


December 2007

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