Health Watch —Healthy Pregnancy: Preparation

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.

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need to be especially careful about their health. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about some pregnancy-related health concerns. A healthy pregnancy actually starts before conception. This is a good time for both parents to establish healthy habits and take precautions.

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician-gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says taking the right steps before a pregnancy can help prevent complications. A woman hoping to get pregnant should get a complete physical, be tested for potentially dangerous conditions such as diabetes and HIV, and review the medications she takes to make sure they won’t be harmful to the fetus. She should also review her vaccinations and get any needed shots. She should start taking folic acid supplements and start following a healthy diet and exercise plan. A woman should also stop smoking and drinking alcohol when she’s planning to become pregnant.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.


August 2008

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