Health Watch - Pregnancy Preparation: First Steps

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.


A safe, healthy pregnancy begins before conception. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about some things prospective parents need to know before they try to get pregnant.

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can avoid some potential complications for both mother and baby by taking a few simple steps before conception. If you’re considering pregnancy, see your doctor for a general physical. Have your doctor review your medications to make sure they don’t pose any danger to a fetus. Get tested for diabetes, HIV, hepatitis and thyroid disorders.

If you aren’t already immune, get vaccinated for German measles. Also talk to your doctor about an appropriate exercise plan. You should stop drinking alcohol and stop smoking before getting pregnant, and start taking folic acid supplements. Avoid dangerous chemicals at home and at work.

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April 2010


Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.

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