So, you want to have a baby… now what?
First, congratulations! Now, it’s time to find a provider. A preconception appointment can help rule out any potential health or fertility issues, establish medical history and ensure any medications you’re on are safe for pregnancy. Providers also encourage women to start taking prenatal vitamins 6-12 months before getting pregnant.
“Focusing on being the best and most healthy version of yourself is the most important thing,” said Samantha Boyer, DO, CHI Health Family Medicine provider. “Deciding to have a baby can feel like this huge leap into the unknown and it’s likely you’ll experience joy, but a little planning will help anxiety and nervousness.”
Next up, you‘ll want to schedule and attend regular prenatal visits. It’s important to keep track of your health, and your baby’s.
Dr. Boyer recommends and encourages everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, whether you’re pregnant, or looking to conceive.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications, and getting the vaccine before or during pregnancy gives antibodies to your baby.
The best advice for becoming a first-time parent? It’s okay to not be perfect. CHI Health offers childbirth classes and events to help guide new parents.
“Perfect parents don’t exist, and children don’t need perfect parents,” Dr. Boyer said. “All they need is committed, loving parents who are doing their best. It’s okay to mess up, because every parent does.”