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Preconception

"I plan to have a baby in the future"

 

Even if you are not planning to have a baby yet…

No one expects an unplanned pregnancy, BUT if happens – EVERYDAY. In fact, about 54% of all pregnancies are not planned. This statistic alone is reason to begin taking steps to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.

Women of child-bearing age (12-44) can take steps to lower their risk of having a premature or low-birth weight baby, prevent some birth defects, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and other adverse outcomes prior to becoming pregnant or even thinking about getting pregnant.

Before you get Pregnant you should think about making some changes in your lifestyle choices. Even if you are not planning on having a baby anytime soon it is important to get started right away!!!

Things you can do NOW to have a Healthy Baby in the future:

1. Take a multi-vitamin with folic acid everyday.

Why is folic acid so important?

 

Folic acid is a B vitamin that can be found in some foods and vitamin pills. If women have enough folic acid in their bodies, this vitamin can help prevent birth defects. Folic acid can help form a baby’s brain and spine properly. Getting enough folic acid takes a small effort, but makes a BIG difference.

 

Here is information about Folic Acid in English

 

Here is information about Folic Acid in Spanish

 

2. Choose Healthy Foods

Most Of us get some folic acid in our diet every day. Folic acid has been added to some foods such as enriched breads, pastas, rice and cereals. Check the labels on your breakfast cereals; a few have 100% of the folic acid you need. A well balanced diet with fruits and vegetables is always important.

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • Limit sweets, fats, salt and soda. Pay attention to serving sizes so you do not eat too much.
  • Eat iron-rich foods like leafy green vegetables.
  • Enjoy foods high in Vitamin C like oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, cabbage and cantaloupe.
  • For more information :

     

    Let’s Eat for the Health of it!
  • choosemyplate
  • Supertracker

3. Aim for a Healthy Weight

  • Women who are underweight or overweight when they get pregnant are more likely to have a baby born too early.
  • Overweight women are more likely to experience more problems during pregnancy and labor.

4. Increase your Physical Activity

  • Aim for 30-60 minutes of physical activity Every Day
  • Cut down watching TV & using Computer – There is a link between TV viewing and being overweight so turn off the TV and the computer and Get Moving!!!
  • Be more active during your day, Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stop looking for that parking space right near the store, park in the back and WALK.

5. Visit your Dentist

  • Infections such as periodontal (gum) disease may contribute to preterm (too early) labor.
  • Brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss
  • Dental Care and Pregnancy

6. Avoid Tobacco Products

  • Tobacco use can cause heart disease and cancer of the lungs, bladder, kidneys, esophagus and larynx.
  • Tobacco use during pregnancy deprives your baby of the oxygen needed to develop properly.
  • Smoking? Want to Stop? Contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services “Learn to be Tobacco Free” at 631-854-4017

7. If you DRINK DON’T GET PREGNANT

8. Avoid Prescription and Illegal Drugs

  • Abuse of prescription and illegal drugs is not good for you or your future baby. Please visit the March of Dimes website for more information.

9. Protect yourself from Diseases that can be spread during sex!!

  • Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs are infections you can get by having sex with someone who has one of these diseases. This can happen during vaginal, anal or oral sex. STDs can cause problems for the rest of your life. Fifteen million people will get an STD this year; one quarter (3,750,000) will be teenagers. For more information please follow these links:
  • www.healthny.gov/publications/3805
  • plannedparenthood
 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

“What you should know”

What are STDs?

There are many diseases that can be spread through sexual contact, including herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, vaginitis, viral hepatitis and HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

Without treatment, these diseases can lead to major health problems such as sterility (not being able to get pregnant), permanent brain damage, heart disease, cancer, and even death. If you think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, you and your sex partner(s) should visit a health clinic or doctor for testing and treatment.

  • Over 65 million people in the United States have a chronic, incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • Every year another 19 million persons become newly infected with an STD.

Get Tested / Get Treated

You may have been exposed to an STD and should get tested if you have ever:

  • had sex (vaginal, anal or oral) without using a condom with someone who has an STD or HIV, or whose status you do not know;
  • had sex without using a condom with someone who has ever injected drugs; or
  • had many sex partners.

It is possible to have more than one sexually transmitted disease at the same time. It’s also possible to get the same disease again. The longer you postpone treatment, the greater the damage caused by the disease. So, if you even suspect that you’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease get tested.

Where to get Tested & treated for an STD:

For STD information and testing sites near you, contact:

  • NYS Dept. of Health Bureau of STD Control 1-518-474-3598
  • NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene STD Education Office 1-212-427-5120
  • findSTDtest.org

For HIV/AIDS information and testing sites near you, contact:

  • NYS HIV/AIDS Hotline (English) 1-800-541-AIDS
  • Spanish 1-800-233-SIDA
  • TDD 1-800-369-2437 Voice callers can use the New York Relay System: Call 711 or 1-800-421-1220 and ask the operator to dial 1-800-541-2437.

Preventing STDs:

You can lower your risk for becoming infected with a disease spread during sex by:

  • using a latex male condom or female condom the right way, every time you have sex;
  • using the female condom which may offer better protection than the male condom against herpes and genital warts because it covers more of a woman's external genitalia and is very resistant to tears;
  • not using drugs and alcohol; they can get in the way of you protecting yourself;
  • having only one sex partner, whose status you know;
  • not having sex with a person who shoots drugs or whoever did.

Remember:

  • Most people who have an STD have no symptoms.
  • Therefore, you can’t tell by looking if a person is infected with a disease,
  • Protect Yourself!
  • Visit your doctor or clinic immediately.
  • You and your sex partner should be checked and treated at the same time to avoid re-infecting each other.
  • Clinic treatment is completely confidential and persons under 18 can be treated without their parents’ consent or knowledge.
  • Some testing and treatment may be FREE
Common STD's and how they can affect you and your baby
Disease Symptoms Effects on your Health Effects on Fetus/Baby Treatment
AIDS long-lasting infections, diarrhea, nightsweats, fever, witght loss, swollen glands, coughing, shortness of breath Immune system damage leading to cancer, pneumonia, brain damage, death fetus can get virus from mother during pregnancy or delivery; immune system damage leading to AIDS, usually within the first six years of life drugs now improve the out-look for infected individuals; drug treatment of HIV-positive women reduces the risk of passing the virus to their babies to 2% or less.
Chlamydia itching or burning during urination, vaginal discharge, whitish discharge from penis, pelvic pain or no symptoms at all pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, ectopic pregnancy (potentially life-threatening condition when embryo becomes implanted out the uterus, usually in fallopian tube) baby can catch during vaginal birth, causing ear and eye infections, pneumonia can be cured with antibiotics.
Genital Herpes sores on penis or vagina, vaginal discharge, fever, tiredness, itching, aches and pains first attack very painful recurrent flareups may be less painful baby can catch during vaginal birth, causing severe skin infections, nervous system damage, blindness, mental retartdation, death symptoms can be treated: no cure for the disease; flareups may occur 4 to 7 times per year; infected babies treated with anti-viral drugs., though treatment is often unsuccessful when infection is wide-spread.
Gonorrhea Vaginal discharge, burning during urination; most women have no sysmptoms pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, arthritis, ectopic pregnancy baby can catch during vaginal birth, causing serious eye infection, blindness, joint infections and rarely life-threatening blood infections. can be cured with medicine; babies are treated with eye-drops after birth
Syphilis sores on penis or vagina, mouth, anus or elswhere; low fever, sore throat, other sores or rashes if untreated, can cause damage to heart, blood vessels and nervous system, blindness, insanity and death fetus can catch before birth, damaging bones, liver, lungs, blood vessels; infected fetuses can die before or after birth can be cured with medicine; once fetus is damaged, there is no cure.
Genital Warts genital itching, irritation or bleeding; warts may appear as small, cauliflower-shaped clusters; may get worse during pregnancy warts grow in size and number, may increase risk of cervical cancer baby can catch virus during birth, causing wart growth inside the voicebox and blocking windpipe can be treated with medicine applied directly to warts, or with surgery or with cryotherapy (freezing) to remove them.
Hepatitis tiredness, poor apetite, fever, vomiting, joint pain, hives, rash, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes) can become a long-term carrier and can spread to others by sex and sharing needles, liver disease, death baby can cath during vaginal birth, causing long-term liver problems Hepatitis A and B vaccine available, can be treated with medicine
Vaginitis vaginal discharge, odor, itching, burning, redness pelvic inflammatory disease, if pregnant - premature delivery baby born prematurely, low birth weight can be cured with medicine

For more information please visit The March of Dimes

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Disclaimer:

“The information on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or psychological condition(s). Please consult your Medical Provider for individual advice regarding your own situation.”