To properly prepare for your pregnancy

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To properly prepare for your pregnancy
To properly prepare for your pregnancy

As soon as your desire for pregnancy takes shape, it is important to take certain actions that will help you have a he althy pregnancy! Here are some tips and advice to help you prepare.


The importance of being well prepared

A good preparation for pregnancy is essential. Since the fertile window occurs about two weeks before your period starts, three weeks may pass before you know you are pregnant. The most critical period for your baby is between the second and eighth week of pregnancy, when the face and organs, such as the heart and kidneys, are forming. All of your lifestyle habits (diet, smoking, alcohol) can affect your baby. It is therefore preferable to adopt the he althy habits of a pregnant woman even before your pregnancy is confirmed.

Your diet

Your baby will feed on what you eat. It is always advisable to follow the recommendations of the Canada's Food Guide, but this advice is all the more important if you want to become pregnant. If you are vegetarian or are on a weight loss diet, it is best toseek advice from a dietitian to make sure your baby can get everything he needs for his development from your diet.

Also know that being overweight during pregnancy increases the risk of suffering from hypertension or diabetes. It is therefore preferable to change your eating habits before becoming pregnant to reduce the risks.

Folic acid

To reduce your baby's risk of certain birth defects, it is strongly recommended that you take folic acid at least three months before becoming pregnant. Folic acid (or folate) is a vitamin of group B. Foods rich in folic acid include grain products, green vegetables (spinach, broccoli), meat (liver) and legumes (lentils and dried beans). Although folic acid is found in these foods, it is rare that you can get the recommended daily intake from your diet alone. You should take about 0.4 mg of folic acid daily, usually in the form of a multivitamin.


A good physical shape will make pregnancy and childbirth easier. However, it may be more difficult to become pregnant if you exercise too much, especially if you never exercised before planning your pregnancy. The daily walk is a great way to start. Before embarking on an exercise program, consult aprofessional in the matter to ensure that it is suitable for your physical condition.

Smoking and Drugs

Do you smoke? It is important to know that tobacco use is responsible for miscarriage, bleeding, premature birth and low birth weight babies. Better to quit smoking before pregnancy.

In addition, the use of marijuana, cocaine and other illicit drugs also increases the chances of miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects. Also, some drugs will cause the baby to be born addicted to the drug used by the mother and go through a period of withdrawal.


Do you like beer and good wine? Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which causes many problems including mental retardation, stunted growth, facial deformities, and head too small. It is strongly advised not to drink alcohol before and during pregnancy. Know that there are delicious mocktail recipes and very good products on the market!


Pregnant women should not clean cat litter because cat feces can transmit the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. A pregnant woman who contracts toxoplasmosis can transmit this germ to the fetus through the placenta. The degree of risk and the severity of the infectiondepend on the stage of pregnancy when the mother contracts the infection. In some cases, toxoplasmosis can cause abortion, fetal death or premature birth and, if the pregnancy goes to term, blindness, heart or brain damage, or death of the child. You can also contract toxoplasmosis if you eat raw or undercooked meat or come into contact with soil soiled by cat feces, such as in the garden, for example. If you garden, be sure to wear gloves.

Hot baths and sauna

If you are the type who likes saunas and hot baths, you should know that they can harm your baby's he alth during the first trimester of pregnancy. Indeed, some research results have shown that during the first three months of pregnancy, excessive heat caused by a fever, a bath or a sauna, may cause malformations to your baby.

Workplace Hazards

Make sure you are not exposed to certain hazards in your workplace and at home, such as heavy metals (lead and mercury), carbon disulphide, acids, anesthetic gases, radiation, etc. To this end, consult the CNESST website to find out about the provisions of the program Pour une maternity sans danger. A preventive withdrawal may be necessary once you become pregnant.


If you are taking medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, make surethat they are safe for your baby. Be sure to check with your pharmacist or doctor. You can also download the Quick Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Guide which provides valuable information.

He alth examinations

You may need to have some tests to find out if you have any problems that could threaten your he alth or your baby's he alth during pregnancy. Once you become pregnant, further tests will be ordered throughout the pregnancy.


If you are not sure if you have had rubella or if you have been vaccinated against this disease, a blood test will tell you. Getting rubella during pregnancy can be very bad for your baby, and you can prevent problems by getting vaccinated before you even try to get pregnant. Some other vaccines may also be recommended by your doctor.


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