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Before You Begin

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Choosing to get pregnant is a wonderful decision, but it's not one to make lightly. Your body and life will go through a lot of changes, and it's important to understand these thoroughly before you conceive. Learning as much as you can about pregnancy helps you make the right choice for you and your family.

Before you start trying for a baby, evaluate your living situation to make sure it's the right time for a baby. You may need to reexamine certain habits - that nightly glass of wine, for example - to support a healthy pregnancy.

Once the baby is born, your life schedule will drastically change. You'll probably get less sleep and need to adjust your work and social life to fulfill your childcare duties.

There are financial considerations, too. A healthy pregnancy requires several doctor's visits, and a new child means tons of clothes, baby food, diapers and other items. What's more, you might need to move out of your small apartment into a house or condo.

Once you know the time is right and you've determined you want to get pregnant, adopt healthy habits to increase your chances. Exercise and eat a nutrient-rich diet to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, and avoid drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Multivitamins, especially those with folic acid, can also help.

Also, consider the timing if you already have little ones. There are advantages and disadvantages to having children in quick succession versus waiting a few years before conceiving again.

Having a child changes your life forever. Understanding your finances, health and lifestyle helps you prepare for a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful family.

 
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