Getting Healthy Before or Between Pregnancies

A healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy can lead to having a healthier baby.

Babies born to healthy women are more likely to be born healthy. Are you considering having a baby? Now is the time to start preparing, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Did you know?


  • Half of all pregnancies among adults are unplanned.
  • 95% of pregnancies among teens are unplanned.
  • A lot of organs begin developing BEFORE a woman even knows she’s pregnant!

Prepare Yourself Physically


  • Take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid everyday. This can help your baby’s brain and spinal cord develop.
  • Get a medical check-up before you get pregnant.  Your health care provider can make sure you’re as healthy as possible before pregnancy. You should get a dental check-up, too. If there’s any chance you may be pregnant, wait to have x-rays done until after the baby is born.
  • Eat healthy foods. 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. Eat foods high in Vitamin C, like oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and cantaloupe. Cut back on caffeine.

  • Do something active every day. Some good choices before and during pregnancy are walking, swimming and yoga.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Women who are underweight or overweight when they get pregnant are more likely to have a baby born too early, or experience problems during pregnancy and labor.
  • Quit smoking now. Stop using tobacco products and stay away from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. You can call the Florida Quitline (1-877-U-CAN-NOW) for free support, and talk to your health care provider toget help to quit.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE you have a baby:


  1. Do you want to have a baby (or another baby)? Why?
  2. How will your relationship with your partner change if you have a baby?
  3. Do you like spending time with children?
  4. How will having a baby affect you going to school or work?
  5. What do you plan to do for childcare?
  6. What religious or cultural customs do you and your partner want to share with your child?
  7. Are you ready to take care of a child who is sick or has special needs?
  8. Are you ready to give up a lot of your free time for your baby?
  9. Do you think you’ll need help with the baby? Who can you ask for help?
  10. What did you like about your own childhood? What didn’t you like?

These are tough questions. Go over them with your partner to help you decide if you’re both ready to have a baby.

What about Dad?


Your partner can:

  • Eat healthy with you.
  • Take a multivitamin every day.
  • Be active with you.
  • Quit smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
  • Help you reduce your stress.
  • Go to your pre-pregnancy checkup with you.

Planning Your Pregnancy


  • Plan your pregnancy so that you and your partner are in good health and prepared to have a child.
  • Babies who are planned are more likely to be born healthy than babies who are unplanned.
  • More than 50% of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned.
  • If you are planning to wait to have a baby, use birth control.
  • If this is not your first pregnancy, it is recommended that you wait two years between pregnancies. This gives your body time to get healthy and lets you bond with your child.

You May be Pregnant If…


  • You miss your period.
  • You feel sick to your stomach or throw up.
  • Your breasts are big and sore. The area around your nipples gets darker.
  • You crave certain foods or you really dislike certain foods.
  • You feel tired all the time.
  • A home pregnancy test shows that you’re pregnant.

Take a pregnancy test if you think you may be pregnant! Do not wait to start your prenatal care – the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are crucial in your baby’s development!