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Steps to Take Before Trying to Get Pregnant
02/15/2010

CLEBURNE, Texas — Many couples wanting to have a baby wistfully wander the baby aisles at stores or smile at young children they encounter thinking about how they’ll parent in the future. They imagine the joy of holding their child for the first time. But one thing young couples don’t always think to do is take simple steps in advance to help increase the odds of a healthy pregnancy.

“Couples often don’t realize that in addition to making sure they’re ready emotionally and financially, taking some proactive physical steps can help increase the odds that the baby will be born healthy,” said Dr. Tracy Pipkin, an obstetrician/gynecologist who recently joined the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. “In general, the same steps that we recommend women try before becoming pregnant are similar to recommendations in general for good health.”

The March of Dimes urges women to take these steps:

  • Take folic acid
  • Get a checkup
  • Eat right, limit caffeine and maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking and avoid exposure to smoke
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Do not use illegal drugs
  • Avoid infections
  • Avoid hazardous chemicals
  • Determine if you need to visit a genetic counselor
  • Limit stress and exercise

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, visit TexasHealth.org/pregnancyplanningkit for more information. Once pregnant, sign up for the weekly Oh Baby! e-mail newsletter for weekly tips on staying healthy at TexasHealth.org/OhBaby.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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