Becoming a parent is an exciting time in anyone's life. Planning a healthy pregnancy is a great start to a healthy baby.
Babies begin to develop even before women know they're pregnant. By the time a woman has a "missed period", she's already four weeks pregnant.
Planning ahead for pregnancy at least three months before conceiving will give you and your partner time to make positive changes to your diet, physical activity, lifestyle, and resolve any concerns or problems.
Taking folic acid can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects by as much as 70 per cent if taken before you get pregnant. These defects occur before most woman know they are pregnant (within the first 30 days after conception).
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause brain damage and birth defects to the developing baby (fetus). It's important to stop drinking alcohol before becoming pregnant. Harm to the fetus from alcohol can occur very early in pregnancy, before most women even know they're pregnant.
Smoking may put you at risk of having a miscarriage or low birth weight baby. A low birth weight baby may suffer serious health problems, which may follow them into adulthood. It's best to stop smoking prior to becoming pregnant and ensure your home and car is smoke-free.
Cannabis is legal in Canada, but it doesn’t mean it's safe. Learn more about the effects of cannabis on pregnancy and the risks of cannabis on fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting.
For free, confidential information on nutrition from a registered dietitian, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.