For the Woman:

Special Recommendations Before Pregnancy

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Regular physical activity will help.

  • If you need to gain or lose weight, do so gradually (no more than 1 to 2 lb/week).

  • If you are trying to become pregnant and you ordinarily drink alcoholic beverages, omit alcohol or cut way back on the amount you drink.

Use of Medications, Supplements, and Harmful Substances
  • Discourage the use of any kind of medication or supplement unless it is prescribed or approved by a physician who knows the woman is planning to become pregnant.

  • Discourage the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs.

Addressing Problems

Problems with Access to Food
  • Provide assistance or refer the woman so that she can obtain assistance with food, housing, insurance, and income support programs. (See Tab 10 for information about federal food and nutrition assistance programs.)

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