• English
    X

    Google Translate Disclaimer

    The Maryland Department of Information Technology (“DoIT”) offers translations of the content through Google Translate. Because Google Translate is an external website, DoIT does not control the quality or accuracy of translated content. All DoIT content is filtered through Google Translate which may result in unexpected and unpredictable degradation of portions of text, images and the general appearance on translated pages. Google Translate may maintain unique privacy and use policies. These policies are not controlled by DoIT and are not associated with DoIT’s privacy and use policies. After selecting a translation option, users will be notified that they are leaving DoIT’s website. Users should consult the original English content on DoIT’s website if there are any questions about the translated content.

    DoIT uses Google Translate to provide language translations of its content. Google Translate is a free, automated service that relies on data and technology to provide its translations. The Google Translate feature is provided for informational purposes only. Translations cannot be guaranteed as exact or without the inclusion of incorrect or inappropriate language. Google Translate is a third-party service and site users will be leaving DoIT to utilize translated content. As such, DoIT does not guarantee and does not accept responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, or performance of this service nor the limitations provided by this service, such as the inability to translate specific files like PDFs and graphics (e.g. .jpgs, .gifs, etc.).

    DoIT provides Google Translate as an online tool for its users, but DoIT does not directly endorse the website or imply that it is the only solution available to users. All site visitors may choose to use alternate tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use DoIT content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk. DoIT is not liable for any loss or damages arising out of, or issues related to, the use of or reliance on translated content. DoIT assumes no liability for any site visitor’s activities in connection with use of the Google Translate functionality or content.

    The Google Translate service is a means by which DoIT offers translations of content and is meant solely for the convenience of non-English speaking users of the website. The translated content is provided directly and dynamically by Google; DoIT has no direct control over the translated content as it appears using this tool. Therefore, in all contexts, the English content, as directly provided by DoIT is to be held authoritative.

    ​​​

    Preconception Health

    Proper Nutrition              Genetic Screening
    Exercise                          Hazards at work and home
    Immunization Status        Male Issues
    Habits to Break               Emotional Factors and Physical Factors
    Medical Problems           Financial Considerations
    Medications                    Stopping Birth Control

    Preconception care produces healthier babies. It does this by helping a woman get in good health before conception and by identifying any possible medical, genetic, or environmental risks she may be exposed to.  Many women may be in contact with chemicals or medications which are harmful to a developing baby.

    Since the baby's major organs are formed during the first 2 months of pregnancy, we need to start pregnancy care before conception.  To start care before conception requires planning. But this planning is critical in making "every child a wanted child" and every pregnancy as healthy as possible for both mother and baby.

    Simple things like getting immunized for rubella, or taking folic acid supplements, can play a major role in decreasing birth defects - if it is done before conception. The fact is, the first prenatal visit, traditionally done after a woman is pregnant, is really too late.

    Ask your healthcare provider for a preconception health visit.

    All women would benefit from a discussion of:

    Proper Nutrition
    A well-balanced diet is important, with special emphasis on three nutrients: calcium, iron, and folic acid. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that every woman of childbearing age take FOLIC ACID 0.4 mg preconceptionally to reduce her chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect. Consumption of folic acid should ideally start at least 1 month BEFORE conception.
    Exercise
    Guidelines for safety during pregnancy may necessitate a change in your normal routine.
    Immunization Status
    Infections such as rubella (German measles) and varicella (chickenpox) can cause birth defects and many serious complications to both the mother and baby during pregnancy. Vaccination BEFORE pregnancy can prevent the complications due to these infections. Many women may also benefit from hepatitis vaccinations.
    Habits to Break
    Alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs all contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes.
    Medical Problems
    Certain medical conditions need special attention before pregnancy. For example, being in good glucose control preconceptionally can significantly decrease the incidence of birth defects for a diabetic woman. Infections, particularly from sexually transmitted diseases, should be screened for and treated prior to pregnancy. Since infection to HIV (the AIDS virus) is often asymptomatic and occurs in women who think they have no risk factors, it is a good idea for ALL women to get an HIV (AIDS) test routinely. Treatment of HIV positive women in early pregnancy can significantly decrease the transmission of this deadly virus to their babies.
    Medications
    The safety of prescribed and over-the-counter medications, as well as vitamins, needs to be established on an individual basis.
    Genetic Screening
    A review of family history and ethnic background may show predispositions to certain genetic disorders.
    Hazards at work and home
    Exposure to certain chemicals, lead, mercury, and other factors (even heat, "hyperthermia") may be teratogenic (cause birth defects).There are also many misconceptions concerning safety of home and work hazards (video display terminals, hair dyes, microwave ovens, fish, water) which should be addressed.
    Male Issues
    The partner's exposure to harmful agents and social habits may have an impact on the couple's reproductive outcomes.
    Emotional Factors and Physical Factors

    Stress, long hours, hard physical labor, prolonged standing, domestic violence - all can affect pregnancy and fertility.

    Financial Considerations
    The average cost of having a baby and raising a child is considerable. Planning ahead for employment and health insurance should be done.
    Stopping Birth Control
    When pregnancy is desired, there usually is a transition period from contraception to conception. Knowing some general principles makes this transition an easy one.