If you are planning to become pregnant, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the changes that will occur.

First, get a thorough physical examination. The exam will alert you to any problems needing to be corrected before becoming pregnant. Unresolved issues will need to be monitored during your pregnancy. It is important to update your immunizations, particularly for rubella, also known as German measles. It is also important to see your dentist for a thorough checkup and cleaning.

Change or stop using a birth control method which may present a risk to a future pregnancy before you try to conceive. Discontinue taking birth control pills several months before conception. Go through at least two normal menstrual cycles before trying to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about which birth control method would be best to use in the meantime.

Now is a good time to begin improving your health through diet and exercise. Eliminate junk food, caffeine, and alcohol from your diet. Get in shape for the demands of carrying and delivering a baby. Moderate drinking is not harmful at this pre-pregnancy stage but avoids heavy drinking. When you try to conceive, stop drinking altogether.

Consider taking a prenatal vitamin for several months before trying to become pregnant. Adequate amounts of zinc and folic acid are important in the prevention of certain birth defects.