Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy

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At FPA, we believe either choice—choosing to or not to have a child—is a valid and respected decision. 

If you decide you want to become pregnant, we encourage you to prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy. Here's our guidance in starting that next chapter.

1. Understand Your Circumstance 

When and if you decide to try to get pregnant, emotions are probably flooding. Bringing new life into the world can feel exciting. To others, it might be daunting. Perhaps you're feeling a mix of both?

No pregnancy experience is the same, and it's important to step back and free yourself from expectation. Your friend, colleague, or sister's pregnancy journey isn't yours. And while unforeseen challenges can always emerge during yours, you can better prepare your mind and body by first having a conversation with an obstetrician.

Yes, you can see an OB even before you even start trying to conceive!

Pre-conception appointments can help you answer questions like:

  • Are there any pre-existing medical conditions that could affect my ability to conceive or carry a pregnancy?
  • How might my age impact my experience?
  • Should my partner and I consider any genetic tests or screenings?
  • Will any medications I'm currently taking interfere with conception?

2. Safely Stop Birth Control 

What's great about most birth control methods--once you stop using them, your body returns to fertility immediately. Data shows you can start ovulating as soon as 8 days after stopping birth control, so it is possible to become pregnant even before your first period.   

There is one exception. The Depo injection can cause a delay in return to fertility. If you are using that method, you may want to consider stopping a few months before you want to conceive.

For those with an Implant or IUD, the removal process is usually very short and easy.  If you are requesting discontinuation of an IUD, your clinician will perform a speculum exam (similar to a pap) and grasp the IUD strings.  The IUD is usually easily removed with gentle traction and the whole procedure usually takes less than a minute. Rarely, the strings can get caught inside your cervix and you may need to be referred for a minor surgical procedure to dilate your cervix and remove the IUD.

The arm implant is similarly easy to remove in most cases.  Your clinician will use lidocaine to numb the removal site and then make a small incision (usually 2mm) above the end of the implant. Usually, the implant pops right out. Rarely, it can be encased in scar tissue or it could have migrated more deeply in your arm. In these cases, you may need to be referred to a more experienced clinician for removal under ultrasound guidance. 

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3. Take Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins provide foundational support for your body as it prepares for pregnancy. We recommend starting to take them immediately after deciding to stop your pills, patch, or ring or after having a LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) removed by your clinician.   


Prenatal vitamins typically contain essential nutrients such as folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. Each of these components plays a vital role in nurturing a healthy pregnancy and aiding the development of your growing baby. Folic acid, for example, helps prevent neural tube defects, while iron supports the increased blood volume that occurs during pregnancy. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health, both for the mother and the baby. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development in the fetus.

4. Care for Your Body in Pregnancy

Once you become pregnant, prioritize taking care of yourself. Exercise regularly. You'll want to drink more water since proper hydration helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.  Fatigue and exhaustion are common side effects of pregnancy, so get enough rest. Overall, make sure you listen to your body! 

Things to Avoid

  • deli meats
  • unpasteurized dairy products
  • raw fish
  • tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs,
  • chemicals such as paint thinners and nail polish remover

If you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, leakage of fluid, or abdominal pain these could be signs that something is wrong and you should be evaluated immediately.

As you navigate the exciting and sometimes overwhelming journey of preparing your body for pregnancy, remember that FPA is here to support you. While seeing an obstetrician is crucial once you're pregnant, our clinic is here when you need guidance and/or birth control removal. You can schedule an appointment with us online.