Preconception care is important because being as healthy as possible in the months before trying to have a baby has been shown to help the chances of falling pregnant, plus being healthy before falling pregnant gives your baby a better chance of good health throughout their life.
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The importance of folic acid during pregnancy
Even before you know you’re pregnant, folic acid — also known as folate — supports your baby’s development. It plays a significant role in the formation of your baby’s neural tube. This is formed in the first month of pregnancy and eventually becomes your baby’s spinal cord and brain. Together, these will form your baby’s central nervous system and the control centre for your baby’s future growth, development, and normal functioning later in life.
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy
Whilst it’s normal to gain some weight during pregnancy, gaining too much weight during pregnancy can impact you and your baby’s health. For example, it can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and your baby’s risk of becoming overweight or obese later in life. It is important to only gain the recommended weight gain based on your pre-pregnancy BMI.