Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
a patient or visitor a physician or healthcare professional an employer
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size

medical services home
women's services
search by doctor name 
Doctor Name Contains (Smart Search)
search by specialty

search by city/zip code
Find a doctor near your location by entering a city name OR ZIP code.

Within miles:
0 1 5 10 15 30 30+

search by insurance
Insurance Name Contains (Smart Search)
 (what's this)

lifestyle changes

a guide to daily food choiceslifestyle changes10 questions for your OB/GYNgetting pregnant
nutrition for preconceptionfoods containing folic acidexercise guidelinesresources
how long does it take to conceive?is infertility hereditary?stress reduction

Lifestyle Changes

Deciding to start a family is a life-changing decision. Preparing for the physical and emotional changes before you conceive will help you enjoy this special time. Give your baby the best start in life by taking care of yourself.

Start healthy habits as you consider pregnancy:

  • Schedule a preconception physical exam with your physician
  • Update your immunizations
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Achieve a healthy weight before you try to get pregnant
  • Begin or continue exercising
  • Begin taking vitamins with folic acid
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Reduce stress
  • Review your health insurance and maternity leave benefits
  • Reduce caffeine use
  • Stop drinking, smoking and taking drugs
  • Reduce exposure to second hand smoke
  • Eliminate your exposure to environmental hazards

Preconception Physical Exam

Visit your OB/GYN three months before you try to get pregnant. Are you physically ready to have a baby? Schedule a complete physical exam with your OB/GYN to be sure. Your physician will assess your family history, preexisting conditions, lifestyle and will give you a medical exam. This first visit provides your physician with helpful baseline information to use as a guide during your pregnancy.

Whether this is your first baby or you are adding to your family, you may have questions, too. Prepare a list of questions and bring it to your preconception exam.

Your preconception visit may include:

  • Complete medical history
  • Use of birth control methods
  • Family medical history
  • Lifestyle assessment and recommendations
  • Genetic counseling if you have a family history of genetically transmitted diseases
  • Immunization review and update
  • Review of diet and nutrition
  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood tests (type and Rh factor, hemoglobin and hemotocrit, rubella titer, serology)
  • Medication review - prescription and over the counter
  • Blood pressure check
  • Test for sexually transmissible diseases (optional)
  • Toxoplasmosis (optional) 

quick links patient information health care professional information employer information connect with Advocate

About Advocate | Contact Us | Jobs | SiteMap | Terms of Use | Notice of privacy practices ®Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Illinois, USA | 1.800.3.ADVOCATE | TDD 312.528.5030