Do you plan to have more children? If not, be sure to talk to your clinician about how to prevent pregnancy with a successful form of birth control. If your plans include another child, there are some things to think about before getting pregnant again.

Space your pregnancies by at least two years

Experts say it’s a good idea to wait until your child is at least two years old before getting pregnant again. Research shows that women who get pregnant too soon after childbirth have a higher chance of miscarriage and pregnancy complications. A baby has a greater chance of being born too early or too small if born too soon after a previous pregnancy.

keep your providers informed

It’s important for your provider to know your entire medical history. This background will help them properly plan for your health moving forward. If you have had a premature baby, make sure your provider is aware. There are medications that can help prevent some women from going into early labor again.

Staying healthy between pregnancies.

Remaining active between pregnancies is important to your physical health and can ensure that you continue to look and feel your best. And, if you decide to have more children, it can help your future baby’s health, too. Be sure to also get regular health care whether or not you are planning another pregnancy. The DSHS Expanded Primary Health Care program provides primary, preventative and screening services to women ages 18 and older whose income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). For questions, please contact: CHSS@dshs.state.tx.us.

Overall, the goals of the EPHC program are to:

  • Increase the number of women receiving primary and preventative care services.
  • Increase early detection of breast and cervical cancers.
  • Avoid unintended Medicaid births.
  • Reduce the number of preterm births.
  • Reduce the number of cases of potentially preventable hospitalizations related to hypertension and diabetes.

To find a clinic in your area, visit the DSHS Family and Community Health Services Clinic Locator.

Get the vitamins you need

It’s important to keep taking a daily multivitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid after pregnancy and throughout your childbearing years. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects. Since many pregnancies are not planned, making this a habit will also help the baby you may have someday.

If you are breastfeeding, your clinician may recommend you continue taking your prenatal vitamin in order to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need for yourself and your milk supply.

dads, dumbbells and diets

Between juggling their job, finances, the relationship with their partner and the relationship with their new baby, a dad’s life can get pretty busy. All of these things make it even more important to do what you can to stay healthy between pregnancies and beyond. There are a few things you can do to keep your mind and body strong:

  • Get regular health checkups to increase the chances of early detection for possible diseases and other conditions.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day to make your heart stronger.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, and protein, and avoid foods with lots of salt and fats.
  • Lower stress by talking with friends and loved ones.
resources

Start planning for the future today. Take this important step with the help of our Life Planning Tool.

Learn more about the benefits of physical activity.

Make exercise a part of your daily life and manage your weight.

Dads, get moving, too. Stay active with help from Fit Fathers.