Woman's health before pregnancy important to baby's health - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Woman's health before pregnancy important to baby's health

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Along with getting a few practice laps in around the hospital before March for Babies, staff at Woman's Hospital is also trying to educate women as early as possible about prenatal and preconception care.

"We all know a healthy pregnancy starts with a healthy mother prior to her being pregnant. 49 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned so that's why it's real important to address your health needs now," said Vice President of Perinatal care Cherri Johnson.

"It is all about healthy living and it's not just interconception care or preconception care, it's about lifetime care," explained OBGYN Dr. Dore Binder.

This year March of Dimes will celebrate 75 years of educating women about healthy pregnancies.

"They've always had a big focus on prevention of birth defects and so that's of course one of the things that we would not like to see in our hospital ever," said Johnson.

"The most important things are that every baby is born to full term and another part of that is that every baby gets a fair shot for a healthy start," Capital Area March of Dimes Division Director Clayton Forbes.

More and more, experts are making a push that a healthy pregnancy begins long before conception.  This year, Woman's is encouraging every woman to get healthy now, both for herself and for any future generations

"The more knowledge you have about making yourself healthy leads to a healthy pregnancy and it helps prevent any problems during your pregnancy that may affect the outcome of your baby," said Johnson

Also with pregnancy, the message is to get plenty of folic acid with a healthy diet, and to carry the pregnancy to full term if possible instead of scheduling an induction early.

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