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1. Get An OB-GYN Check Up
Let your doctor know your pregnancy plans are on the horizon. Talk about any meds you take for chronic conditions (like diabetes, acne, or hypothyroid disease), update your immunizations, and find out what medications are safe to use while pregnant.
2. Get Your Genes Tested
Ask your gyno or a genetic counselor to check your DNA to see if you carry untreatable genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis, or sickle cell anemia.
3. Start Taking Vitamins
You’ll want to start a vitamin regimen that includes folic acid. The sooner you start these positive habits, the easier your pregnancy will be.
4. Go To The Dentist
All of the extra blood flow and estrogen in the body can lead to more plaque production and bleeding gums. Get a cleaning and any X-rays done before you get pregnant and make sure your smile is in optimal condition.
5. Create A New Budget
Ask friends with babies how much they spend on junior each month, including diapers, baby food, clothes, and splurges. Try factoring this into your budget now, saving the rest for the baby just-in-case fund, and see how you adapt.
6. Get Rates For Disability & Life Insurance
Disability must be purchased before you get pregnant if you want it to cover your birth and postpartum time. Beware: Most policies require several months before you're actually eligible. Also, meet with a few agencies to find a good rate on life insurance (your car and health insurance companies may give you the best deal).
7. Learn Your Cycle
Women typically ovulate mid-cycle. This is your most fertile time and when you’ll have the best chance of conceiving. But the timing of it differs from woman to woman—and possibly even from month to month. The first day of your cycle (day 1) is the first day of your period. Therefore, if you typically follow a 28-day cycle, you would most likely ovulate on day 14. Track your body over the course of a few months to get an idea of the best time to try. To determine when that is, visit our Ovulation Calculator.
8. Find Out About Family Leave
Have you been at your current job long enough to be covered by the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act? Every employer has its own policies on top of the law regarding how much maternity leave is paid (or partially subsidized). Get your man in on the act and have him find out about paternity leave too.
9. Create A Will
Make sure your baby-to-be is as covered as possible in case something horrendous were to happen to either one of you. Enlist a Plan A and a Plan B person with power of attorney so your financial and medical affairs are in good hands if one of you becomes unable to handle them. While you’re at it, consider a health-care directive or health-care proxy that will make your wishes clear if any kind of medical situation arises.
10. Quit Your Vices
You’ve heard it a zillion times, but you have to stop smoking and drinking heavily. See if you can do it now—so there’s no worry when the test is positive.
11. Remember to Sign Up Baby for Health Insurance
Okay, this isn't exactly something to do while you're TTC, but when you do conceive, you'll be so excited you're pregnant that you might forget to look at your health insurance policy before baby arrives. So here's a very early reminder for that exciting time when you are expecting: Whether you get health insurance through the government's marketplace or get it through your or your SO's job, as soon as your child is born, you need to sign baby up for coverage! Having a child is a qualifying life event that triggers special enrollment without having to wait for a certain timeframe to sign up for benefits.
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