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"Each man, woman, and couple should be encouraged to have a reproductive life plan." -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Becoming A Parent: Information to Consider

An Important Decision: One of the most important decisions you will ever make is whether or not to become a parent. The challenges of pregnancy and parenthood can be exciting and rewarding when they are approached with thoughtful decision-making and preparation. 
 
Get Ready: When you prepare for each pregnancy, you are more likely to take good care of yourself, which can increase the chance that you and your baby will be healthy.   
 
What's Best for You?: If you choose not to become a parent, you can decide which steps are necessary to be sure that you do not have an unintended pregnancy.
 
The Responsibility is Yours
 
When you make the decision to become pregnant, you are making the decision to become a parent.  This decision should be made knowing that the responsibility for a healthy pregnancy and birth, and the responsibility for raising your child rests primarily with you, the expectant parent.
 
There are several things you can do to meet this responsibility through active planning and preparation before conception.
 Inform yourself about the factors that affect pregnancy and birth. 
 Investigate the skills and qualities necessary to be a caring and supportive parent.
Work with your health care provider(s) to minimize the effect of any risk factors you may have.
Strive for your best state of physical and emotional health.

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