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

Becoming a Parent: Resources


Thinking about becoming pregnant?


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.

Things to Think About

  • Am I Healthy?
  • Do I earn enough money?
  • Am I ready for the stress of raising a baby?
  • What are my career plans?
  • Do I have support from family and friends?
  • Am I the right age to have a baby?

Getting Healthy Now

Whether you are male or female, your physical health is very important as you plan to have a baby. You may have a medical condition that can affect your decision to have a baby. Talk with your health care provider(s)to determine if your medical condition can affect the baby or if becoming pregnant may affect your health. It is important to be in the best physical health possible before you get pregnant. It is especially important to be taking good care of yourself when the baby is first developing.  Later these healthy habits will bring continued benefits giving you the energy you need to keep up with a child and helping you to stay in good health.

To get physically ready, schedule a prenatal appointment with your health care provider. Not sure what to ask?  Click below for ideas.

Questions to Ask your Health Care Provider

  • Do I have any health problems that might be trouble if I get pregnant?
  • Are there diseases or conditions that might run in my family?
  • Is my age a problem?
  • How will I know if I am ready for a baby and parenthood?
  • When do I stop using birth control?
  • What are some early signs that I am pregnant?
  • How will smoking, alcohol use, and drug use/abuse affect my getting pregnant?  How will they affect my chances of having a healthy child?
  • Am I taking medications that should be changed or stopped before I get pregnant?
  • Do I need to change what I eat?
  • Are there special risks from my job or home? Like chemicals, kitty litter, radiation?
  • How far apart should my pregnancies be?
  • How and when do I get a pregnancy test?
  • How and when so I start prenatal care?
  • What choices do I have for prenatal care and delivery?


For more information, see the available resources below:

Becoming a Parent: Information to Consider

Becoming a Parent Checklist


Planning for Pregnancy Information Sheets

These patient information sheets are designed to help women manage chronic health conditions enter into pregnancy as healthy as possible:

X-ray Tests and Pregnancy (English and Spanish)

Becoming a Father - Preconception Health for Men (English and Spanish)

Before Your Next Pregnancy – Interconception Health for Women (English and Spanish)


Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods - An Infographic from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)