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Thinking of Starting a Family This Year? Here's What You Should Know

You always knew kids were in your future, and you feel that the future has arrived with the new year. Of course, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible for your first pregnancy, which is why we pulled together a few tips to help you get started.

Dr. Fernando Otero and our team of obstetric specialists at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley understand that there’s an incredible amount of information out there about starting a family. To help you sort through it all, we’re highlighting some of the more important steps you can take toward a healthy outcome.

Come in to see us

If you want to get pregnant in the new year, we urge you to start with a complete wellness exam. During this exam, we can ensure that you’re in good health and that you’re caught up on any important screenings. We also establish a baseline for your health, which we use when monitoring you throughout your pregnancy. 

This preconception visit is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about conception and pregnancy.

Mitigate your risks beforehand

There are several factors that can place your pregnancy into the high-risk category, some of which you have some control over and others you don’t. For example, there’s nothing you can do about your age or whether you’re carrying multiple babies.

But there are steps you can take to eliminate or reduce some of your risks, such as:

The healthier you are at the outset of your pregnancy, the easier your nine months will likely be, which is why addressing your health first is a great step.

Tweak your diet

To give your body the fuel it needs to better handle pregnancy, we recommend that you start incorporating healthy eating habits. From here on out, you’d do well to avoid all those calorie-rich, nutrient-poor foods and turn to healthier whole foods.

In other words, steer clear of processed foods and turn to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins as much as you can.

Start taking a prenatal supplement

We typically recommend that you start a prenatal vitamin before trying to get pregnant. This makes sure you’re getting adequate folic acid, which is critical for your baby’s development early on and helps prevent serious birth defects in the spine and brain. The prenatal supplement also contains other critical nutrients like iron, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fats.


The effects of stress on the human body are wide-ranging and affect your ability to get pregnant. If you’re running into fertility issues, trying relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or even nice, long walks can go a long way toward relieving your stress. With your body more relaxed, you might find that your fertility issues clear up.

Be patient

While some women seem to get pregnant by simply expressing that wish, most others go through months (and sometimes years) of trying. Conception is a complex and fickle process that often has no rhyme or reason. All you can do is relax and be patient, and the odds are your time will come. Rest assured, in the event it doesn’t, we’re here to help you figure out the next steps.

If you have more questions about starting a family, contact one of our offices in McAllen and Edinburg, Texas, to set up a consultation.

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