Preparing for Pregnancy

Once you’re ready to bring a little one into the world, Sanford Health is here to support you on your journey to parenthood. Preconception is the time prior to conceiving a baby when you and your partner should start preparing.

Because the first few weeks of pregnancy are crucial in a child’s development, planning ahead and taking care of yourself before becoming pregnant is the best thing you can do. Start healthy habits now like eating nutritious food and ensuring you get your daily vitamins.

Establishing Care

When you’ve decided you’re ready to get pregnant, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your usual primary care provider or a new provider you’ll see for pregnancy care. They can help identify and address any potential health concerns as well as assess the possibility of complications due to family history. This appointment will help you and your partner understand what to expect before you start trying to conceive. There is a lot to think about when choosing where to have your baby including who will be on your care team as well as what types of facilities and care options are near you. Learn more about what to consider when making pregnancy care decisions.

When it comes to choosing a provider for pregnancy care, you have options.

OB/GYNs are doctors trained in both obstetrics and gynecology, which makes them experts in women’s health. Family medicine providers offer care for the whole family, but not all provide pregnancy care. Be sure to confirm with your family medicine provider that they do. Certified nurse midwives take a more holistic approach to pregnancy care and typically see those with low-risk pregnancies.

Each provider type offers something a little different, so it’s important to find one that aligns with your plans. Learn more about provider options.

Find a Provider


When it comes to getting pregnant, timing is key. Your pregnancy care provider can offer guidance on when it’s best for you and your partner to try to conceive. If it’s been harder than you expected, they can also help determine if there is an underlying reason for why you are not getting pregnant.

If you’ve been trying for over a year – or six months if you’re over 35 – it might be time to reach out to the fertility experts at Sanford Health. We offer a full range of services like artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), sperm freezing and more. Learn more about fertility and reproductive medicine.

In some cases, a provider may suggest genetic testing to learn more about a couple’s reproductive health. Most people are carriers for some inherited conditions, which means they don’t show symptoms of a condition but could pass it on to their child.

Genetic testing can help families identify if they are more likely to have a child with an inherited condition. It isn’t always necessary but can help some couples have a better understanding of what is possible. Learn more about genetic counseling.

Learn About Pregnancy