It’s never too late to start making plans to protect your baby’s health and achieve better outcomes in your new family. Here are a few tips on how to plan ahead for the future health of your baby that you can start at any point in your pregnancy!

Focus On Your Own Mental Health

Many parenting and pregnancy guides focus on healthy eating, staying active, and preparing your body for delivery. While these aspects of pregnancy certainly play a role in your baby’s future health, it’s important to remember that your stress levels and sense of safety also matter.

Incorporate self-care and mental wellness efforts into your pregnancy plans by finding resources that work for you. Spa days can be just as beneficial for some moms-to-be as support groups are for others. Even just one day spent with family can provide a sense of security and reassurance in moms, creating a better environment for your baby’s growth.

Find a Prenatal Care Team You Trust

Prenatal care plays a major role in achieving good health outcomes for both Black mothers and their babies. Whether you turn to birth doulas who prioritize your personal needs, an OB/GYN healthcare team, or both, seeking support from those with medical experience and access to resources helps ensure a healthier pregnancy.

Try to find these support systems as early on in your pregnancy as possible. If you aren’t happy with your current prenatal care, don’t hesitate to continue looking for a team you trust.

Think Beyond the Baby Years

There are steps you can take now to plan ahead for the future health of your baby that have an impact later in their life as well. Including cord blood banking in your birth plan, for example, allows you to preserve your baby’s stem cells from the umbilical cord. These stem cells are kept safe and secure, ready should your child ever need a match for stem cell therapy in the future. This is especially important for families with a history of sickle cell anemia or blood cancers, as both benefit from stem cell treatments.

Another way to protect your baby’s health down the line is to start building up emergency savings as soon as possible. This reserve can be game-changing if your child ever breaks a bone while playing or struggles with a nasty bout of the flu.

It’s important to remember that every pregnancy will go differently, so it’s okay if your preparation and birthing plan looks different from someone else’s. Even the most thorough plans need to adapt to the needs of your baby as time passes. So long as you seek resources and are willing to rely on others for help, you are setting up a happier, healthier future for your baby.