Also, this may seem a little remote, but when things go wrong with having babies the costs go through the roof. So before getting pregnant, the mother-to-be should take multivitamins and extra folic acid.
(per the March of Dimes
Folic acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps a baby's neural tube—the part of a developing baby that becomes the brain and spinal cord—develop properly. It must be taken before and during early pregnancy when the neural tube is developing.
Folic acid works, but it only works if taken before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, when the neural tube is developing into the brain and spinal cord. When the neural tube does not close properly, a baby is born with a very serious birth defect called a neural tube defect. About 2,500 children are born each year in the United States with a neural tube defect. If all women took adequate folic acid before conception and during pregnancy, the number of babies born with a neural tube defect could drop by as much as 70 percent.
And (I hope) needless to say, she should not smoke, live with a smoker, and should cut way back on drinking alcohol. She should get plenty of calcium. She should not change the kitty litter or let the cats sleep on her bed during pregnancy.
There's plenty of literature out there about all this. But it's important to start the folic acid (and the general good health - not smoking and not drinking to excess) BEFORE pregnancy.
Um, it also reduces the risk of birth defects to have your children before the mother turns 35, but I am here to tell you that we can and do have healthy children after that. As a matter of minimizing risks, though, under 35 is preferable. I would personally also avoid chemicals (eg. stop doing haircoloring if you're a hairdresser, stop coloring your own hair, don't paint the nursery, move out of the house one night while Tommy paints the nursery, etc.).
Maybe this is a little far from what you had in mind, Tommy, but a little caution can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in birthing and raising a special needs child.