If you are considering pregnancy, there are many preparations to think about, like how you will decorate the baby’s room, the supplies and baby clothes you’ll need, and the short-list of possible names. More important than these, however, is making sure that you are taking the right steps to have a healthy pregnancy and a very happy baby!
What is involved in preconception counseling?
The most important part of preconception counseling is to check your family health history and identify risks, chronic medical conditions, and other risk factors that could affect pregnancy outcomes. Genetic testing and genetic counseling are often used to see if you or your child-to-be could be at risk of various conditions.
Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists will discuss with you disease control and prevention related to conditions that your pregnancy could include. These are conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes hypertension, weight loss, and infectious diseases.
When it comes to your future child, you’ll want to make sure conditions for conception and pregnancy are perfect. The preconception period is a perfect time to get regular exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy foods. You must start limiting your use of caffeine and alcohol, and above all, quit that smoking habit.
Discuss with your doctor your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, to make sure that none will have an impact on your pregnancy.
Why should I come in for preconception counseling?
The overarching goal of preconception counseling is to reduce the risks to your child, doing all that’s possible to avoid issues like neural tube defects or conditions that could lead to low birth weight.
When it’s time to get serious about pregnancy, your doctor will discuss your options for stopping birth control. If you use an intrauterine device (IUD), you’ll need to schedule a time for it to be removed. If you’ve been taking birth control pills or shots, it’s best to wait to try to conceive until after you’ve had your first full menstrual period. Depending on the type of birth control used, this could take as long as one full year.
By talking through these and other relevant issues with your doctor, you can make sure that you use the preconception timeline to get ready, setting yourself up for success, and making sure that you are doing all you can to have a pleasant pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you have any questions feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.