Many people fail to realize that the health habits you practice before pregnancy has a significant effect on you and your child?s health after you become pregnant. If you are thinking about getting pregnant or have already begun trying to conceive, then it is a good idea for you to start seeing your doctor for preconception healthcare.
The idea behind this concept is to make sure you and your doctor are aware of any underlying conditions or risks that would make it difficult for you to conceive or carry a full-term pregnancy. Once these issues have been uncovered, your physician can help you to resolve them.
What is Involved in a Preconception Care Appointment?
During your appointment, you will have a great opportunity to ask your physician about any concerns you may have about your health, conception and pregnancy. These concerns can be related to your diet, the passing on of genetic conditions, vitamin supplements, conception aids and much more.
Here is a brief run-down of the typical things that happen during your first preconception appointment:
Reproductive Exam and Discussion: Your doctor will perform a gynecological exam and Pap smear to make sure you do not have any undiagnosed reproductive conditions, infections or STDs. They will also ask you about your menstrual cycle, past pregnancies, previous birth control use and any past reproductive conditions or STDs you?ve had previously.
Medical Exam: Your doctor will take blood and urine samples to make sure you do not have any health problems that would complicate or prevent pregnancy. These could include heart disease, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure and much more. Your doctor will recommend the proper treatment for resolving or getting these conditions under control.
Prescription Medication Discussion: If you are taking any prescription medications or supplements, you doctor will need to know about all of them. If they determine that one or more of the medications you take are not safe for pregnant women, then your medication may be changed to something more suitable. In some cases, your doctor may decide to take you off all of your medications completely.
Genetic Conditions: You and your partner can choose to be tested for a variety of potential genetic conditions if you are concerned about passing them on to your child. If either of you are carriers for a genetic illness, your doctor can tell you how to proceed.
Environment Concerns: Tell your doctor if you live or work in an environment that may be dangerous for a woman who is pregnant or trying to conceive. They will be able to advise you on ways to reduce or eliminate these hazards from your environment.
Weight and Fitness: If you are under or overweight, then your doctor will be able to suggest a solution that will enable you to reach a healthy weight before you conceive. It is important to reach a normal weight before getting pregnant because you will be less likely to encounter problems such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure during your pregnancy. You doctor will also advise you on suitable fitness options for you during this time.
Dietary Concerns: Talk with your doctor about your current eating habits. They will be able to suggest certain additions or restrictions that you should make. You may also be advised to take a vitamin supplement.
Depending on your particular situation and state of health, there may be other things that your doctor may include in your preconception treatment. It is important to make sure you are as healthy as possible before you get pregnant, so that your baby is born healthy and without complications.