There are many steps during your OB/GYN visits that are intended to ensure optimal health for both you and your baby from pre to post pregnancy. Certain things should be done before attempting conception including visiting an obstetrician. Why should you make an appointment before becoming pregnant?
- Prenatal Vitamins – Ideally, women should begin prenatal vitamins for at least three months before conceiving. That should include folic acid, which lowers the risk of neural tube defects or problems with brain, spinal cord, or spine development. These issues can appear during the first weeks of pregnancy.
- Genetic Screening – Genetic screening allows your doctor to review family history and determine risk factors for different conditions and diseases. This includes cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and congenital abnormalities.
- Health Status and Medications – Some medications could put you at risk during pregnancy. That includes prescriptions and over-the-counter herbal supplements. Your OB/GYN can let you know what’s safe and what is not before you get pregnant.
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices – Your obstetrician can advise you on factors that will impact your pregnancy and baby. You don’t have to be in perfect shape, but women who are obese have a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, and diabetes.
- Immunizations – You should be up to date on all your immunizations before conception. The two most important shots include the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and chickenpox vaccines.
If you plan on having a baby, let us know. Call Women’s Health to schedule a consultation appointment.