If you are ready to have a baby or even just beginning to think about it, one of the first steps you should take is to make an appointment with one of our Women’s Health Providers.
By Dr. Mary Powell
Is it time to have a baby?
It is estimated that nearly half of all the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Another way to state that is that more than half of all pregnancies are planned. If you are ready to have a baby or even just beginning to think about it, one of the first steps you should take is to make an appointment with one of our Women’s Health Providers.
What to expect at that appointment?
During that office visit we focus on something called preconception health. We will review any chronic medical conditions you may have; such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, or mood disorders. It is important to know how both a pregnancy can affect certain medical problems and how those same problems can in turn affect a pregnancy. There are often steps that can be taken to optimize your health prior to pregnancy, to improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.
We will also review any medications you are currently taking to determine if they are safe to continue before and during your pregnancy. We can work with your primary care provider to find alternatives if you are on medications that are not ideal for pregnancy.
We will talk about your family history and discuss in inherited conditions that may be present in your family or your partner’s family. Some women will choose to do testing to see if they are carriers of certain medical conditions even prior to pregnancy. We can discuss those genetic screening tests with you to help you make an informed decision.
We will also talk about your lifestyle and daily habits. It is quite important to avoid substances that may be dangerous to yourself during the months you are trying to conceive and throughout your pregnancy. We can assist those who need help with smoking cessation, alcohol intake, or drug use. We will talk about your weight, diet, and exercise. We will recommend starting a supplement with folic acid, most often we suggest a prenatal vitamin.
All of us are working to improve ourselves in some way, so don’t worry, perfection is not necessary to have a baby. Even making some small changes in our lives can have a huge impact on future pregnancy success.
Whether you are planning your first or your fifth pregnancy; come see us so we can help you have a beautiful beginning!