Planning a pregnancy? See our physicians for a preconception planning appointment
Preconception planning helps get your pregnancy off to a healthy start. If you are planning a pregnancy, the physicians at Athens ObGyn can discuss factors that could affect conception, pregnancy, and the health of you and your baby.
An important part of preconception planning is learning about your medical history
One of the most vital components of preconception planning is discussing your health and family history. Preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other issues, can affect your pregnancy.
The experienced physicians at Athens ObGyn will review your health history and family medical history to determine whether you need treatment before getting pregnant. This vital information also helps our team plan for any health issues that may require extra care during your pregnancy.
Our staff will ask you to bring a list of your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements. Some medications can harm your baby during pregnancy. As a result, you and your physician will determine what changes to make in your medications.
You need to consider your lifestyle choices when planning a pregnancy
When you are ready to get pregnant, you want to think about the lifestyle choices and behaviors that could affect your pregnancy and your baby. Here are some changes to consider during preconception planning.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Don’t use marijuana or illicit substances.
- Avoid toxic substances at work and at home.
Additionally, being underweight or overweight could affect your ability to conceive as well as your pregnancy health. As such, it’s helpful to focus on good nutrition before you get pregnant.
Try to eat a diet that includes dairy, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Also, talk to your physician about adding exercise to your daily routine. Physical activity helps you get to and stay at your ideal weight. It is also a healthy habit to continue during pregnancy.
You should begin taking prenatal vitamins that contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Our doctors recommend that you start taking folic acid at least one month before conception and for the first trimester of pregnancy to help prevent brain and spinal birth defects.
Your pre-pregnancy care appointment is a comprehensive visit
There is a lot to discuss during preconception planning. You may have a physical examination that includes a Pap test and an HIV test. Our physicians may also screen for hepatitis and immunity to rubella, or measles. When you are planning a pregnancy, our physicians will also ask you about any concerns you have about your mental health.