Expertise and experience in pregnancy planning and preconception counseling in Independence and Blue Springs, Mo.
When you decide to try and get pregnant, we want you and your baby to have the healthiest start possible. Did you know that much of a baby’s development happens in the earliest months of pregnancy – often even before a woman knows she’s pregnant? For that reason, the ObGyns of Healthcare for Women Medical Group strongly advocate focusing on your best health before trying to conceive.
We encourage our patients to come in for a pre-pregnancy counseling visit even if you are just beginning to consider getting pregnant. Steps like starting a folic acid regimen, forgoing certain lifestyle habits and eating well can all help your baby off to a strong, healthy start.
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What Happens During a Preconception Doctor Visit?
When you visit with one of our Obs during your “planning stage,” it gives us the chance to learn about your current health and pregnancy plans, and provide the best advice on how to get pregnant, and having a healthy pregnancy.
A Thorough Physical Exam and Discussion of Your Overall Health
Your Ob will perform a physical exam and order some routine blood tests to get a picture of your overall health. During this preconception doctor visit, we encourage you to provide thorough and accurate health information about past surgeries, hospitalizations, medical conditions you may have, allergies and any medicines you’re taking. This should include prescription, over-the-counter, and any herbal or natural supplements. The more your doctor knows about your health, the better he or she is able to provide care and help manage any conditions that could cause issues for you in getting pregnant or during your pregnancy
Your ObGyn History
Your previous pregnancies, menstrual cycle, birth control use and infections you may have had can all impact your ability to get pregnant.
Depending on your age and menstrual cycle history, the doctor may also recommend charting your periods or using an ovulation predictor.
Family History and Genetic Risk
Your doctor will talk with you about any possible risk factors and genetic tendencies that could impact your pregnancy. This is the opportunity to talk with the physician about whether genetic testing is right for you.
Healthy Preconception and Pregnancy Habits
A healthy pregnancy starts with a healthy mom. Our physicians are passionate about women working toward their own best health when they want to become pregnant. During your preconception visit, we will discuss ways to reduce the risks of the pregnancy by making dietary changes, beginning vitamin supplementation, considering weight reduction if necessary, and modifying risk-producing behaviors before conception.
- Folic acid – we advise women to begin taking folic acid a few months before they try to conceive
- Eliminating alcohol, smoking or recreational drugs
- Limiting caffeine
- Weight control – Maintaining a healthy weight (not carrying too much or too little weight) is one of the best ways you can facilitate your baby’s health. Being too heavy is not only unhealthy for mom, it can also result in higher risk of a baby with birth defects and higher risk for C-section.
- A well-balanced diet – A healthy diet and getting all the vitamins and nutrients you and your partner need not only impacts pregnancy, but can also impact your fertility.
- Exercising during pregnancy – We recommend that women continue to exercise regularly during pregnancy. Your doctor can help you determine what’s appropriate for your specific situation.
- Keeping your stress under control
- Being up-to-date on immunizations like the flu vaccine