Do You Want to Have a Baby? Follow Our Preconception Care Checklist
If you’re ready to have a baby, we want to speak with you before you get pregnant.
Preconception counseling and planning is critical to help increase the likelihood that both baby and mom will be healthy.
During this time, we also take a look at your personal health profile and give you some guidance on how to ensure your body is as healthy as possible before undertaking this wonderful adventure.
For example, we’ll keep a close eye on your blood sugar, help you make nutritious food choices and provide resources to help you stop smoking if you smoke (or vape).
We’ve provided this handy preconception care checklist to help guide you through the process.
Schedule an Appointment With Us
As soon as you’ve decided you’re going to try to get pregnant, you should schedule an appointment. From there, we’ll provide detailed guidelines and a timeline of any tests or evaluations you might need.
It also gives us a chance to create a personalized care plan for you going forward so we can better serve your health care needs.
We also want to know about any prescription medications you’re taking because some of these can cause birth defects or affect the developing fetus. We’ll work with you and your other providers to discover what’s best for both you and baby.
Make Sure Certain Vaccinations are Up-to-Date
Did you know that certain infections during pregnancy can have devastating results not just to you, but to your unborn baby as well?
Therefore, we want to make sure you’re current on the following vaccinations:
• Tdap (whooping cough)
• Flu vaccine
• MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
• Hepatitis B
Be aware that there are some vaccinations—like the ones for chickenpox –that you should NOT have during pregnancy. Don’t worry. We’ll be there to guide you and answer any questions about what vaccines you should and shouldn’t have. We’ll go over these with you during your preconception visit.
We have gone into greater detail about the importance of vaccinations during pregnancy in an earlier article you will find informative.
Receive Genetic Counseling
Genetic counseling is an important facet of preconception planning. During these screenings, we’re looking for any hereditary conditions that could affect the baby. It also helps us monitor or discover conditions that develop during the early stages of your pregnancy.
We’ll take you through each of the screening tests we perform.
Our most common tests are for cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMA causes extreme muscle weakness in any of the voluntary muscles in the body. This includes the limbs, shoulders, back and hips.
How do we screen for these chromosomal tests? We use the following methods:
- Cell-free DNA
- Specialized ultrasounds
- Taking small sample cells from the placenta
- Anatomy ultrasound screenings
Take Good Care of Yourself!
You have the best chance for a smooth, healthy pregnancy when you take care of yourself. This means eating right, having a regular exercise routine and getting enough sleep.
We realize that sometimes the stress of trying to conceive and the concern over the unknown can cause a lot of anxiety. Anxiety in turn can affect the regularity of your period and make it more difficult for you to conceive.
If you are stressed out over trying to get pregnant, we want you to talk to us! We are concerned about your mental and physical health and will work with you to create practical solutions.
If you smoke, stop. We can give you useful advice and resources to help you quit.
Stop drinking alcohol. Because your body can store some harmful substances in fat, even a small amount of drinking can affect your baby.
Start Taking Folic Acid
We really want to stress the importance of this B vitamin. Studies have shown if you have sufficient folic acid in your body for one month before and during pregnancy, it can prevent the development of serious birth defects that affect your baby’s spine and brain.
Go Ahead and Download Our Pregnancy Checklist
When you’re pregnant, the list of things to do—from scheduling appointments to assembling cribs—can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve broken it down into this easy checklist that takes things trimester by trimester
Healthcare By Women for Women
For decades, we’ve provided compassionate care for women who are attempting to have a baby. We focus on your individual needs, which enables us to tailor a plan that is perfect for you and baby.
Interested in starting a family? Contact us for an appointment. We’d love the opportunity to care for you during this important time in your life.