Women Partners in Health encourage women to schedule an appointment for preconception planning to help ensure a healthier pregnancy
When you and your partner decide you are ready to try to conceive, it’s time to sit down and talk about preconception planning. During this important appointment, we will discuss many different factors that can influence your health, as well as the health and well being of your baby.
Your health history is a very important component of preconception planning
We will have several questions about your medical and family history. You will need to relay information about previous pregnancies and any problems you may have had, as well as any medical conditions you may have.
We also need to know about any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) you are taking. During a preconception planning appointment, we will also ask if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, eating disorders and sexually transmitted diseases.
German measles (rubella) and chickenpox (varicella) are two infections that can harm your baby, so our obgyns want to be certain that your vaccines for these conditions are up-to-date. If they are not, you will need to have the vaccines before you try to get pregnant.
If you are age 35 or older, we will discuss issues that may occur with older moms, including fertility issues, aneuploidy (chromosomal problems) or a higher risk of gestational diabetes, for example.
We encourage you to bring your partner to the preconception planning appointment because his family history is also important since there are certain inheritable conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and Fragile X syndrome, which are genetic. We will discuss preconception carrier screening with you at this appointment if your history indicates there is a need for concern.
Diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors can affect your pregnancy
Eating a healthy diet is important for your health and your baby’s, so during your preconception planning appointment our Austin obgyns will give you nutrition information. We also advise patients to take folic acid each day to help prevent neural tube birth defects. We encourage patients who are severely overweight or obese or severely underweight to achieve a healthy weight before conceiving and provide strategies for achieving this goal.
Smoking, alcohol and drug use can cause serious problems during pregnancy
Educating women about the risks of alcohol, tobacco and drug use during pregnancy is an important part of the preconception planning. We will help you find a program to help you quit smoking, for example, before you try to get pregnant since smoking causes premature birth weight and other problems.
Preconception planning is part of the comprehensive obstetric care our Austin obgyns offer patients
At Women Partners in Health, our Austin obgyns are committed to helping women have the best pregnancy and birth experience they possibly can, and preconception planning is the first step in that journey. Contact us for an appointment.