Preconception planning is a healthy move if you’re considering pregnancy
Thinking about becoming pregnant? Our Austin ObGyns provide preconception planning to help you identify issues that could affect your pregnancy. At this appointment, our physicians discuss several factors that can influence your health before and during pregnancy, including your family and medical history, diet, exercise, lifestyle factors and your home and work environment.
During preconception planning, our physicians discuss your medical history
Your medical history provides critical information for our Austin ObGyns. During preconception planning, we address several issues.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medication use
- Medical history, including past pregnancies and surgeries
- Preexisting medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems or sexually transmitted infections
- Vaccinations for conditions that can harm a baby, including German measles and chickenpox
- Issues that affect moms age 35 and older, including fertility issues and gestational diabetes.
- Family history of genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis and fragile X syndrome
Focus on a healthy weight and a balanced diet
The best time to focus on a healthy weight and diet is before you conceive. If you’re obese when you become pregnant, you have an increased risk of developing problems and complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Another important part of preconception planning is eating a balanced diet that consists of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, calcium and healthy fats. If you need to lose weight, aim for healthy weight management and add physical activity.
Our Austin ObGyns recommend that you take a folic acid supplement that provides at least 800 micrograms per day before you become pregnant. Folic acid helps protect your baby from neural tube defects that can occur during the early weeks of pregnancy. You should also begin taking a multivitamin with iron.
Certain lifestyle factors can cause problems for mother and baby
When you meet with our Austin ObGyns, it’s important to be completely honest about lifestyle factors that can affect you and your baby, including smoking; drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs. Our physicians can help you quit these behaviors.
Your home and work environments are also important factors to consider during preconception planning. You need to take steps to avoid exposure to radiation, pesticides, mercury and lead.
Preconception planning with our Austin ObGyns is the first step toward optimal health before and during pregnancy. Contact us for an appointment.