6 Benefits of a Preconception Visit
Thinking of becoming pregnant soon? Have you ever wondered if you are in good shape to become pregnant when that time comes? If so, a preconception visit with your OB/GYN can help!
Advice from Dr. Christine Arnold
As an OB/GYN, I often tell my patients that the first step to a healthy baby is a healthy mom. However, roughly 50% of American pregnancies are unplanned, which means most moms never get the chance to make sure their health is in perfect shape prior to pregnancy. At a preconception visit, your physician can have a detailed discussion with you to see how you can best plan for your pregnancy. Here are some topics your physician will discuss:
1. Prenatal Vitamins
Many women don’t start taking their prenatal vitamins until they see that positive result on their home pregnancy test, but it is best for the vitamins to be in your system prior to conception. One of the most important ingredients in the prenatal vitamin is folic acid 0.4 mg, which should be started at least 1 month prior to conception to prevent neural tube defects (such as spina bifida).
Are there any habits that could stand in the way between you and a healthy pregnancy, such as tobacco or alcohol use? It’s a good idea to tackle these habits prior to pregnancy.
There are thousands of medications on the market today, and unfortunately most of them have not been thoroughly tested on pregnant women. Could you be taking any medications that could harm a pregnancy? Your physician can do a thorough review of your medication list to see.
4. Preventative Care
Are you up to date on your routine health maintenance, such as cancer screenings and vaccinations? Now is the time to address your well woman care!
Could you be a carrier for certain genetic conditions that have the potential to be passed on to your baby? Your physician can discuss blood work that can be done to see if you carry the genes for conditions such as Fragile X, Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and others.
6. Medical History
Do you have any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Many medical conditions require special testing and more frequent monitoring during pregnancy.
Schedule An Appointment!
If you and your partner are considering becoming pregnant, we highly encourage you to see a specialist beforehand so that you can thoroughly investigate and answer all six of the questions asked above. To schedule a consultation at the OB/GYN Associates of Akron, please call (330) 668-6545 or submit a request through our secure online form.