Preconception counseling is often over looked and under rated. Preparing your mind, body and soul is necessary for optimizing your pregnancy.
So, what is the first step?
Meet with your physician. This is pertinent to ascertain possible risk factors that you and your partner may have that could serve as road blocks to a healthy pregnancy.
How do you prepare for your doctor’s visit?
Before coming to see your doctor; have a plan regarding your family planning. Start by answering the following questions: When do I want to get pregnant? Is my timing feasible? Am I financial, am I in between jobs, moving?
Keep in mind that your age is the MOST important factor: being the age of 35 and older matters when planning for pregnancy.
Have your medical records?
What you may think is NOT important, may be important to your doctor. So, don’t make that decision for your doctor. Be sure to bring your medical records to maximize your appointment.
What can I expect from preconception counseling?
Your doctor will be sure to do the following:
- Identifying potential risk to the mother fetus and pregnancy
- Obtaining medical, family and social history
- Initiating, if any, intervention that could be started before getting pregnant
- Starting folic acid
- Medication alternatives
- Eliminating alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Optimizing your weight
- Referrals to specialist if needed
- Education, answering any questions and putting to rest those myths.
It is often through preconception counseling where the physician and patient may discover gynecological issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome, endometriosis, recurrent miscarriage, that may cause a woman to be SUB-fertile.
So, don’t overlook this visit. Preconception counseling is important. If you’re trying to get pregnant remember to start your prenatal vitamins and add folic acid!
–Dr. Kendra Your OB/GYN Next Door
Dr. Kendra Segura is a board certified OB/Gyn practicing in Southern California. She enjoys educating women about there health, fashion and family. She can be followed on instagram and facebook @drkendramd. She also a co-author ofThe Chronicles of Women in White Coats.