Planning on Having a Child? Schedule a Preconception Counseling Visit First
By: Dr. Magdala Beauvil, FACOG
Deciding to become a parent is one of the most important choices a person can make. If you’re thinking of having a child, the steps you take before and during your pregnancy will influence their lifelong health. To help achieve the best possible health outcomes for yourself and your baby, we recommend scheduling a preconception counseling visit with your OB/GYN at least three months before conception. Including this visit in your pre-pregnancy plan can help reduce the risk of complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, or neonatal infections.
Scheduling a preconception visit also allows you to have a conversation with your provider to uncover and address any potential health issues before you become pregnant. Your OB/GYN will take a close look at your diet and overall health picture and help you create a plan that may include:
- Eating more foods rich in folic acid (leafy greens, beans, nuts, fruits).
- Maintaining a healthy weight for sustaining a pregnancy.
- Pausing the use of certain medicines or herbal supplements that could potentially harm your child.
Having a preconception plan can also reduce the risk of health issues that are sometimes experienced during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, gestational diabetes, and seizure disorders. Your OB/GYN will also treat any infectious diseases you may have (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia), as well as identify hereditary diseases that could potentially be passed on to your child, such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis.
Having a preconception counseling visit with your OB/GYN can help lead you to a healthier pregnancy for you and your child. Schedule an appointment with AdvantageCare Physicians today.