If you are considering having a baby, it is a good idea to see an OB/GYN several months before attempting pregnancy. At Peachtree Women's Clinic, our pre-pregnancy counseling can help improve your chances of getting pregnant and ensure a healthier pregnancy and baby.
Below, we've laid out some simple steps you can take to get your body in optimum health for conception.
When it comes to pregnancy, quitting smoking can:
- increase in fertility (in both men and women).
- reduce the baby's risk for early birth and low birth weight.
- decrease risk of high blood pressure and other complications in pregnancy.
We are happy to provide resources for quitting, and also offer safe supplements or medications to help you stop smoking if needed.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol is the leading preventable cause of improper mental development in the US. The developing fetus is very sensitive to the effects of alcohol and other drugs - especially in early pregnancy.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, let us know so we can help you get the treatment you need.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin Daily
Prenatal vitamins usually contain folic acid, which can help prevent defects of the brain and spine. Because the brain and spine begin forming before your pregnancy test is positive, you should start taking folic acid 2-3 months before attempting pregnancy.
Look for an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin that provides a dose of at least 800 mcg of folic acid daily.
Obtain/Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being underweight or overweight can decrease fertility by interfering with normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. In addition, being overweight during pregnancy increases your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and a c-section delivery. Eating a healthy diet and exercising is key!
Get a Check-up
During a check-up, your provider will review your overall health, medical conditions, and medications to make sure nothing you are taking is harmful to a developing fetus.
Here are some additional health situations you and your care provider may tackle together:
- Irregular cycles may affect your ability to conceive. If you have them, your provider will perform an evaluation to make sure there are no underlying conditions.
- If you have had a high-risk pregnancy in the past or have certain medical problems, your provider may recommend a visit with a Perinatologist or Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist.
- Your provider may screen for immunization status of some diseases. Since many vaccines cannot be taken during pregnancy, we may recommend this before conception.
- Your provider may screen for sexually transmitted infections to decrease risk of infertility as well as pregnancy complications.
- Your provider may review your and your partner's family history. We can offer genetic carrier testing to help reduce the risk of children born with certain genetic diseases.