Conceiving / Getting Pregnant




Preconception Medical Visits You Need to Make

Preconception Preparation To get conception, pregnancy and delivery off to the best possible start it is a good idea to schedule a few doctors’ visits.

Preconception Medical Visits You Need to Make

Planning to have a baby is more than tossing out the birth control. The efforts put in to preconception planning are repaid a million fold when you have a healthy baby.

To get conception, pregnancy, and delivery off to the best possible start, it is a good idea to schedule a few doctors’ visits before going full steam ahead.

The Rundown on Preconception Doctors' Visits

Genetic Counseling

With an increasing number of couples waiting to have babies until their late 30s and early 40s, genetic counseling is becoming more of a necessity than a novelty. As the female reproductive system ages it loses some degree of vitality. Those jokes about the ominous ticking of a woman’s biological clock continue to have an audience for a reason.

Women over 35 are much more likely to conceive a child with Down Syndrome than a younger woman does, and this risk factor only increases with every passing year.

Knowing the specific secrets of your genetic and chromosomal coding can help decide the timing of parenthood, as well as prepare parents for any possible outcome.

Physical Exam

The other two doctor visits suggested for preconception planning are not nearly as intimidating or scary as visiting a geneticist.

A regular physical exam is beneficial for many reasons. Discovering health concerns prior to pregnancy makes treatment much simpler. Also, letting a healthcare provider know of baby plans can make the actual conception process go faster.

Doctors can suggest supplements, such as omega 3 fish oil pills, which help the body support healthy function in all systems, especially the reproductive ones. An MD will also be able to take look at lifestyle habits and spot any changes that might need to occur before a healthy pregnancy is possible. Prescription medications, for example, might need to be changed to prevent the possibility of damage to the fetus during those first few undetected weeks of gestation.

Doctors can also do blood screenings to test for any nutritional deficits that should be addressed before pregnancy places an even greater demand on mom’s body.

Lastly, including an MD right from the start will help fast track a solution to any fertility difficulties, should they arise.

Dental Visits

The dentist is not known for topping anyone’s list of favorite places to go, but it is definitely easier to have a cavity filled and x-rays taken without worrying about their possible effects on your baby during pregnancy.

Pregnancy itself is hard on teeth. The acidity levels of saliva increase during pregnancy, making weakened spots of enamel easy targets for decay. Getting a preconception cleaning will ensure that the teeth are ready to weather the months ahead and come out strong on the other side.

Taking the time during those preconception months to get a clean bill of health will neutralize potential harms and ensure baby has the best possible start in life. If baby booties are in the future, now is the time to get on the phone and schedule a few appointments.

Get Your Lifestyle Together

In addition to these needed medical visits, you also need to make sure your lifestyle is on track before trying for a baby. Most importantly, if you drink, smoke, or take recreational drugs, you need to stop those habits before trying for a baby. You do not want to put your baby at risk for any developmental issues due to drug, alcohol, or tobacco use.

Get into a habit of eating healthy now. You'll soon be eating for two if all goes well, so getting used to eating more – and eating healthier – now is key. Talk to your doctor about what your nutritional needs will be during pregnancy. If necessary, talk to a nutritionist about forming a diet plan that makes sense for you.

Getting enough exercise is also important. Sufficient exercise will keep your body in good shape, allowing the process of pregnancy and delivery to go more smoothly. You won't be able to do any high-intensity exercises while pregnant, but you can still walk! Remaining active throughout this whole process will also help alleviate stress.

Finally, make sure you take care of your mental health. The process of trying for a baby is easy for some, but hard for others. If you find it difficult to get pregnant, don't get too discouraged. Many couples, especially older ones, need to try for a while before they are successful. If you begin to feel unhealthily depressed or anxious over fertility struggles, talk to a mental health professional.

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