If you’re planning to get pregnant, there are many things you can do to improve your health and the health of your baby before pregnancy.
Staying on top of any medical conditions and medications you take by consulting with a physician or an obstetrician and gynecologist while planning for a baby. Dr. Jessica Auffant, obstetrician and gynecologist at Florida Hospital says, “Many health conditions can worsen in pregnancy, and, by having them under control prior to conception, can limit complications during pregnancy. There are many health conditions, such as diabetes, that, if out of control, can result in a fetal anomaly or a birth defect during some of the most critical times of fetal development. Also, there are many medications that should not be taken during pregnancy. It is important to have your doctor review them and change to pregnancy-safe drugs prior to conception to limit fetal abnormalities.”
Getting to know your family history is important because there are many genetic conditions that can affect a pregnancy. Dr. Jessica Auffant says, “Its important prior to pregnancy to review your personal and family history with your physician and let them know your intention to get pregnant. Many genetic conditions can be screened for prior to pregnancy. If someone screens positive for a genetic disease, and there is a risk of passing this on to a future child, it would be beneficial to meet with a genetic councilor prior to pregnancy. Parents can then make informed decisions and understand risks of their children being affected and pregnancy screening for their children that may be beneficial.”
Eating healthy is essential to women and their babies. Starting a prenatal vitamin with folic acid three months prior to pregnancy can help prevent birth defects. An excellent nutritional guide for woman to refer to during pregnancy is MyPlate on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website found at www.chooseplate.gov.
Optimizing your health and preparing for your pregnancy can ultimately result in a healthier mom and baby! Click here to learn more about our Obstetrics program.