Prepping for Preconception

Nurse Discussing Test Results With PatientIf you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s important to talk with your health care provider about your preconception health care.

During a preconception appointment, your doctor will check for any medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, that might impact your pregnancy and your baby’s health.  He or she also will check that your body is ready for pregnancy.  The March of Dimes notes that this checkup is particularly important if you already have had a baby born prematurely or with a birth defect, a stillbirth or a miscarriage.

The organization adds that you may want to visit with a genetic counselor if there are certain health conditions that run in your family.

In addition to discussing any medical conditions with your doctor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you talk about your lifestyle and behaviors during the preconception appointment. For example, do you smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs? Your health care provider can assist you with getting treatment, counseling or other services.

Other topics to address include the medications you are currently taking and which vaccinations are recommended prior to and during pregnancy and after you deliver your baby.

Remember to bring a list of these discussion topics to your preconception visit.