You’re ready to start your family, or perhaps you want to add to your existing one. While prenatal care goes a long way toward a healthy pregnancy, why not start out a little earlier and optimize your health before you get pregnant?
That is exactly the goal of preconception care. At Marion Ob/Gyn, Dr. David Foulk and our team offer full-spectrum pregnancy and obstetric services, which includes readying your body for pregnancy through preconception care.
Here’s a look at some of what we can accomplish through preconception care.
If you want to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy, make some lifestyle adjustments. First, if you’re a smoker and/or moderate-to-heavy drinker, we can help you take steps to quit these habits.
If you have obesity, this condition also elevates your risks during a pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to try to lose some weight before you become pregnant. Through nutritional counseling and a good exercise regimen, you can shed unhealthy pounds and make your body stronger for your pregnancy.
We want to note that addressing these lifestyle changes not only helps with your future pregnancy — steps that you take toward improving your health may also improve your fertility.
Another way in which preconception care can help is through addressing preexisting health conditions that may affect your pregnancy. Six out of 10 adults in the United States have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Through preconception care, we review ways in which you can manage these diseases to minimize their impact on your future pregnancy.
For example, getting your blood sugar levels under control when you have diabetes is important under normal circumstances, but it’s even more critical if you want to become pregnant.
If you have a genetic condition or a condition that runs in the family, we can help you determine whether it may be cause for concern during a pregnancy. A part of preconception care may include genetic counseling in which we can identify any red flags.
You may have heard of taking supplements like folic acid while you’re pregnant, but it’s often a good idea to start these supplements before you conceive. While folic acid is known to reduce certain birth defects, you may benefit from other supplements, such as iron, calcium, and B vitamins.
During your preconception counseling, we can review which supplements may best support a pregnancy and, as important, review any current supplements you’re taking that might do more harm than good.
If you want to start your pregnancy journey right with preconception care, please contact our office in Marion, Ohio, to set up an appointment.