Planning to conceive can be one of the most exciting times in your life. Like every other very exciting and important thing in your life, it comes with some stress and uncertainty. Rest assured, it doesn’t have to. There are some things you can do to ensure you will be off on the right foot. Goodbody goodmommy is here to help you through them and to remind you to trust your body as you begin this journey.
- See your maternity care provider (OB/GYN or Midwife) for a pre conception visit. At this visit, your provider will do a thorough history and physical to ensure that your health is good now.
- Speak to your family and inquire about your family history, as a detailed family history will take place at this visit. This will aid your provider in directing you in what type of genetic testing or counseling you may need. Remember “counseling” is just speaking about your history and learning what is available to you. You can perform as much or as little testing as you are comfortable with. Many care providers will routinely test for genetic disorders. Ask your provider what they test for. Genetic testing decisions are personal and take time, so this is why we recommend discussing them with your partner and provider prior to being pregnant — so you can take all the time you need!
- Have a list of medications and dosages you take daily in case any of them need to be re-evaluated for pregnancy
- Complete all of your health screenings. Many of these can be done with your care provider at your pre conception visit. These are things like: pap smear, STI screening, and mammogram if it is time. Your provider may want to do some blood tests as well.
- Go to the Dentist! Lots of research links a healthy mouth with a healthy pregnancy!
- Quit smoking, excessive drinking or any other illegal drug habits. Make a good place for baby to be and grow.
- Try to eat whole foods and cut out as much processed and sugary foods as you can
- Begin taking a prenatal vitamin. The CDC recommends taking folic acid every day, at least 0.4 mg of folic acid. Do not exceed 1 mg of folic acid daily unless specifically instructed by your provider for a history of a pregnancy with open neural tube defects.