While it's common for people to schedule their first appointment with an obstetrician shortly after a positive pregnancy test, it's also worthwhile to see an obstetrician when you're trying to conceive. Preconception counseling is a service that makes sure you're in the best health possible for your upcoming pregnancy, which helps increase the chance that it will be successful and free from complications. If you're thinking about trying to get pregnant, read on to learn how you can benefit from scheduling and attending a preconception counseling session with an OB doctor.
One of the most important reasons to attend a preconception counseling session before you begin trying to have children is that your obstetrician can go over the medications you're taking and see if they're safe to take during pregnancy. Some medications, including both over-the-counter, prescription medications, and herbal supplements, can increase the risk of your child developing birth defects.
If you're taking any medications that may potentially harm your child during pregnancy, a preconception counseling session gives you the chance to switch to different medications or stop taking potentially harmful ones before you begin trying to conceive. Doing this before conception is the best option, since it gives you the greatest amount of time to switch medications in order to find something that's safe for pregnancy and still works well for you.
Overall Health Checkup
Some medical conditions increase the chances of encountering complications during pregnancy, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and high blood pressure. It's important to make sure they're all controlled well before you begin trying to conceive. During your preconception counseling session, you and your obstetrician will go over all of your current medical issues and make sure that they're being adequately treated. Your obstetrician can also perform blood tests to make sure that you don't have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies that may affect your pregnancy.
Diet and Lifestyle Advice
Your obstetrician will also give you diet and lifestyle advice during your preconception consultation, and they'll help you make any changes that are necessary to improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy. For example, it's a good idea to avoid eating fatty fish like tuna when you're trying to get pregnant, since it's high in mercury. You should also stop smoking and drinking alcohol when you're trying to conceive, since smoking increases the chance of your baby being born prematurely, and alcohol can cause a developing baby to develop a birth defect known as fetal alcohol syndrome. Your obstetrician can help you review your diet and lifestyle to make sure you're on the right track for a successful pregnancy.
Overall, the main point of preconception counseling is to make sure you're as healthy as possible for pregnancy, and it also serves as a way to get to know the obstetrician that will be providing your prenatal care during your pregnancy and make sure you're comfortable with them. If you're trying to conceive, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with an OB doctor in your area for a preconception counseling session — you'll be able to go over all of your concerns about conception and pregnancy with them while making sure you're making healthy choices to set yourself up for pregnancy.