Having a baby is a long, exciting journey. Full of ups and downs, twists, and turns. To many it seems that a pregnancy starts with 2 pink lines on your home pregnancy test.
It’s such an amazing rush of mixed feelings when you read your first positive pregnancy test. After the shock, one of first things we think is, I need to call my doctor to schedule my appointments. While this is true, you do need to get those initial pregnancy appointments on the books, you also need to have a consult with your provider much sooner! Your first appointment needs to be when you decided a pregnancy could be in your near future. Here’s why.
So, you’re taking your family on a journey? Perhaps a cross country road trip if you will imagine. So, the first thing you do is hop in the car head to the gas station to fuel up and your off! Right? Did you forget something? Maybe you should have packed a few bags first? Maybe loaded up some snacks, maybe booked a hotel and typed your destination into your GPS?
Well, the same is true for your body. You are getting ready to send your body on a very long, very strenuous road trip and it would make it really hard for her if she left empty handed.
So, what do you need to do? Glad you asked!
Schedule a pre pregnancy appointment with your provider! Besides making sure you and your spouse are “ready” for a baby, you also need to make sure your body is ready for a baby. Prepping your body for a pregnancy has so many benefits and if you have that opportunity, take it!
There is a lot to discuss at this appointment. Your provider will want to start you on vitamins right away. Having a storage of good vitamins such as folic acid in your body prior to conception is so important and gives your baby the best chance in proper growth and brain development. They will possibly do blood work, and talk about your overall health, the medications you are taking, and your overall lifestyle. They are looking for any red flags that would suggest pregnancy for you and your baby could be difficult. If any red flags arise, she can then make a plan on how to work around these hurdles to ensure you and your baby come out of this healthy. If you would like, your provider can also look at your family health history. Tests could be run to look for congenital abnormalities and the possiblity of birth defects.
You will also discuss your cycle and how to time your ovulation. Monitoring your menstrual cycle and knowing your body will give you the best chances at becoming pregnant when you and your spouse are ready.
Does this guarantee there won’t be bumps in the road or storms ahead? Unfortunately, no. There are no guarantees, but we can do our best. Planning your pregnancy ahead of time increases the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. That’s why we are here! At Physicians and Surgeons for Women, that’s what we do!