So you and your partner are thinking about starting on the journey to parenthood—congratulations! Many patients come into our office for what is now known as "preconception" advice. Their number one question is, "What can I do to prepare my body for pregnancy?"
Here are a few simple actions you can take to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
See Your Doctor
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, these should be treated and/or under the best control possible to avoid potential problems in pregnancy. For example, women who are diabetic need to have optimum blood sugar control for three months before they conceive, because the glucose control for a diabetic when pregnant is much stricter than for a nonpregnant woman. Glucose control for a three-month period can be measured by a blood test called the hemoglobin A1C. The higher this number, the higher the risk for miscarriage and birth defects.
Women with thyroid conditions provide another example. If a woman has thyroid disease, her thyroid levels must be under control to conceive. Untreated thyroid disease during pregnancy can lead to lower IQ for the developing fetus.