Before getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about preconception health care. Your doctor will want to discuss your health history and any medical conditions you currently have that could affect a pregnancy. He or she will also discuss any previous pregnancy problems, medicines you are taking, vaccinations that you might need, and steps you can take before pregnancy to prevent specific congenital disabilities.
If your doctor has not talked with you about this type of care―ask about it! Take a list of talking points, so you don’t forget anything!
Be sure to talk to your doctor about:
If you currently have any medical conditions, be sure they are under control and being treated. These conditions include sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diabetes, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases.
Lifestyle and Behaviors
Talk with your doctor or another health professional if you smoke, drink alcohol, use certain drugs, live in a stressful or abusive environment, or work around toxic substances. Health care professionals can help you with counseling, treatment, and other support services.
Taking certain medicines during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. These include some prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal supplements. If you are planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the need for any medication with your doctor before becoming pregnant and ensure you are taking only the necessary medications.
If a woman is pregnant or planning to become pregnant, she should first talk to a healthcare provider. Some women must take medication during pregnancy to manage pain or other ailments. Creating a treatment plan for any health conditions before pregnancy can help a woman increase her chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Some vaccinations are recommended before you become pregnant, during pregnancy, or right after delivery. Having the proper vaccinations at the right time can help keep you healthy and help keep your baby from getting very sick or having lifelong health problems.