Preconception Counseling in Ocala, FL
It is common for patients to begin visiting an obstetrician after finding out that they are pregnant. However, few couples realize the incredible benefits to scheduling a preconception planning appointment with a board-certified obstetrician before they become pregnant. By being proactive, women can enjoy reduced risks to themselves or their child, and can also take comfort in preparing for a newborn long before they are expected to arrive.
Obstetrician Michelle Wood, MD has over 20 years of obstetrical experience helping women and babies alike through all stages of pregnancy. If you’re considering starting a family in the Ocala area, contact Florida Women’s Health today to schedule an appointment.
Topics to Review During This Appointment
First and foremost, a family planning visit with your obstetrician is the perfect time to cover any questions or concerns you have about a potential pregnancy. Patients should feel absolutely free to address any areas of interest that they feel are important as they relate to having a child.
From questions asked by your obstetrician, you can expect to discuss your:
- Fertility: If you are aware of any conditions that may impact your ability to have children, now is an ideal time to review the extent of that possible impact.
- Menstrual cycles: Your obstetrician will want to know more about the date of your last period and the average length of your cycles. This information helps your obstetrician to determine the best time of each month for you to try and conceive, and may also alert them to any abnormalities within your cycle that could pose a problem.
- Medical history: Patients should be open to providing more information about past procedures and any current health problems that require ongoing treatment or management.
Family medical history: Even if you have never been diagnosed yourself, any conditions that run in your family such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or fertility struggles can play a role in your chances of developing them as well.
- Current medications: It is important to understand any side effects from your medications, supplements, or even over-the-counter products that could factor into a future pregnancy.
- Lifestyle: Many couples should consider how their habits or environments can influence their health. For example, being a smoker or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is not ideal for either partner as they prepare to bring a baby into the world. Your workplace may also need to be evaluated if you are operating in any kind of a high-risk environment that leaves you susceptible to various hazards.
- Recent travels: If you or your partner have recently visited certain parts of the world, becoming pregnant may need to be delayed.
- Diet and exercise routine: Managing a healthy weight is one of the best ways to prepare for having a child. A mother’s weight can influence both her and her baby’s risk of complications during pregnancy. In addition, there are many foods and activities that are not advised for women while they are pregnant.
- Prenatal vitamins: Regularly taking prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your obstetrician prior to a pregnancy will significantly reduce your child’s risk of experiencing various birth defects.
Physical Exams and Screenings
Along with reviewing your lifestyle and medical history, your obstetrician will also often perform a variety of examinations and tests for patients that are planning to become pregnant. These typically include:
- A Pap test
- A weight check
- Screenings for any physical conditions that may affect your fertility
- Urine testing
- Blood pressure reading
- Any needed vaccinations
- A mental health screening since hormone fluctuations during pregnancy can often interfere with various mood disorders, or the woman’s chances of experiencing postpartum depression once the child is born
Schedule Your Visit Today
Family planning services from Florida Women’s Health are intended to help patients achieve an optimal level of health prior to becoming pregnant. Taking these proactive steps helps to ensure that both the mother and her baby will have the greatest chance possible to engage in a completely healthy pregnancy, which is always the goal of our obstetrical team.
If you are considering becoming pregnant at any point in the future, now is an excellent time to perform a checkup on your reproductive health. There is also no better time to begin seeing an obstetrician, since you will be working closely with this provider once you are in fact pregnant. Starting that relationship before the conception of a child helps to build an even stronger bond between parents and their physician.
Give our office a call today to request a consultation with Dr. Michelle Wood in Ocala, FL.