Couples who have recently decided that they want to start having children often talk to each other, their parents, and their friends. When most people think about becoming pregnant, they often do not consider talking to their doctor first.
Your OB/GYN understands the crucial role a healthy lifestyle plays. Failing to speak to a medical professional about your fertility options and health before and during pregnancy could leave you with many unanswered questions. This guide lists a few topics you should discuss with your doctor before getting pregnant.
1. Prenatal Vitamins & Nutrition
One of the first discussions you should have with your doctor is regarding the nutritional needs of your body during pregnancy. Being pregnant does not necessarily mean eating for two people, but it does mean that many women need to increase their calorie intake for the best health benefits.
In addition, folic acid is especially crucial during pregnancy. Pregnant women should have 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, and doctors typically recommend that you begin taking folic acid before you even conceive.
Most people know that drinking alcohol while you’re pregnant does increase the chances of a child developing fetal alcohol syndrome, however, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to reduced fertility in some women. For this reason, it is recommended that both men and women abstain from drinking alcohol while trying to get pregnant.
In addition, if you love coffee and other caffeinated beverages, then you should discuss whether you should still drink them with your doctor. Caffeine may impact a fetus’s development.
3. Physical Activity
Working out is possible for pregnant women, and if you are already active then you may want to continue doing so. You should not be exercising to lose weight, but rather to stay healthy.
Of course, not all exercises are recommended for pregnant women. Pregnant women should not seek out exercises with intense heat, jumping, and contact sports.
If you are currently taking any medications, then be prepared to discuss them with your doctor. For women currently using hormonal birth control, you should talk to your doctor about the best time frame to begin conceiving. While hormonal birth control pills are not likely to have lasting effects on fertility or a future pregnancy, your doctor may be able to provide professional insight to help frame your expectations.
Many women are concerned about their weight when they consider becoming pregnant. Women with a very low or high BMI may face ovulation disorder and infertility, so the doctor may want to talk to you about fertility options and adjusting nutrition levels to meet the needs of a developing fetus.
For many women, age is a considerable factor when they consider getting pregnant. Women over the age of 30 tend to experience reduced fertility. Your doctor may recommend that you attend fertility counseling or testing to better understand your odds for conception and steps you can take to become pregnant in the healthiest way.
Men also face biological challenges with aging, though many do not know it. Sperm production declines with age, though not as drastically as women's fertility does.
7. Birth Options
When you are selecting the right OB/GYN for your situation, you also want to discuss your doctor's availability to deliver the baby in a way you feel comfortable with. You can discuss the potential risks of needing C-section, for instance. Your doctor may need to assess your overall health in order to provide accurate predictions.
Jack G. Faup M.D. understands your needs. Call today to set up an appointment and ask questions about your future fertility.