The BIG Decision
You've decided the time is right and you're ready to begin the family of your dreams. It's a huge decision and one that carries a lot of impact, involving both adults and the baby-to-be. Life will never be the same.
It's an amazing thing - pregnancy. There will be many changes on many fronts as you progress through the pregnancy and birth. Before you even become pregnant, there are things to do in order to be prepared for the best possible pregnancy. Begin with a preconception health care visit where you both meet with your doctor or midwife and you will learn how to be best prepared for the great event. The preconception visit will enable your primary care giver to assess your health, ensuring you are physically ready for pregnancy, and help you to prepare for conception. You will want to be as healthy and prepared as possible for both yourself and your baby.
What Happens During the Visit
During the visit the health care professional will ask important questions in order to ascertain your present state of health and determine if there are any chronic diseases or situations which should be addressed before your pregnancy. Informing your practitioner of any medications you are currently taking will help determine if they're suitable to ingest during pregnancy or whether your medications should be changed. A chat about birth control pills usually comes up as well if there's any uncertainty about continuing them or when to stop taking them.
A Physical and A Chat
A pap smear, breast examination and general physical examination are done and your practitioner will talk to you about the steps to take toward your goal of becoming pregnant. This visit should take place about six months before you actually plan to conceive so you have plenty of time to work through any health issues which may arise from testing or questioning. Many women opt to go for a preconception health visit only one or two months before planned conception.
To Conceive or To Wait
Your practitioner can also give you some advice concerning timing for conception, ovulation, nutrition, vitamins and prenatal care, or, they may advise you to wait a little longer than you had planned before conceiving. This visit is a good time to talk about any concerns or fears you may have about becoming pregnant and a good time to ask questions that are important to you. Too often women fail to ask questions, perhaps thinking they sound silly, and then end up fretting because they are not informed.
Healthy and Ready To Go
Most of all, the preconception health visit is to assure a clean bill of health and to get the information you need to progress toward your dream of a family without fear of being ignorant and uninformed. It's an excellent thing to do, and the reward is peace of mind and good information to carry you through your pregnancy.