Dr. Carolyn's Corner
PREGNANCY: IT'S BEST TO BE READY
Since August of 2011, Oak Hills Women’s Center has been pleased to offer obstetrical services once again to our patients. With Dr. Bernard Cavazos and I having restricted our practice to Gynecology and related surgery more than fifteen years ago, this represents quite a change to our office! The addition of Dr. Yadira Anca to our staff has brought us “full circle”, enabling us to provide complete OB-GYN care.
As I watch the obstetrical practice grow I often think about how important it is for a couple to truly be ready for pregnancy before they actually conceive. While only about one half of all pregnancies are actually planned, all couples should be aware of the importance of good physical and mental health in BOTH partners. Without a doubt this will increase the chances of having a healthy successful pregnancy.
Here are a few suggestions to consider during the year before you think you want to get pregnant:
Schedule a “preconception” visit with your physician. This will allow certain medical conditions that you are unaware of to be identified and brought under control, such as diabetes, hypertension, or thyroid problems, to name a few. The doctor will also test for such problems as STD’s, anemia, as well as immunity to rubella and chickenpox.
Review the family history of both partners with your physician. This may uncover an increased risk of having a baby with certain medical conditions or birth defects, and you may be encouraged to consult with a genetics counselor about these risks. Review your own obstetrical history with your doctor. Your pregnancy may be managed in a particular way to reduce the risk of recurrent problems.
- If you are 35 or older, recognize that fertility problems, miscarriages, and some chromosomal abnormalities may occur more often. Some medical complications of pregnancy may also be more common than in younger women.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. This may mean getting rid of bad habits, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, using recreational (as well as some prescription) drugs, drinking large amounts of caffeine, and eating an unhealthy diet.
- Strive to achieve an ideal weight. Weight issues (both under- and over_) can make for a much more difficult pregnancy. Combining a reasonable exercise program with a healthy diet makes a person feel better, pregnant or not!
- Lastly, but just as importantly, make sure you are mentally ready to get pregnant. I’m sure patients will agree what a “life-changer” pregnancy is, and it just makes good sense to be prepared for it when it happens. That’s what planning is all about.
Take a look at your own personal needs. If you have any special concerns or questions, we are available to discuss them with you. It’s smart to be ready.