Prenatal Care

Prenatal Care

Improving Your Preconception Health

There are several changes that you can make to improve your health before getting pregnant, such as stopping smoking, lowering alcohol consumption, reducing stress and improving nutrition.

Perhaps you’ve decided the time is right to get pregnant again or for the first time. How should you prepare? Following are some tips to help you get ready to welcome a new family member.

Physical preparation is important to you and your child and something you can change. The best way to start is by scheduling a visit with your physician. This allows your doctor to get a picture of your overall health and map out lifestyle changes that may benefit you and your baby. It will also give you and your partner a chance to ask questions and discuss concerns.

During your preconception visit, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination and address the following topics:

  • Immunization to determine if you're immune to certain infections that could cause serious birth defects in a developing fetus. If you're not immune, your physician may recommend immunization at least three months before you become pregnant.
  • Ongoing medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma or lupus. Making sure these conditions are under control before pregnancy is an important safeguard both for you and your baby.
  • Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Your doctor may suggest adjustments before and after conception.
  • Family medical history. Certain medical conditions can be inherited, such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. If your family history suggests a predisposition to a serious inherited disorder, your physician may refer you to a genetics counselor, who can advise you about the potential risks and options.

After your visit to the doctor, you may need to make some changes and improve your health. What kind of adjustments do women trying to get pregnant need to make?

  • Stop smoking
  • Lower alcohol consumption
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve nutrition (Folic acid)

If you don’t get pregnant after one year of trying, you may have a fertility problem. Your gynecologist or family physician can suggest options and help you determine the best course of action.

Infertility is just one of many issues that women thinking about having children need to address. Other areas of concern include prenatal care, high-risk pregnancy, multiple births, pregnancy-related illnesses, delivery methods, obstetrical procedures and breastfeeding. These issues raise many questions that are not easy to answer.

At Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, we can help answer these questions and provide you with resources to do your own research. Call 901-227-9000 for more information.

Contact Us

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women

6225 Humphreys Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120



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