Tips for Getting Ready for Conception

When you learn you’re expecting a baby, there’s plenty of advice on how to care for yourself, time to worry about whether you’re doing the right things, and excited anticipation about becoming a parent, but did you realize it’s best to start checking your lifestyle practices and considering certain decisions well before you become pregnant? 

Doing some things, avoiding others, and becoming intentional about the decision to have a baby is an important step toward ensuring your pregnancy is a well-managed one, and that your baby is born as healthy as possible. 

Dr. Kevin Hooker sees mothers-to-be who aren’t pregnant yet, but hope to be. He tells you all you need to know before you conceive so you’re really ready when you shriek with excitement at those pregnancy test results. 

What should I consider before becoming pregnant?

The decision to have a baby is one of the biggest of your life, and you’re not the only one it impacts. It’s important to get into a “you and the baby” mindset as soon as possible after you’ve concluded that you want to be a parent. This is really the beginning of your prenatal care

Things to consider before you get pregnant include:

Ask yourself also what’s at the root of your desire to be a parent. A well-defined thought process that’s fleshed out with your partner is more solid than coming to a snap decision that having a baby would be good because all your friends are doing it.

How should I prepare to get pregnant?

Fortunately, Dr. Hooker goes over many details when you meet with him to discuss your desire to have a family. He reviews your medical history, your family health history, assesses your current health, and talks to you about your day-to-day lifestyle. All have a bearing on what he recommends regarding preparation. 

Lifestyle changes to prepare for pregnancy

Dr. Hooker discusses how to eat your healthiest as you prepare for becoming pregnant — think abundant fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains — as well as the importance of taking a folic acid supplement, which is needed for proper neural tube development. 

Though it’s found in leafy greens and other foods, it’s best to be safe and take a supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Taking it lowers the chances that your baby will suffer a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.

If you smoke, it’s critical to stop, and getting ready to conceive may just be the best motivation ever. Dr. Hooker can recommend a variety of methods to help with this. 

Since you need to refrain from drinking alcohol for the entirety of your pregnancy, you should stop prior to getting pregnant because you can’t pinpoint the moment you’ll conceive. These strategies also contribute to helping you overcome infertility issues

Clinical concerns

Dr. Hooker discusses testing you for STDs and other conditions, so you can go into the conception phase with a clean bill of health. He also makes sure you’re up-to-date on vaccines. It’s important for him to know whether you have immunity to illnesses like German measles, for example, which is dangerous to contract when pregnant. 

He may also recommend that you get tested for certain genetic diseases, like Tay-Sachs disease if you have Ashkenazi Jewish roots, or sickle cell disease if you’re African American. 

If you live with a chronic condition like diabetes or asthma, Dr. Hooker focuses on controlling it during pregnancy, and goes over all your medications to ensure that they’re safe to continue taking. A complete dental checkup is a must too, since gum disease is linked to premature births and low-birthweight babies. 

Now, get excited for pregnancy!

Whether you start to practice healthier new habits or continue with what you’ve been doing, you’re giving yourself a double dose of self-care: You’re maximizing your chances of enjoying a healthy pregnancy and lowering the risk of birth defects for your baby. 

Parenthood changes your life forever, and partnering with Dr. Hooker and the Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care team means you’re beginning life as a parent-to-be in the safest and healthiest way possible.

Call our office to set up a preconception appointment with Dr. Hooker, or contact us through our website

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