Obstetrician Services Before Conception

couple hugging while holding sonogram picturePreconception health begins with preparing your body to safely carry your baby. Consulting with your obstetrician to discuss health risks that can impact your pregnancy, such as diabetes or other existing conditions, can help your doctor develop a care plan that’s right for you.

Boost Your Preconception Health

Planning for a healthy pregnancy begins even before conception. If you’re trying to conceive, you might begin by taking 40 mg of folic acid every day. This mineral is vital to spinal health for a fetus. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, including leafy greens, lean proteins and plenty of fiber, helps improve your own health and nourish the baby once it’s conceived.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, discontinue use before trying to become pregnant. This may be challenging for some people, so consult with your physician about safe, successful ways to quit drinking or smoking.

Certain health conditions, such as asthma, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and epilepsy, may impact your pregnancy. In addition, some of these conditions require certain medications to help control their expression. Discuss these health conditions, along with medicines you take, with your doctor to ensure that your medication is safe to take while pregnant or trying to conceive.

Prenatal Testing

Not every mother requires every prenatal test, but it’s important to become familiar with common ones in case your obstetrician recommends one.

  • Home pregnancy tests determine whether you’re pregnant by detecting pregnancy hormones in your urine.
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein testing determines whether there is a risk of certain genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome or spina bifida.
  • Nonstress tests monitor the condition of the placenta along with the level of nutrition the baby is receiving; these may be scheduled throughout your pregnancy.
  • Quad screen tests are performed between the 15th and 19th weeks of development to monitor the health of the baby.
  • Ultrasound testing provides imaging of the baby and the mother’s reproductive organs, which helps your obstetrician determine a due date or check the baby’s health and development.

Schedule Prenatal Health Care Now

Prenatal health is important to both the mother and the baby. Your body will experience many changes during pregnancy, and a proper diet, plenty of sleep and water, and doctor-approved exercise can help ensure your pregnancy goes well. The best prenatal care includes regular checkups from your obstetrician. Dr. Jill Gibson works with women in the Covington area, including St. Tammany Parish, Hammond and Franklinton. Call our offices or visit us online today to schedule a consultation.