If you're planning to conceive a child, you may be surprised to find out that the best prenatal care begins before you even become pregnant. Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine has been helping countless Katy-area patients plan their pregnancies, and ensure top health for both the mother and child for many years. Dr. Jenkins recommends that women talk with their gynecologist about their plans to conceive so that they can discuss any health conditions or risk factors.
Even if there is no reason to believe a patient would have any complications, giving herself approximately three months before trying to conceive can help improve and prepare the body. For example:
- Begin taking a prenatal vitamin. The importance of folic acid has been known for many years. A daily dose of the vitatmin has been shown to aid in the development of a healthy brain and spine. Folic acid is found in some foods, however, the best way to ensure that a patient is receiving enough of it is to take a vitamin.
- Stop smoking and drinking. Both of these habits can cause permanent damage to the child as the body will pass the harmful substances on to the baby. A patient who feels nervous about trying to quit alone should talk with her doctor.
- Make sure all vaccinations are up to date and that medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are under control.
- Talk to your physician about any medications, including herbal, prescription, and over-the-counter, that you are taking. Many medications are safe during pregnancy but some are not. The only way to know for sure is to talk to your doctor. Also, if you're taking any medications that the effects are not known, you and your physician will need to discuss the potential risks versus benefits.
There may not be any way to completely prepare for the joys and challenges of having a baby. But you can improve your health and the chances of a successful pregnancy and healthy baby by taking these steps to make sure that your health is in a good place. For more information about prenatal care, call the Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Jenkins.
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