Legacy Women's Health

Preconception Health

Before pregnancy, focus on preconception health

The decision to start a family ushers in an exciting new life stage. Before you try to become pregnant, your preconception health is a priority. Getting the right care before pregnancy will improve both your health during pregnancy and the baby’s health. Our San Antonio OBGYNs specialize in all stages of pregnancy care, beginning before your baby is even conceived.

Improving your health before pregnancy creates the healthiest circumstances possible for you and your baby. Some are simple changes that require little effort, while others are lifestyle changes that may take several months to accomplish.

See your OBGYN before pregnancy

Our San Antonio OBGYNs recommend beginning preconception health measures three months before becoming pregnant. Meeting with your OBGYN to determine your preconception health plan is a priority and will include a comprehensive discussion about your physical health and environment.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – Your health history is important to your baby’s health. You and your doctor will discuss how your medical conditions might affect your pregnancy and the baby.
  • Family history – Medical conditions in your family are relevant to pregnancy and should be shared with your doctor because some conditions are genetically inherited.
  • Vaccines and screenings – Your doctor will ensure you’re up to date on vaccinations and will screen for sexually transmitted infections.
  • Medications – Many prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements and vitamins are perfectly safe to take during pregnancy, but it’s important to review them with your doctor.
  • Home or workplace hazards – Exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals or contaminants at home or work can decrease your ability to become pregnant and harm the baby’s health.
  • Your partner’s health and lifestyle – Your partner’s medical history, family medical history and lifestyle should be part of the discussion with your doctor. A partner’s genetics, drinking, and tobacco and marijuana use are important factors in the health of the baby before conception, during pregnancy and after delivery.

Proactively focus on preconception health for a healthy pregnancy

Once you’ve had the opportunity to meet with your OBGYN to review key health considerations, it’s time to begin preparing your body and mind for pregnancy. Our San Antonio OBGYNs have several recommendations for women before pregnancy.

  • Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Eating foods high in folate (for example, dark leafy green vegetables and whole grains) or taking a folic acid supplement are shown to decrease the incidence of birth defects, such as spina bifida.
  • Make lifestyle changes as necessary. Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illicit drugs, including marijuana. Improve your diet and make sure you’re being physically active. About 30 to 40 minutes of walking, three to four times a week, will be a great benefit.
  • Consider genetic testing, depending on risk factors such as pre-existing conditions or maternal age.
  • Consider your mental health. Trying to become pregnant, being pregnant and starting a family can all be stressors. If you have feelings of stress that are interfering with your daily life or that persist, discuss these with your OBGYN.

Our San Antonio OBGYNs want to help you focus on your preconception health, so that you can enter pregnancy as healthy and prepared as possible. To best prepare before pregnancy, contact Legacy Women’s Health for an appointment with our San Antonio OBGYNs.