Planning Your Pregnancy
Are you ready to start — or grow — your family? No matter what obstacles you may face on the road to getting pregnant, our preconception (pregnancy planning) care helps maximize your chance of having the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Planning ahead is essential to achieving a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Our doctors, nurses and other maternity care specialists will walk you through the steps you can take today to help reduce the potential risks of pregnancy — to both you and your baby.
Why Choose Baptist Health for Pregnancy Planning?
Baptist Health’s experienced, compassionate providers work closely with you to prepare for a pregnancy in which both you and your baby are as healthy as you can be. When you see a Baptist health provider for your pregnancy planning, you can expect:
- Comprehensive preconception visits: Baptist Health offers a range of pre-pregnancy services (also called preconception care). During preconception counseling, your local provider will evaluate your health and lifestyle habits. He or she may recommend you make certain changes to your diet or daily routine, in an effort to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
- Preconception genetic testing: If you have concerns before becoming pregnant, our specialists can help. For example, we offer preconception genetic testing for couples worried about passing along certain genetic conditions.
- Support from maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists: Our team works closely with MFM specialists, to assist women who have medical concerns that may lead to a high-risk pregnancy.
- Compassionate, dedicated professionals: Our women’s health providers are passionate about caring for moms and babies. Whether your pregnancy planning is routine or medically complicated, we’ll give you our undivided attention. As we get to know you and your family personally, we’ll support you at every step — from pregnancy planning to meeting your baby for the first time.
What Is Preconception Care?
Once you choose a Baptist Health provider for your pregnancy planning, it is recommended to set up a preconception exam with an obstetrician/gynecologist. Depending on your circumstances, you may need just one or multiple visits before your provider gives you the go-ahead to try to conceive.
During preconception counseling, we’ll check on your health with routine exams and tests. We’ll also talk about your lifestyle, habits and anything that could affect a baby’s development in the first few weeks of pregnancy. And of course we’ll address all of your questions and concerns.
What to Expect During Preconception Care Visits
At Baptist Health, we tailor preconception care to your needs and circumstances. Depending on your health and lifestyle, a preconception visit may include:
- A thorough medical history: Your provider may ask you questions about medical conditions you or your family members have experienced as well as about any medications you’re currently taking. This information can help our providers manage existing or potential medical concerns that could affect your pregnancy. Your provider may also review your vaccine history to assess your immunity prior to becoming pregnant.
- Genetic testing: While rare, certain genetic disorders can have serious impacts on a developing baby. Some genetic disorders can be found by blood tests before pregnancy. We’ll assess whether you may be at risk for passing along certain inherited disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease. Baptist Health offers a range of preconception genetic testing. Your provider can help you decide if testing is appropriate for you.
- Routine screenings: Even minor infections can affect a developing baby in the earliest days of pregnancy. For this reason, your provider may recommend a routine infection screening to detect conditions such as a urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted disease before you or baby is at risk.
- A discussion about your lifestyle: Many of the choices you make today can affect your health and the health of a developing baby during pregnancy. Your provider will help you take steps to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, such as:
- Enjoying a well-balanced diet, high in fruits, vegetables and fiber
- Taking a prenatal multivitamin, to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients (such as folic acid) to nourish baby
- Stopping harmful habits, such as smoking or alcohol and substance abuse
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting caffeine intake, to no more than two cups of caffeine-containing beverages (such as coffee or soda) each day
- Avoiding harmful substances, such as X-rays or undercooked meat, that could hurt a developing baby
- Identifying domestic violence, as women who are abused before pregnancy may be at risk for increased abuse during pregnancy. Your provider can help you find the resources you need.
Maternity Care Services We Offer at Baptist Health
Choosing where you have your baby can go a long way toward making your pregnancy and birth experience a positive one. In addition to preconception care, we offer a full range of mother and baby care services, including:
- Prenatal care: Getting the right care during your pregnancy is essential for your health and the health of your baby. We offer a full range of prenatal screenings and services.
- Reproductive Imaging Center and Maternal Fetal Medicine (available at some locations): Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) is a specialty made up of OB/GYN doctors who receive several years of additional training in the care of pregnancies with complex needs.
- Labor & Delivery: When it’s time to have your baby, we’ll support your birth goals. Whether that means helping you work through labor without medication or providing pain relief options, our staff will provide the support and encouragement you desire.
- Mother/Baby Unit: Our nurses offer family-centered care for first time and experienced mothers as they recover from childbirth. The Mother/Baby units provides a comfortable atmosphere that encourages the bonding of family and newborns.