What is Preconception Health?

Preconception health is the state of health a woman is in before she gets pregnant. This means knowing that health conditions and certain risk factors can affect a woman or her unborn baby if she does get pregnant. For example, certain foods, habits, and medications can harm a baby if you’re not careful.

Why Does Preconception Health Matter?

Preconception health matters to all women because, even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, about ½ of all pregnancies are unplanned. Proper preconception care can improve your chances of getting pregnant, decrease the risk of complications, help you have a healthy pregnancy, and have a healthy baby. By taking action and actively improving your health prior to pregnancy, you can prevent health issues that may affect you and your unborn child later.

Things that Boost Your Preconception Health

  • Take 400-800 mcg of folic acid per day. This lowers the risk of certain birth defects to the baby’s brain and spine, such as spina bifida. If you aren’t currently taking a folic acid supplement, make sure to have a discussion with your provider to see what amount and which kind of supplement is right for you.
  • Manage your existing health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, depression, eating disorders, and asthma. 
  • Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infections. 
  • Talk to your doctor about any medications that you may be taking.
  • Stop smoking & drinking alcohol.
  • Be living an active lifestyle. If you’re active before pregnancy, it will be safe for you to keep up that level of activity throughout most of your pregnancy.

What is Genetic Counseling?

Genetic counseling takes place when you talk to your provider about you and your partner’s family health histories, as well as your own. Your provider can help you to determine certain genetic health risk factors to be aware of. Depending on your genetic health risk factors, your provider may refer you to a provider who specializes in genetics. In some cases, a couple may decide to have genetic testing done. Some of these tests can help a couple determine the risk of a genetic disorder being passed on to their baby. 

Meet Our Providers at Sublimity Medical Clinic

Dr. Alvale and Dr. McCarthy are located at Sublimity Medical Clinic, in Sublimity, Oregon. They are both family medicine physicians, specializing in obstetrics. If you’re trying to conceive, are already pregnant and looking for an OB, or need a new family medicine provider, they are both accepting new patients.

To schedule your appointment with one of our providers at Sublimity Medical Clinic, call 503-769-2259.