It is important that preventive medicine begins before even trying to get pregnant. Ideally, the first “preconception counseling” appointment should occur before attempting to conceive. A preconception counseling session is a chance to discuss problems with any previous pregnancies, social issues, environmental exposures, and general health.
If not previously done, a hematocrit to check for anemia, a rubella titer to check for immunity to rubella, and other blood tests can be performed. A thorough family history and blood tests for genetic diseases (Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Fragile-X, Tay-Sachs, etc.) are also recommended.
- Low carbohydrate/high protein diet.
- Limit intake of alcohol, coffee, tea, soda, and other foods and beverages containing caffeine.
- Avoid use of recreational drugs, such as marijuana, and overuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Avoid exposure to toxic substances such as industrial chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides.
- Maintain good personal hygiene, exercise and health practices.
- Attempt to maintain a body weight within 15% of ideal body weight for one’s height and body frame (body mass index).