Deciding to have a child is a huge life-changing step. Albeit exciting, it can also feel extremely daunting. Even more overwhelming is the downpour of advice, words of wisdom and cautionary tales that follow shortly after an announcement of trying to get pregnant. So after taking the first step down the path toward parenthood, where do you go from there? We asked Kathryn Parris, MD, an OB/GYN with Gwinnett Physicians Group OB/GYN and Northside Hospital to explain.
Q. What should I think about before trying to conceive?
KP: First things first: Start with a review of your current health profile. That means taking a long hard look at your daily habits and overall wellness. That includes your sleep routine, your weight, your diet, your stress levels and your medications—including contraceptives and vitamins.
Q. Is there anything I need to avoid?
KP: While it may be obvious, it bears repeating: All smoking, alcohol, and caffeine should be cut out completely. Not only can these harmful habits affect your baby once you’re pregnant, they can also impact your fertility rates. Also, make sure that you’re mindful of the foods you’re eating—avoid non-pasteurized and raw foods.
Q. Should I go to the OB/GYN before I’m pregnant?
KP: It can be helpful to see your OB/GYN beforehand as this will ensure you stay up-to-date on routine screenings and encourage healthy habits, like taking pre-natal vitamins, getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet. Your doctor can also help to ease anxieties you may have surrounding pregnancy. Whether it’s worries about family medical history or stress related to bodily changes; your OB/GYN can help.
Q. It’s taking longer than I expected to conceive—should I be worried?
KP: On average, it takes couples between 6 months and a year to conceive. That’s due to a variety of factors that come into play, such as your ovulation and menstrual cycle, stress, hormones, sleep, age and overall health. If you have been trying consistently more than a year, it may be time to see your OB/GYN.
Whether having a baby is a distant thought or in the near future, finding the right OB/GYN is the best place to start. With the personable, experienced providers at Gwinnett Physician’s Group OB/GYN, you’ll receive the customized care you deserve. Start your pre-pregnancy journey today by visiting gwinnettphysiciansgroupobgyn.com.