Are you thinking about starting your family or adding another child to your existing family? If so, right now, before you conceive, is the perfect time to meet with an obstetrician and get started with the care you need.
Our experienced OB/GYN, Daniel Richards, DO, and the providers at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, in Las Vegas, Nevada, want you to have the healthiest pregnancy and baby possible. Our practice offers comprehensive obstetrics care, including preconception counseling to ensure you give your baby the best start possible.
Many women first see an OB/GYN after they get a plus sign on an at-home pregnancy test. But preconception counseling before you get pregnant comes with many benefits — for you and for your baby.
All about preconception counseling
It’s easy to confuse preconception counseling with prenatal care. But preconception counseling and prenatal care are very different, though both are important.
Preconception counseling involves health-promoting education and guidance before you conceive to help you have the best chances at a healthy, complication-free pregnancy and happy baby. Prenatal care, on the other hand, is the medical care you receive during your pregnancy. Both play an important role in improving perinatal outcomes.
With preconception counseling, your provider talks to both you and your partner to help you prepare for pregnancy and ensure the healthiest outcomes possible for you and your baby. Dr. Richards offers advice on nutrition, lifestyle choices, and other factors that increase your chances of conceiving and carrying your baby to your due date.
A key part of preconception counseling involves screening tests. These tests can check for issues that may affect your baby’s health and development after you conceive. Some of the preconception screenings Dr. Richards may order include:
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid problems
- Low iron
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Genetic disorders
- Mental or cognitive disorders
Depending on your personal and family history, Dr. Richards may also order screenings to check for congenital disabilities, like cystic fibrosis.
Benefits of preconception counseling
Working with a trained healthcare expert as you plan your future family offers many benefits. The primary goals of preconception counseling at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG include improving your overall health and reducing any factors that may contribute to less-than-healthy outcomes for you and your baby.
Preconception counseling offers a way to identify and treat diseases and disorders that may affect you or your baby before you get pregnant. Other benefits of preconception counseling include:
- Reduced child and maternal mortality
- Preventing complications during pregnancy
- Preventing complications during delivery
- Preventing stillbirths, preterm labor, and preterm birth
- Preventing low birth weight
- Reducing neonatal infections
- Preventing the transmission of STDs/HIV
In addition, studies show that women who have preconception counseling have children who have lower risks of some types of childhood cancers and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease later.
If you’re thinking of starting or growing your family, schedule a preconception counseling appointment with Dr. Daniel Richards for your health and the health of your baby. Call the Las Vegas office of Darin Swainston MD, FACOG or book an appointment online now! Our practice also offers telehealth appointments.