• Preconception

    If pregnancy is part of your short-term plan, preconception counseling should be, too.

    Preconception Genetic Testing

    Talk to Your Doctor or Pharmacist

    Preconception carrier screening is screening that you can have before becoming pregnant to help predict your chances of having a child with a genetic disorder.

    A carrier is a person who has no symptoms (or only mild symptoms) of a disorder but can pass on the gene for that disorder to his or her child.

    Carrier screening involves testing a sample of blood or saliva. The sample is sent to a lab for testing. Typically, the partner who is most likely to have a defective gene is tested first. If test results show that the first partner is not a carrier, then no additional testing is needed. If test results show that the first partner is a carrier, the other partner is tested.

    Vaccinations

    Talk to Your Doctor or Pharmacist

    Pharmacists have a unique role as accessible health care providers to optimize preconception health by screening women for tobacco use, appropriate immunizations, and current medication use. Counseling patients on preconception risk factors and adequate folic acid supplementation as well as providing recommendations for safe and effective management of chronic conditions are also critical and within the scope of practice for pharmacists.

    Quitting Smoking & Healthy Weight

    Talk to Your Doctor or Pharmacist

    It's important to consider lifestyle habit changes, like being at a healthy weight and smoking cessation, before you've got a baby on board. Since almost half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned, the time to discuss these important issues with your doctor or pharmacist is before you become pregnant.The National Institute of Health suggests pregnant women should add about 300 calories to their diet each day.

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