When couples are ready to bring a little one into their lives, there’s a lot to take into consideration.
“A century ago, there were complications from pregnancy and birth that could be debilitating or even result in death,” said D. Bruce Glover, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist with Mercy Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 851 E. Fifth St. in Washington.
“Modern medicine has enabled us to identify these risks to the mother and baby. Today we can educate parents about these risks and take efforts to minimize them.”
The decision to have a baby is one of the biggest couples will make in their lifetime. Dr. Glover said couples should evaluate their health and their emotional and financial stability. If they feel they can support a child’s emotional and physical needs, they both want a baby, and it’s the right time, then it’s also time to consider preparing for pregnancy.
“Before trying to conceive, make an appointment with your physician or OB/GYN to go over your medical history,” Dr. Glover said. “You should look at what medications you’re on, what medications need to be eliminated, what vaccinations you’ve had and will need; what lifestyle and health habits you should increase, decrease or eliminate; and what environmental or stress factors you may need to address.”
He added, “What a mother does during pregnancy can have a long-lasting effect on her baby’s development. As physicians, we try to help new parents minimize complications and help them fulfill their dream of having a healthy, happy family.”
Many couples think conceiving will be easy, but sometimes it can take many months, and even years to conceive. The delay can be caused by something easily fixed or something that requires medical intervention. Preconception planning may help speed the process.
“They are many misconceptions . . . we’ve all heard stories about what to do and what not to do when it comes to conceiving. We’ve even heard that it’s really easy, but that’s not always the case,” said Dr. Glover. “Age, weight, overall health, timing and a lot of other things factor in. Talk to your doctor about how to increase your chances to conceive. It could lead to a faster, less stressful conception or tip you off sooner to a possible medical issue.”
Preconception medical care allows time to optimize a mother’s health before conception to improve pregnancy outcomes. It can make it an easier healthier pregnancy, a more pleasant recovery and reduces the child’s risks for health problems. Mother-baby checkups offer the regular care moms and babies need during pregnancy.
“Women’s health professionals offer medical guidance that wasn’t available a century ago, and that’s why we don’t have the complications that we used to have,” said Dr. Glover. “We can create a personalized plan to help couples from preconception to childbirth, and offer peace of mind as you start your family.”
Dr. Glover is part of Mercy Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology Washington, 851 E. Fifth St. in Washington, which provides women’s health services including well women exams, pre-pregnancy exams, pregnancy and delivery care, bladder control and gynecological surgeries.
Dr. Glover’s partners are Christy Bleckman, MD; Kenneth Hamai, MD; Robert D. Haskins, MD; Christiane Korba, MD, and Gregory Potts, MD. Dr. Bleckman also sees patients in Pacific.
For more information about Dr. Korba, who sees patients at 901 Patients First Drive in Washington, call 636-390-9555.
For more information, visit http://www.mercy.net/washingtonmo/service/mother-and-baby-care or call 636-239-1101.