Five things to do before trying to conceive

Everybody knows how important it is to stay healthy during pregnancy, but you don’t have to wait for two pink lines to start thinking about healthy habits.

Schedule a preconception appointment

A preconception appointment offers an excellent opportunity for you to meet with your healthcare provider, and go over any questions you might have about trying to conceive, and early pregnancy. You can discuss prenatal vitamins, exercise routines, which type of prenatal provider to use, and anything else that relates to your journey.

Please check with your health plan benefits for coverage of annual well-being and prenatal appointments as preventive care. 

Learn about carrier screening

Many diseases are considered heritable, or able to be passed down from parent to child. However, some diseases have more clear family links than others. One group of diseases, which includes cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and Tay-Sachs, are known as recessive disorders.

Carrier screening checks your genes and your partner’s to determine if your little one might be at risk of inheriting a recessive disorder, and might be worth looking into, especially if you have a known family history of one of these disorders.

Quit or reduce alcohol, drugs, and tobacco

Alcohol, recreational drugs, and tobacco can all have negative effects on a baby growing in the womb, but they can also make getting pregnant more difficult. If you or your partner struggle with a substance abuse disorder or tobacco dependency, it’s worth speaking with your healthcare provider to come up with ways to quit, or reduce your use.

You may be eligible for coverage of preventive services for tobacco use assessment and counseling at no cost share. Please refer to your health benefits for details about what is covered.

Take a prenatal vitamin

Taking a prenatal vitamin can help round off your nutrients. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida). It is especially important during early pregnancy, so it’s smart to make sure that you’re getting enough. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if a prenatal vitamin is right for you.

Think about prenatal care

Do you plan on finding a new OB/GYN, sticking with your primary care provider, working with a midwife, or something else? Now is definitely the time to think about prenatal care, and to talk about it with your healthcare provider. Please refer to your health plan benefits for coverage of prenatal appointments.

To review the specifics of your health plan, find a doctor or pharmacy, download a digital ID card, and much more, log in to your secure account. You can also call Member Services at the number on the back of your health plan ID card (TTY: 711).

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