Planning for pregnancy

We know that the decision to expand your family is exciting but can raise a lot of questions. We are here to help provide answers and guidance along your pregnancy planning journey.

During this stage, we will work with you to focus on things you can do before and between pregnancies to help increase your chances of having a healthy baby. Whether this is your first, second, or fifth baby, we are here to help you along the way.

Woman looking at pregnancy test

What to expect during your planning appointments

As you begin the planning process, you’ll schedule an appointment with your provider—either a primary health care provider, an OB-GYN, or a midwife.

At this appointment, your provider will answer all your questions about fertility, pregnancy, and overall reproductive health.

Some common topics that may be addressed during your appointment are:

  • Personal and family medical history to identify any potential genetic or hereditary conditions
  • Lifestyle factors and how they may impact fertility and pregnancy, including nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, and exposure to environmental hazards
  • Reproductive health, including the regularity of your menstrual cycle, any past irregularities, and the use of contraceptives
  • Medications and supplements, reviewing anything that you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, and vitamins or dietary supplements
  • Immunization status and recommendations for necessary vaccinations
  • Pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, or autoimmune conditions, and how to manage them during conception and pregnancy
  • Genetic counseling and any recommendations based on your medical history and family background to assess the risk of passing on certain genetic disorders
  • Folic acid supplementation, which is an important supplement for fetal development
  • Preconception testing and certain screenings to evaluate your overall health and assess any potential risks or underlying conditions
  • Conception timing and fertility awareness, including guidance on determining your fertile window and optimal timing for conception

Topics covered during preconception appointments may vary among providers. If you feel that there are specific areas that have not been addressed, please feel free to ask questions about anything you’d like to learn more about.

pregnant woman with provider

Finding the right provider

Not sure what’s best for you? Every pregnancy is unique—which is why we offer a team of obstetricians and certified nurse midwives for you to choose from. Take this short quiz to find the fit that’s best for you and your pregnancy. At Spectrum Health, you have options to deliver your baby, your way.

Choosing a birthing center that’s right for you

When discussing your birthing center options with your provider, here are some key considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Philosophy and approach to childbirth 
  • Services and amenities, including pain management techniques, birthing suites, and options for family involvement during labor and delivery   
  • Safety and emergency protocols  
  • Prenatal and postpartum care  
  • Location and accessibility  
Birthing room
Smiling couple talking to provider

Supporting you every step of the way, including fertility

We understand that planning a family may come with some fertility challenges. No matter what these challenges are, remember that you are not alone and that we are here to walk alongside you, providing support, solutions, and hope.

Financial support and assistance

We recognize that planning a pregnancy can feel overwhelming on its own without the additional burden of financial concerns. We are committed to helping you in any way we can, including offering financial support and assistance to those who are eligible.

Woman working on laptop

Questions to ask during your planning journey

Questions to ask yourself
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  1. Do I have a support system in place, including family, friends, or community resources?
  2. What are the implications for my living situation?
  3. Are there any anticipated challenges for my physical and/or mental health?
  4. Will having a baby affect my career?
  5. Are my partner and I on the same page about having a baby? Have we discussed our individual parenting styles, values, and expectations?
  6. Do I feel ready to have a baby financially?
  7. Are there any goals or aspirations that we want to accomplish before starting a family?
  8. Have we discussed our thoughts and feelings about fertility treatments, if needed?

Remember, these questions only serve as a starting point for your self-reflection, allowing you to better understand your readiness and aspirations for starting a family. It is important for you to have an open and honest discussion with your partner and health care provider to make informed decisions that align with your values and goals.

Questions to ask your provider
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  1. What do I need to do before I get pregnant? Are there any specific lifestyle changes or habits I should adopt or change before trying to conceive?
  2. What prenatal vitamins or supplements do you recommend, and when should I start taking them?
  3. When should I stop my birth control?
  4. Can my medical history affect my pregnancy?
  5. What screenings or tests should I undergo to assess my fertility or identify potential risks?
  6. Are there any vaccinations I should be receiving?
  7. How long should we try to conceive before seeking further assistance or fertility evaluations?
  8. Can you recommend any resources or support groups for individuals or couples trying to conceive?

Remember, these questions are just starting points, and you should feel free to ask any additional questions or express any concerns you may have during your appointment.

Create a MyChart account

As part of your care during pregnancy, we encourage you to create a MyChart account.