Doctor's Notes on Pregnancy Planning
Pregnancy planning is being informed about pregnancy issues of nutrition, exercise, body weight, vitamins, immunizations, harmful substances, illness, genetic counseling and other topics and questions. If you, or your significant other, have any questions about pregnancy or becoming pregnant, it is a sign that pregnancy planning should begin.
The cause for pregnancy planning is usually to prepare to give the mother the best chance of delivering a normal healthy newborn without complications in the fetus or the mother during and after pregnancy. Other causes are to inform individuals about risk factors that, on an individual basis, are possibly present that may complicate the pregnancy and, in some individuals, how to reduce these risk factors. For example, women who take folic acid at least 4 weeks before conception reduce the risk of spinal cord birth defects, drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk for early miscarriage, certain drugs used for acne treatments may cause birth defects and thus should be avoided and many other circumstances that should be addressed in pregnancy planning.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.