Health Facts for Healthy Pregnancies

dr. melissa miller
By Melissa Miller, MD, FACOG Obstetrics & Gynecology | St. Luke's OB-GYN, Denfeld Medical Clinic
About the Author:
I love delivering babies. I enjoy working with women from different backgrounds who all have different life stories, and sharing some of the best times of their life as well as the more challenging times. I feel honored to be able to share those experiences with them.

Now that you’ve read our tips on healthy ways to get ready for pregnancy, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the medical side of things. In this post, we’ll cover specific steps to take around medications, vaccinations and family history—before and during pregnancy.

Know Your Medications

Before trying to get pregnant, visit with your primary care doctor, OB-GYN or certified nurse midwife (CNM) to discuss your current medications. Bring up any health concerns you have for yourself and your baby. The most common medical conditions to discuss before getting pregnant are:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Seizure disorders
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • HIV

Your primary care provider might refer you to a specialist or talk with your other doctors as needed. As many health concerns require medication, it’s important to discuss which medications you’re currently taking, and what might change while trying to conceive. Generally, the advice is to take the lowest dose of what’s needed to control symptoms, but only your primary care provider can advise on the right dose for you. Under no circumstance should you try to adjust or change your dose without talking to your primary care provider.

Plan Your Vaccinations

Some vaccinations can happen while pregnant, but others are advised against during that 10-month window. Two vaccines in particular should be received more than a month prior to conceiving:

  • Mumps, measles, rubella
  • Varicella

On the other hand, these vaccines are OK to get while pregnant:

  • Influenza
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcus
  • Pneumococcus

Study Your History

If you’ve been pregnant before, there’s a chance some conditions might occur again. These include:

  • Preterm birth
  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes

Talk to your doctor about past pregnancies and how to prepare if some conditions return. In addition to your own medical history, consider your family history and any inherited disorders. Many health care providers, including St. Luke’s Birthing Center, offer genetic counseling and carrier testing if interested.

Knowing what opportunities you have and what to consider before getting pregnant can lead to a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

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