Fertility & Preconception
Preconception Definition: Pre (prior or before) / Conception (the action of conceiving a child or becoming pregnant). Preconception appointments cover information related to health prior to actually becoming pregnant.
A preconception counseling appointment can be an important first step in preparing to have a baby. This visit is NOT the same as a full preconception checkup (such as a routine well-person exam or doctor’s visit). Instead, this visit is individually tailored to help ensure you are healthy and physically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy, and largely consists of discussion and counseling for pregnancy preparation. We can help you identify any factors that may put you or your baby at risk and address concerns, medical or otherwise, that you may have before you become pregnant.
Preconception visits are highly individualized to your history and needs, and commonly include the following topics of discussion, depending on your needs:
Your overall preconception health (including your mental and physical health)
Previous pregnancy and birth experiences (if any)
Your partner(s) state of mental and physical health
Your options for conception
Your desired timing for a pregnancy
Education on nutrition, exercise and herbal support for conception
Education on the fertility cycle, to facilitate conception
Referrals for fertility support (such as fertility clinics, sperm banks, egg donation services etc).
Once we have answered your questions and reviewed your needs we can help you develop a personalized plan for conception. Our goal is to support healthy pregnancies and births, and the best way to do this is through preventative health care and intentional nurturing of the parent prior to conceiving.
If You Aren’t Sure You Want to get Pregnant:
Some people attend preconception appointments because they aren’t certain whether they want to become pregnant again. This can be due to health concerns, lifestyle, or even previous birth trauma. We understand that for many people approaching pregnancy is a complicated issue, and we are here to help and support you as you make decisions. Let us know what your needs are, and we will do our best to help you sort through your options.
Understanding Your Cycle:
Midwifery care is parent-centered, and we believe strongly in ensuring that parents have the information and knowledge they need to understand their bodies and how they work. For parents planning to conceive a child, it is important to know not only the basics of how the fertility cycle works, but also the unique patterns your body has which may influence your ability to conceive! Here is a list of recommended books which can help get you started on getting to know your body better:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
In Our Control: The Complete Guide to Contraceptive Choices for Women by Laura Eldridge
The Fertility Diet by Jorge Chavarro, MD. & Walter C Willett, MD.
Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body by Toni Weschler
A Donor Insemination Guide by Marie Mohler, MA & Lacy Frazer, PsyD
The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy & Birth by Stephanie Brill