Family planning

So maybe you don’t start thinking about Christmas presents until Black Friday, and maybe you’re the type to Google “Charlottesville accountant” in, oh, the second week of April. Those things aren’t important anyway—at least compared to the task of preparing your body for a baby. We learned all about the preconception checkup through a helpful article at babycenter.com—good reading for any conscientious pregnant-lady-to-be.

What are the basics of a preconception checkup? Your OB/GYN will take a detailed health history, including your current method of birth control and how regular your periods usually are. She’ll ask if you have any conditions like high blood pressure and whether you’re taking any meds or herbal supplements. As you might expect, this will get personal: She’ll ask about mental health and whether there’s any domestic abuse in your life. And you’ll receive a raft of advice on everything from avoiding toxins during pregnancy to what vitamins to take to why you’ll want to cut down on coffee.

There’ll be a physical exam, too, similar to what you’re used to at your annual gynecological checkup. (Yep, there’s a speculum involved, but if you’re brave enough to share your body with another human for nine months, we’re sure you can handle that!) And, as with any visit to a physician, the more questions you ask, the better. A thorough writeup is at babycenter.com.

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