Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Professionals to See When You’re Trying to Have a Baby

Deciding to start a family is a big and exciting step. To reduce the chances of something going wrong, it’s necessary to consult a medical professional, including the following four.

Primary Care Physician

Even before getting pregnant, you should consult your doctor. They know your medical history, so they already know if you have any medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, that increase the risk of complications. Similarly, they can advise you on what you need to do to improve your health before getting pregnant. They will also refer you to other health care providers like obstetricians that you should see.

Prenatal Genetic Counselor

A prenatal genetic counselor specializes in working with patients who may have a higher than usual risk of having a baby with a congenital defect. The mother may have a family history of a genetic disorder, she may have already had a child with the disorder, or she may be older. She may also consult a genetic counselor if she belongs to a given ethnic group. For example, a severe congenital disorder called Tay-Sachs disease is most common in Jews with Eastern European ancestry.

The counselor will go over your family and medical history, and they will describe the chances of your having a baby with a birth defect. They will recommend certain tests and help you understand the results. They will work with you before and during your pregnancy.

Fertility Doctor

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, your doctor may send you to a fertility specialist to determine the cause. The fertility doctor will want to examine both you and your partner, for men can have conditions, such as an abnormally low sperm count, that impair their ability to sire children.

Your age and health will determine when your primary care doctor is likely to send you to a fertility specialist. For example, if you are healthy and under 35, the doctor may suggest waiting up to a year. On the other hand, if you have a condition like polycystic ovary disease or a thyroid disorder, they will probably send you to a fertility specialist right away.

Obstetrician

While an obstetrician is best known as the doctor who delivers babies, they actually work with their patients during pregnancy. They also provide post-natal care. Many obstetricians are also gynecologists, which are doctors who specialize in the female reproductive system. Some obstetricians specialize in high-risk pregnancies. During pregnancy, the obstetrician will check the health of both baby and mother. They will perform ultrasounds and other tests. As the pregnancy progresses, they will help you prepare for delivery.

The above medical professionals can advise you as to what you may expect during your pregnancy and how to best prepare for it. They can recommend ways to stay healthy, and they can help you if you develop a complication. In the end, they will help you welcome a new addition to the family.

Tim Esterdahl

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