Lee Physician Group - Obstetrics/Gynecology
Healthy Plan, Healthy Pregnancy
Preparing for a baby can be some of the most exciting and nerve-racking times of life. Moms-to-be have to take care of themselves in order to experience healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. Shelly Chvotzkin, D.O., obstetrician/ gynecologist, says preparing for a healthy pregnancy begins even before conception.
"About one month before conceiving, women should start taking a prenatal vitamin for extra iron, folic acid and B vitamins," Dr. Chvotzkin says. "Making an appointment with a doctor before conception is also important, especially for women who smoke or abuse alcohol or other substances, or take certain medications.
A woman's doctor can help her with treatment or change and/or wean her off medications. It is important to note that people should never stop taking medications without consulting the doctor."
Dr. Chvotzkin adds that planning for a pregnancy also includes vaccinations. "We recommend getting the flu shot before getting pregnant," she says. "We also check to see if there are other vaccines the woman may need, like rubella, chicken pox or Tdap for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis."
While planning for a pregnancy may not always be possible, Dr. Chvotzkin recommends seeing a doctor as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant.
Dr. Chvotzkin says she generally sees momsto- be once a month until the 28th week of pregnancy, then every two to three weeks until the 35th week, and then once a week until delivery. She also notes that babies should never be delivered before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason.
"There are specific tests we do offer at specific times during the pregnancy," Dr. Chvotzkin says.
"Women should discuss these tests with their doctor and their family. Screenings are valuable because they enable a woman to make the best decision possible for herself and her baby. If something is found in our screening, there is time to prepare, link up with support groups and ensure that we follow the pregnancy more carefully."
Again, planning for a pregnancy may not always be possible, but making good choices and living a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy can help provide a smoother pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Pregnancy: 39 Weeks Program
Shelly Chvotzkin, D.O.
Lee Physician Group
16271 Bass Road
Fort Myers, FL 33908