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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a midwife who catches babies at home. Mommas always come with great questions about pregnancy and labor. I don't get to see them before that time, so I have no idea what types of questions they would have BEFORE they got pregnant.<br><br>
I'd love to be able to talk to the mommas before they were TTC so we could make sure they were in optimal health beforehand. What types of things would you like to know in a preconception period (rather than while TTC)?<br><br>
Thanks for your input!
 

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What should I be tested for before TTC? (As a cat owner, I was personally tested for Toxoplasmosis... which came back positive... before even TTC so I knew it was safe for me to change kitty litter... I never told my ex though so he still did it! LOL I probably didnt need the test as I had lived with several barn cats so we were pretty sure Id already gotten it, but even with my cat being only indoor... my cousin was born with problems due to toxoplasmosis, so we did the test)
 

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i think info on charting (like the course on FF! so key for so many people!), OPKs, and other things that can boost your chances of pregnancy - or at least give you info on when you're fertile - would be super useful.<br><br>
what else? ummm... info on supplements that can help/hurt, how early you can test and trust your result.... if i think of more i'll come back!
 

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Information about good, balanced nutrition- and getting out of the mindset of cutting whole food groups out of your diet for so called "health" an weight loss/maintenance.<br>
Information about what is a "reasonable" time to expect to conceive. With many people conceiving so quickly, if it takes more than 3 months, it often feels like an eternity when you're charting, recording signs, symptoms, etc... despite the one year statistic that we all read.<br><br>
I'll repost if i think of more, too. I think it's great that you're trying to get this info for your future mamas!
 

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Information on how being lacking in certain areas is important even before pregnancy (ie. folic acid) & how to improve those things. Real things - not just: "be at a healthy weight & take care of yourself".
 

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Mae, I'm glad you brought up toxoplasmosis - it reminds me I need to go ahead and get tested for it. I was thinking about asking my doc at my first prenatal (which unfortunately didn't happen because of the mc), but now that you've reminded me I need to schedule it.<br><br>
I agree with previous posters on learning about charting, good nutrition, etc. I also think it is important to think about what you expect of being a parent, and I think everyone should take a good look at themselves and see if they have any issues they need to work on before becoming a parent, such as forgiving their own parents for perceived "mistakes" and accepting and loving yourself with your own faults, etc. In other words, get psychologically healthy as well as physically healthy.
 

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I had a p-c visit and got my rubella titers checked as well as a whole slew of bloodwork. It would have been nice if I had been informed that I was Rh neg at the time (I had no idea - Mom thought I was +), so I could have gotten proof of DH's own Rh neg status and avoided the hulabaloo at 28 weeks when I refused the Rhogam (I knew I didn't need it).
 

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Definitely info on charting and how exactly a woman's cycle works. I hardly knew anything before starting TTC and was shocked at how much I should have learned in health class (or sex ed, whatever they called it back then) but was never taught.<br><br>
I also think it would be beneficial to share some real stats on how long it can take to get pregnant, your odds each month, that sort of thing. Just to communicate that patience is often required. I think a lot of couples trying for their first get all ready (financially, emotionally, etc) then decide to have a baby right then. As we all know, it can be very difficult to wait and not think something is wrong even if it only takes 3-6 months. Being councelled ahead of time in a kind, loving way that it might take that long or more might make the journey a lot easier.<br><br>
A list of on-line or book resources that approach TTC in a wholistic way would be helpful to have prepared, then you can simply provide it when some one approaches you with a broad range of questions.
 

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I second the folic acid levels. Ideally, they should be boosted at least 3 months prior to conception to reduce the risk of birth defects.<br>
And STD or at least HIV testing should be a must (even for those that are monogamous).<br>
How about a family history of genetic diseases potentially avoidable with preconception supplements or procedures. We had an increase risk of Clefting in our family and would've been nice to know in advance because there was something we could do preconception (even greater folic acid boost according to geneticist).<br><br>
Too many things may scare off some couples too though! But having a baby is a lot of work even prior to making it! LOL
 

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I would say a complete list of the 'useful' tests you can get done before conception so you have less nonsense while pregnant. Getting your PAP out of the way, STD testing, etc. As well as things that can't be done, or won't be helpful.<br><br>
Also perhaps info on probiotics and how a mother's gut health (or lack there of) passes on to the baby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much, everyone for their input.<br><br>
Nutrition - check<br>
Lab tests - check<br>
Charting - check ( I love that this can be used to prevent pregnancy while trying to get optimally healthy, then turned around quickly and used for conception)<br><br>
Parenting - Aha! I hadn't thought so much about the parenting aspects. Seeing as many couples as I have, I know how much tension a pregnancy can put on a relationship. Its useful to tell people that it WILL happen and to expect some stuff to come up.<br><br>
Patient with conceiving - Also useful. This is one that I hadn't thought about but makes perfect sense.<br><br>
Online resources - Amazingly helpful. A lot of women I know don't really want to tell anyone until they've hit the end of the first trimester. Who do you have for support until then? Your online community (like MDC)!<br><br>
Very helpful. As a follow-up I would be interested to know what you wish you HADN'T been told. Things that were wrong, insensitive, or inappropriate. Did someone say "Oh, you're too old" or "Those hips look kind of small - I don't know if you'll get a baby out of them..." What myths should I diffuse and what pitfall are there than I may not yet know about?
 

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Horror stories!! Everyone and her mom has one and they get worse and scarier as pregnancy goes on but the sooner you can prepare to protect yourself, close your ears and walk away the better.<br><br>
Also the "You HAVE to get an epidural" or "You HAVE to deliver in the hospital or your baby will die."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So true! I don't know what compels people to share those stories. They were pregnant once, too. But for some reason they feel you need to hear them. Whenever I'm with a pregnant mom and someone appears about to start a story like that I will interrupt them and say something like, "She really doesn't need to hear that right now."
 

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I agree with many pps. I am in the pre-TTC season right now (not looking to start TTC til late next year, hopefully) and this is on my mind a lot.<br><br>
Like i said, i agree with most of the suggestions already given:<br><br>
what books should I be reading,<br><br>
what doctors'/practitioners' appointments should I be scheduling,<br><br>
what expectations about TTCing should i be setting between me and my spouse,<br><br>
what should my partner be reading/eating/scheduling appointments for,<br><br>
what should my (really OUR) daily eating look like by the time we are ready to TTC,<br><br>
what should BOTH of our physical fitness be, if anything for TTCing,<br><br>
most definitely how important is it to strengthen the relationship with my spouse (specifically and especially through weathering TTC negotiations!),<br><br>
what about creating, if i dont have one already, a good support network,<br><br>
how do I decide on whether or not to tell people once we start trying,<br><br>
what are some lifestyle changes to avoid prior to or while TTC (new house, new career, pet ownership, travel, etc?),<br><br>
mythbusting (is it safe to have a laptop on my lap or my partners lap, will it boil our reproductive juices away!?!, etc),<br><br>
what are your key factors in recognizing that someone is NOT ready to TTC?,<br><br>
...I could go on. Ive been thinking in this same stage for years now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
PS. You might also want to cross post this thread in the NMY (Not Mama's Yet) tribe in the Finding Your Tribe area. We ALWAYS have questions, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What great suggestions, Brown Lioness! I especially like the new ones about weathering the TTC period with your spouse and how to create a support network. I'll repost in the NMY thread, too. Thanks for the ideas.
 
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