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Preconception Care Specialist

Donna Richey, MD & Julie Oates, CNM

Obstetrics and Gynecologist located in Torrance, CA

The best way to encourage a healthy pregnancy is to optimize your health with preconception care before you become pregnant. Board-certified OB/GYN Donna Richey, MD, provides preconception care at her private practice in Torrance, California. To learn about steps you can take to prepare your body for pregnancy, call or book an appointment online today.

Preconception Care Q&A

What is preconception care?

Preconception care encompasses medical, behavioral, and social interventions that improve your health and well-being before pregnancy. Your state of health before conception is closely related to the success and safety of your pregnancy. 

If you’re planning to get pregnant, Dr. Richey advises you on the best ways to promote a healthy pregnancy. This may include changes in your health habits and nutrition.

How can I improve my preconception health?

It’s important to take control of your health, especially if you want to get pregnant. Both you and your partner should prepare for pregnancy at least three months before you start trying to conceive. Some changes, such as quitting smoking and achieving a healthy weight, should start even earlier. 

Dr. Richey encourages a clean lifestyle, including wholesome foods, plenty of water, and regular exercise. Other steps you can take to promote a healthy pregnancy include:

  • Gaining control over chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Taking a daily vitamin with 400-800 micrograms of folic acid
  • Discussing any prescription and over-the-counter medications use with Dr. Richey
  • Avoiding toxic substances and materials, such as chemicals and cat litter boxes 
  • Getting regular prenatal care once you become pregnant

All women who are able to get pregnant should take folic acid every day, even if you aren’t actively trying to conceive. 

This is important because a baby’s brain and spinal cord develop early on, before many women even know they’re pregnant. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

What should I expect from a preconception visit?

During your first preconception care visit, Dr. Richey carefully reviews your medical history. She may discuss a variety of topics that pertain to your health, including:

  • Birth control and family planning methods
  • Problems with previous pregnancies
  • Folic acid intake
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • Medications and supplements you use
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Health problems that run in your family
  • Your partner’s health and family health history

Then, she recommends how you can improve your overall health and wellness to encourage a successful pregnancy. She also makes sure you’re up to date on vaccines and health screenings.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, call Donna Richey, MD, or book online to schedule your preconception care visit today.