How Family History Impacts Family PlanningFamily history can function as a helpful guide to a healthy life, informing your primary care physician about what risk factors you may have and how to guide your lifestyle.
It can be especially beneficial when planning for a family of your own. Certain inherited traits can put you or your baby at higher risk for complications or hereditary conditions. Your maternity care provider will likely inquire about family history and you can work together toward the best course of care for you and your preconception health.
“Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and cerebral palsy are among the conditions care providers look for,” says Monica J. Fudala, MD, a family medicine physician at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and Grayslake Outpatient Center. “We may also ask you about any history of recurrent miscarriages or complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or postpartum depression.”
Some other conditions that have a genetic link are listed below:
- Achondroplasia (formerly dwarfism)
- Cleft Palate
- Club Foot
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Gaucher's Disease
- Huntington's Chorea
- Fragile X Syndrome, different forms of Down Syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Sickle Cell disease
- Tay-Sachs disease
If your family history includes any of these conditions, it could be worth discussing with a specialist.