Knowing Your Family History

knowing-your-family-historyAre you trying to get pregnant, or thinking about planning for a new addition to your family in the not-so-distant future? Aside from researching fertility methods, one other very important factor you should be considering is your own family history—and to some extent, your spouse’s as well. Though not all things pregnancy-related are genetic in nature (some are left to pure chance, and others to your lifestyle and personal habits), many of them are. Here are some important considerations regarding heredity that you should know about before deciding to begin the journey towards welcoming a new baby into the world:

  • The Pregnancy

    Before deciding to become pregnant, it may be smart to talk to your mother, and possibly even grandmother, about their own pregnancies. Certain aspects of pregnancy, such as how easy (or difficult) it was to conceive; pregnancy side effects, such as morning sickness and heartburn; as well as possible complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, may run in the family line. Although these factors shouldn’t necessarily scare you away from becoming pregnant, it can be helpful to know the risks and possibilities beforehand, so that you can prepare yourself physically and mentally.

    Naturally-occurring, multiple births also tend to be genetic (though sometimes, they’re a complete surprise), so ask your relatives about any twins or triplets in your family’s history. See if you can spot a trend to help predict whether or not you might be the lucky, new mom of not one, but two, or even three bundles of joy!

  • Your Baby

    Almost everything about your future baby—the way he looks, his overall health, and even his blossoming personality—will depend, to a large extent, on the genes you and your spouse pass down to him (the same ones you both got from your own parents, who got them from your grandparents, and so on). Therefore, being knowledgeable about the traits (and risk factors) that run in your and your spouse’s family can help you get to know your little one even before he arrives. This information can also help you prepare for any genetic defects, diseases, or other health conditions your baby may be susceptible to. Find out if there are any incidences of chromosomal disorders, such as down syndrome, or gene disorders like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia in your or your spouse’s family medical history. If there are, talk to your doctor about what this may mean for your pregnancy and your newborn.

    If you’re concerned about the effects your genes and family history may have on the health of your baby, then it may be wise to speak to a genetic counselor, or consider undergoing genetic testing to acquire more information about any potential risks to you or your future baby. With the right amount of information, an ounce of prevention, and a little bit of faith as well, you may just be on your way to a happy, healthy pregnancy, not to mention a fulfilling and satisfying relationship with your newborn—however he or she turns out!

What do you think?

Knowing Your Family History

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31 comments

  1. Profile photo of Eva Eva says:

    Im not worried. Life is too short to worry about all that stuff.

  2. Profile photo of Schazaura Schazaura says:

    I really have no fears about how my child will turn out. Both me and his father have good family history, and we both have fantastic personalities, haha. Honestly, I think he might be stubborn, and athletic, but those aren’t bad things.

  3. Profile photo of kimberly kimberly says:

    my husband and i are very outspoken no fear kinda people…….i am very scared what my child will act like lol

  4. Profile photo of Timothy Timothy says:

    i am addopted,, makes this very hard.. my wife is Asian double hard now…lol

  5. Profile photo of Namaste Namaste says:

    Of course, this is a very important factor to study of family history, but I did not do it

  6. everything is fine on my end, no surprises here

  7. I wish I would have done this before getting pregnant. Then I would have known that twins run in my family and the shock of the news would have left me a little less in shock. lol

  8. One of the main things we looked at in our family history was for twins! We wanted twins really bad but after having our son, which is our first child we are happy that we have just one.

  9. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    I wonde what he’s going to look like. I hope he’s healthy.

  10. Profile photo of leena leena says:

    interesting to know that family history is important

  11. Profile photo of Marina Marina says:

    Unfortunately my grandmother passed away over 9 yrs. ago and my mother passed away over 3 yrs. ago. Don’t have anyone to get the information from (my father passed away 3 1/3 yrs. ago). 🙁

  12. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    multiplies are on my spouses side so he tells me, my spouses side also has health issues… my side some health issues but not as much as my spouses side

  13. Profile photo of PrettyBoogs PrettyBoogs says:

    There are many multiples in my family.. The thought of two in there pops up from time to time.

  14. Profile photo of Lulu Lulu says:

    I know very little of my birth family, but this article is still helpful.

  15. Profile photo of Janice Janice says:

    History, comes and goes when it pertains to a baby. The law required blood tests, for awhile and then it would not. If the health industry knows it is very important, than it should be a law, and not a pacing fancy every few years.

  16. My dad passed away three years ago and my mom doesn’t know anything about her family history because they never talked about it.

  17. Profile photo of Melody Melody says:

    Good to remember!

  18. I was lucky when it came to symptoms, every woman in my family that has has a baby said they never got morning sickness or heartburn or anything like that and at 8 months along now i still have not gotten any of those things, I actually feel better being pregnant (minus the nosebleeds lol) than I ever have on a normal day!

  19. family history is realy importat when u r pregnant

  20. Profile photo of Angela Angela says:

    Great, thanks for sharing.

  21. Profile photo of Julie Julie says:

    Family history is important for medical reasons, but I didn’t know it could affect the personality.

  22. thankfully my mom knows a lot about her and my dad’s family, so she was really helpful

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