Health Library 2015-10-09 The Health You Pass On Main Article Content Breadcrumb navigation All/Health Library/Family History Pregnancy Planning How Family History Impacts Family Planning Family 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.” From these conversations, your maternity care provider may determine you could benefit from genetic testing. Genetic testing is recommended for certain groups in particular due to links between specific medical conditions and ethnicity. This includes sickle cell disease and African Americans, Tay-Sachs disease and Eastern Europeans of Jewish decent and French Canadians, and cystic fibrosis and Caucasians. Mediterranean, African and South Asian people may also be screened for thalassemia, a blood disorder. Further screening may be suggested for other concerns as well, such as juvenile deafness or blindness, unexplained infertility, unexplained seizures, or unexplained seizures or malformations. Some other conditions that have a genetic link are listed below: Achondroplasia (formerly dwarfism) Cleft Palate Club Foot Congenital Heart Disease Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes Gaucher's Disease Hemophilia Huntington's Chorea Fragile X Syndrome, different forms of Down Syndrome Hydrocephalus Muscular Dystrophy Phenylketonuria Polydactylism Sickle Cell disease Thalassemia Tay-Sachs disease If your family history includes any of these conditions, it could be worth discussing with a specialist. Interested in hearing more from Northwestern Medicine? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E‑Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. Share This Page Related Topics Children's Health Womens Health Maternity OB/GYN Prevention Northwestern Medicine - On a relentless pursuit of better medicine. Related Content Wellness Feeding Baby: What You Need to Know Feeding tips and options to help ensure your baby gets off to a healthy start. 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