Caring for your health before you conceive…
What is preconception care?
It is health education & risk assessment before pregnancy to reduce poor outcome.
Why is it so important?
Planning for your pregnancy before you conceive will help you to make health choices for you and your baby.
What are the benefits?
Preconception care targeted at mother, father and family can reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.
What happens during preconception counseling?
Your detailed history is taken
- 1 History regarding previous pregnancy, STDs, any vaginal infections.
- 2 History of any surgery, blood transfusion or past medical illness, any medication.
- Family health history of diabetes, hypertension, history of twin pregnancy and any genetic factors which can lead to blindness, deafness or congenital malformation.
- Home and work place environment – Exposure to cat feces, X-ray, lead etc.
Detailed Examination including weight, height, blood pressure and all systems heart, lung, thyroid, abdomen done.
What suggestions are given during preconception counselling?
- Life style changes – Avoiding stress, quitting smoking and drinking, not taking any medicine that could harm your pregnancy and baby. Even over the counter health supplements are very harmful.
- Immunization – What vaccination has been done and what needs to be done.
- Dietary advice – Should control diet and exercise to start pregnancy at optimal weight.
- Prenatal vitamin – Taking folic acid at least 3 months before conception could prevent most cases of neural tube defect. Neural tube is a part of nervous system.
- Genetic counselling – For patients with genetic diseases like Thalassemia, Sickle cell anemia, Down syndrome and many more.
Goals of preconception care
To prevent – Preterm birth, fetal growth anomalies, birth defects, infections in baby, problems caused by pre-existing cardiac disease, diabetes, thyroid problems etc.
Preconception counselling encourages the adoption of healthy life style and supplements the preconception diet with the correct vitamin such as folic acid.