There is no better feeling than the movement of life inside you. Bearing a baby is no easy feat. Caring for your health before you become pregnant is very important for you and your bundle of joy. Preconception care and counseling will empower you to gear up for pregnancy. The goal of preconception counseling is to check for potential risks to you and your baby during pregnancy and address them well in advance before you get pregnant.
It is all about becoming your healthiest self both physically and mentally before you take the plunge. Planning for your pregnancy will help you make healthy choices and you can start out the right way by getting a preconception counseling appointment with your health care provider.
What happens at a Preconception Counselling?
It is the perfect time for you to discuss with your doctor about any concerns you have in your mind. Here are the things that are most likely to be discussed:
- Reproductive History – Your history related to your reproductive health can include your previous pregnancies, menstrual history, contraceptive use, vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Medical History – This constitutes of any health problems you have now and can get in under control before you get pregnant. Also, your family health history including diabetes, hypertension and more can be discussed.
- Surgical History – Have you had any surgeries done before for any complications? It is very important to let you gynecologist know about the same.
- Current Medications – Have you taking any prescribed or over the counter medicines, supplements or herbal medicines? If yes, it is best to speak with a doctor as certain medicines can lead to birth defects so talk to your doctor about them.
- Home and Workplace Environment – Are you facing any hazards from environmental factors that will deter your ability to get pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy?
- Weight Management – It is good to have an ideal weight before you get pregnant to avoid complications during pregnancy.
- Lifestyle Factors – Your diet, caffeine intake, exercise and other lifestyle habits should be discussed. The goal is to help you stop any unhealthy habits that could stand in your way towards a healthy pregnancy.
- Prenatal Vitamins – Even before you conceive, it's good to take these vitamins in order to prevent birth or neural tube defects. Your doctor will help you choose the right one at the right dosage.
Tests Performed During Preconception Counselling
- Physical Exam – Tests like pap smear, pelvic exam and more can be done to assess where you stand.
- Lab Tests – Blood test to detect any abnormalities can be taken into account
- Menstrual Cycles – It is good to chart your menstrual cycles to help you detect ovulation and determine the time to get pregnant
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!