Prepregnancy Counseling

Preconception counseling consists of two major issues.

1. Finding out if there is any associated medical problem, and correcting it.

2. Advice regarding additional nutritional & fitness demands

The goal of this counseling is to provide the information that a woman and her partner need in order to make informed choices about planning a pregnancy and to ensure the best possible outcome for the couple and the baby.

1. Medical assessment:

Your doctor should take your medical history & may also ask about the potential father’s medical history. This checkup may also include an overall physical exam, pelvic exam along with blood and urine tests. Pre-pregnancy visits especially benefit women with certain conditions that can make a pregnancy more difficult like those:

  • have heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure or other chronic conditions such as diabetes, lupus, or HIV/AIDS
  • have a history of unexplained stillbirths, miscarriage, or have had other children born prematurely
  • know you are at personal risk of having a child with birth defects or a genetic disorder
  • have or have had a sexually transmitted infection
  • have a weight problem
  • older than 35

2. General advice

  • Folic acid – Is essential for fetal development and lack of it can lead to fetal malformation. Folic acid is naturally available in green vegetables, fortified cereals, Oranges & beans. However it is difficult to get required Folic acid from diet alone, hence a tablet of Folic acid 5mg is recommended at least for 3months prior & 3months during early pregnancy to all expectant mothers.
  • Vit B12 – Need to be supplemented specially to completely vegetarian diet and those with deficiency.
  • Vit D – Along with Calcium helps to reduce pregnancy complications like Diabetes and Hypertension disorders.
  • AVOID – Smoking, alcohol, exposure to radiation, hazardous drugs & chemicals.
  • AVOID – self medication or unknown drugs including herbal medicines.
  • Always mention to your doctor that you are planning pregnancy. Since conception takes place before you miss a period and before you know that you are pregnant.
  • Weight management – Has been a concern to all. Excess weight in women during pregnancy poses lot of health hazards like hypertension, diabetes etc. Underweight women also face problems of poor growth of baby. Therefore it recommended to reach a near ideal weight before planning pregnancy.
  • Exercise – Yes. The more fit you are, the easier your pregnancy and delivery may be. But if you exercise too much, it can make getting pregnant harder. And overdoing it once you’re pregnant can be dangerous. If you haven’t been exercising, start before you get pregnant. While you are pregnant, you can probably keep up a light exercise program. Walking every day is good exercise along with gentle stretches keeps you fit & flexible.

 

We can discuss many more questions on this subject…if you have any.. please ask…