Pre-pregnancy counselling is a counselling session which was conducted before you conceive, & is useful and beneficial for both mother as well as baby during the term of the pregnancy. It may also helps in checking for the possible risk factors & also gives way to resolve any other medical issues you can have before you become pregnant.
You can discuss & clarify with doctor, all these things which concern you before to get pregnant, such as starting prenatal vitamins, diet or any other hereditary health issues. Various important points will be discussed during pre-pregnancy counselling session. They include:
Reproductive history:Doctor will discuss about menstrual history, usage of contraceptives, any other previous sexually transmitted diseases, pap test results vaginal infections.
Medical & surgical history:You need to inform the doctor all about your past health problems by that it can be controlled while your are about to plan your pregnancy. Any past surgeries or hospitalizations should be also need to be brought to the doctors notice.
Current medications:Discuss with doctor regarding any other prescription, over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements which you are currently using. This can also help the doctor to plan medications to you, so to prevent any other potential problems during pregnancy.
Weight:It is always best to have ideal weight before you are trying conceiving. Gaining weight if you are underweight it will reduce the risk of having a low birth-weight baby, & reducing the weight if you are overweight it will prevent the risk of the high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Lifestyle:The effect of some certain habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking & usage of recreational drugs on the pregnancy will be discussed. You & your partner will be advised to stop and restrict these habits for a healthy pregnancy.
Exercise:Inform the doctor about the type of exercises which you need to perform or if you dont do any exercise. Depending on this, you will be advised to continue the normal exercises during the pregnancy time till your doctor will suggests otherwise.
Diet:Having good dietary habits will be beneficial during the pregnancy. You will be also advised to consume food which is very rich in folic acid, calcium, fibre & other nutrients, & also reduce the intake of the caffeine, which was present in the coffee, chocolates, soft drinks & medications, before getting pregnancy.
Family health history:Inform doctor about the presence of the hereditary medical conditions & multiple births in the family.
Prenatal vitamins:You should start using folic acid supplements before conceiving, as folic acid will reduces the chances of the neural tube defects in baby.
Advice for older women:Women who are older than 35 years of the age will be advised on the risks of the infertility, abnormalities in child & pregnancy complications, like miscarriage & labour problems.
Your doctor will also recommend:
- Physical exam of breasts, abdomen, heart, thyroid & lungs
- Pap smear & pelvic examination
- Lab tests to screen for the rubella, hepatitis, HIV, syphilis & other conditions
- Chart menstrual cycles to monitor the ovulation & to determine the most favourable time to get pregnancy
- Advised for appropriate vaccinations against rubella or chickenpox, & also recommend to delay in conception for month
- Conduct genetic counselling for the older mothers or those who are at the risk of hereditary diseases to help you to understand the chances of the birth defects or intellectual disability in the child.