What is Preconception Counseling?
Preconception counseling is a form of healthcare that provides guidance, support, and medical advice to individuals or couples looking to become pregnant. Preconception counseling aims to optimize the health and well-being of both potential parents before they conceive. It increases the chances of a conception, healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby in the future.
We highly encourage clients to discuss pregnancy plans before they try to get pregnant. During these preconception counseling appointments, we address your questions and highlight the significance of the both partners’ health.
What happens at preconception counseling?
During preconception counseling, healthcare providers discuss various aspects of pregnancy planning and preparation. These counseling sessions cover:
- Health Assessment: This covers an overall assessment of the couple’s medical history, significant family history, and current health status. A general examination is also performed, which includes vitals, weight, etc.
- Lifestyle Factors: we then discuss lifestyle choices that may impact pregnancy outcomes, such as dietary habits, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use.
- Medication Review: If the individual or couple is taking any medications, the healthcare provider reviews their safety and impact on conception and pregnancy. They may provide alternative recommendations if need be.
- Immunization: We review your vaccination schedule and ensure all your vaccines are up to date.
- Genetic Counseling: If there is a family history of genetic conditions, we may refer you for genetic counseling to discuss the possibility of passing down the condition to your baby.
- Chronic Conditions: if you or your partner suffer from chronic medical conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, or hypertension, we provide counseling on managing these conditions during pregnancy.
- Supplementation: Certain supplements, such as folic acid, are super important in preventing neural tube defects in the baby. We advise appropriate supplements and provide a schedule to change supplements accordingly.
What are the goals of preconception care?
The goals of preconception counseling are:
- Assess and Optimize Health: A preconception health assessment helps us address any health concerns and advise appropriate management before beginning the journey to conception.
- Identify and Address Risk Factors: Preconception care helps us identify potential conditions that may affect the pregnancy so we can manage them.
- Promote Healthy Lifestyle Choices: These sessions help individuals realize the importance of healthy choices such as working out, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, etc.
- Family Planning Education: Preconception counseling is a great place to start with family planning. The earlier you start, the easier it is to execute your planning.
- Address Emotional and Psychological Concerns: These sessions help address any emotional or psychological concerns related to pregnancy and parenting.
- Educate on Pregnancy Preparation: These appointments are an opportunity to educate potential parents on what to expect during pregnancy and the importance of pre-pregnancy planning.
What are the benefits of preconception counseling?
Preconception care offers several benefits to both potential parents and their future babies:
- Improved Pregnancy Outcomes
- Reduced Risk of Birth Defects
- Better Management of Chronic Conditions
- Early Identification of Genetic Risks
- Optimal Maternal Health
- Healthy Lifestyle Promotion
- Increased Awareness of Family Planning
- Psychological Support
- Enhanced Prenatal Care Engagement
Overall, preconception care sets the foundation for a healthy and positive pregnancy experience. If you want to schedule a preconception counseling visit, send us a message!