Planning of starting a family is a massive decision which leaves the couple into a total confused and baffled situation. Preconception counseling helps a couple to achieve all learnings about pregnancy, babies, and the aftermath of pregnancy which helps in the care and wellness of the potential mother and the child.
What is Preconception Counseling?
Preconception counseling, also termed as preconception care, is meeting and consulting a physician, gynecologist or midwife (women health professionals) to attain knowledge and guidance regarding each step of conceiving a child.
The main motive is to analyze the health of women through physical and psychological tests to optimize the capability of the body to hold, nourish and thrive a baby properly.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states “The preconception care is the major aspect to improve birth outcomes, including reducing the number of babies born prematurely or who have low birth weights. Hence, it is a very crucial step that every potential parent couple should adopt.”
What is the Importance of Preconception Counseling?
The rate of unintended and unplanned pregnancy is increasing day by day, the main reason behind this is lack of knowledge about conceiving a child. Aforementioned kind of pregnancy leads to disastrous outcomes like the adverse health of women, fetus or neonate.
Preconception care is very important because it reduces and eliminates the risk factors and dangers by optimizing female’s health and providing all information regarding pre-pregnancy, between pregnancy, and post-pregnancy to the planning couple.
What are the Major Risk Factors that can be Eliminated Through¬ Preconception Counseling?
Conceiving a child is surely a life-turning point for women and their partner but on the other hand, it is a very fragile process as well. There are some underlying risk factors that can be held responsible for causing harm to the health of woman, fetus or neonate:
- Alcohol intake
- Smear history
- Chronic disease (Asthma, HIV, Hepatitis B and more)
- Folic acid level
- Miscarriage history
- Drug abuse
- Wrong timing of pregnancy
- Psychological disorder
- Inappropriate weight
Through preconception care, all of these risks are reduced or eliminated by applying suitable measures and precautions. Experts only mark it safe for a woman to conceive a child when the woman is totally immune from all risk factors.
What are the Check-ups in Preconception Counseling?
Making a life inside you is not as easy as it sounds. There are many possibilities of complications during this process so for keeping it completely safe there are few check-ups conducted by the physician and gynecologist.
1. Consultation: This involves interactive sessions between the potential parents and doctor in which both the pregnancy participants are interviewed by the doctor in order to attain required information about the parents. The doctor only suggests tests or check-ups after conducting this session successfully.
2. BMI test: BMI stands for Body Mass Index which is the ratio of height and weight of a person. BMI of the woman is calculated to assure the capability of the body to hold the baby for pregnancy lapse.
3. Blood test: It is an invasive form of test in which blood is taken out to test the RBC (Red Blood Cells) count, Rh factor, Tuberculosis or Hepatitis B risks or any risk of sexually transmitted diseases. After passing the blood test successfully, you are half way good to go for pregnancy.
4. Urine test: This is done to detect any traces of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in the woman’s body. UTI has the capability of spreading the infection to the other parts of the body as well.
5. Pelvic and breast test: Pelvic test involves the check-up of the strength of muscles and signs of any illness in the lower abdominal area where the fetus thrives. Whereas, screening of breast is conducted for checking the health of mammary gland and finding any trace of cancer.
A potential mother should avoid consuming or adopting any medication, diet or habit that could lead to harm to the health of fetus or self. A healthy routine with good sleep, a diet full of dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and regular exercises may help you in safe pregnancy.
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