Posted On Aug 16, 2022
Pre-conception counselling is the appointment provided to the couple as per the recommendation from the healthcare provider for their family planning and to resolve the issues related to the planning of a future pregnancy. The counselling involves a discussion regarding the family history, risk factors, medical conditions, and lifestyle of the couple. The session covers important aspects of a planned and healthy pregnancy.
Increased health-related issues such as obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases have evolved as maternal and foetal risks. Reports have revealed an increasing proportion of newborn deaths that are occurring due to prematurity that results due to several risk factors. Most young couples who are planning to have a baby most often face several challenges due to lack of awareness, increasing stress levels, and pre-existing medical conditions that require preconception counselling to help the couples deal with such issues. The ones who have chosen preconception counselling will undergo a risk assessment regarding any important complications of pregnancy along with modifying the risk factors that affect foetal development. The identification of these risk factors before pregnancy planning allows the couple to take steps forward for their healthy future planning.
Pre-conception counselling aims to make the couple understand their particular health conditions and related risk factors that affect the pregnancy. The healthcare provider is responsible for providing the appropriate information and suggestions regarding diet, fitness, controlling the health issues (if any), vaccines, dental health, and treating other medical conditions so that the couple may acquire the best possible health for conception and pregnancy.
Preconception counselling includes appropriate screening tests to identify any medical or genetic condition that has a significant impact on conception duration and pregnancy, and most couples are given individual recommendations based on their screening results. Book an appointment at our Gynaecology Hospital in Mangalore to have the best screening tests.
Preconception counselling and pregnancy planning provide different sessions providing information to the couples regarding their biological cycle of menstruation and ovulation, the method of calculating the dates of ovulation and increasing their chances of conceiving.
Several questions disrupt the mindsets of the couples, and hence, preconception counselling sessions provide an effective solution to the couples' queries. The sessions are effective in helping the women to gain confidence and understand their capabilities and the processes involved in pregnancy and birth.
Doctors advise continuing preconception counselling and pregnancy planning after marriage, or at least 3-6 months before beginning family planning.
Some of the important objectives of preconception counselling and pregnancy planning are illustrated below:
It motivates the couple to participate actively in pregnancy and attempt health and wellness.
Undergoing treatment for chronic health conditions such as anaemia, diabetes, hypertension, thyroid and epilepsy before conception.
Identifying and informing couples who are at increased risk of having babies with genetic mutations.
Promoting healthy habits and lifestyles.
Increasing the awareness regarding the requirement of folic acid for pregnancy.
Prevention from any emergency health conditions that are not diagnosed till date.
Improving the pregnancy outcome, reducing caesarean deliveries, improving labour indices and reducing maternal deaths are the goals.
Preconception counselling optimizes women’s health before pregnancy. It will help in identifying any pre-existing conditions that may affect the pregnancy. The preconception counselling sessions recommend the administration of folic acid supplements before conception, which will help in reducing the chances of birth defects among children. The management of certain health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, asthma, seizures, thyroid disorders, and hypertension helps in reducing the foetal effects by controlling metabolic activities before conception that continue throughout the pregnancy.
The counselling sessions include advantages of exercising, reducing obesity before pregnancy and increasing the weight if a woman is underweight. The importance of vaccination is discussed with the couples as vaccination helps those women who are at risk or susceptible to rubella, varicella and Hepatitis B before planning the pregnancy. Consult with the Best Gynaecologist in Mangalore at Manipal Hospitals.
Young couples are regularly visiting the doctors for making an informed choice regarding their pregnancy. The sessions of preconception counselling and pregnancy planning not only fulfil medical needs but also provide sessions for improving the psychology and lifestyle of couples. Couples are taught sex education and are made aware of the most fertile period for conception.
Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Manipal Hospitals, Mangalore
5 min read