Select Region
Let's Get Social!


Preparing for Pregnancy with Preconception Counseling

Preparing for Pregnancy with Preconception Counseling

Why you should have preconception counseling before getting pregnant


Women of a reproductive age often don’t realize the importance of preconception, or pre-pregnancy, counseling. The goal of preconception care is to maximize good results for mother and baby by educating women before they conceive. Although most pregnancies proceed smoothly, some pregnancies can result in poor maternal and fetal outcomes. While some of these outcomes can’t be prevented, preconception care can help to reduce or eliminate the risk. For example, folic acid supplementation at least 1 month before pregnancy decreases the incidence of some severe fetal nervous system disorders. In the same way, adequate blood sugar control in women with diabetes before conception can decrease the risk of miscarriage and certain birth defects.
    

What are proper preconception screenings?

Approximately half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. Therefore, it is very important to properly screen and educate not only those women who are trying to become pregnant, but also those who are not. The purpose of this education is to identify potential maternal and fetal risks before and between pregnancies. Preconception care should evaluate for and modify medical conditions (known or unknown), mental health disorders, substance use and other high-risk behaviors, immunizations, nutritional status, family history, occupational and environmental exposures, and social issues.
     



When should I prepare for preconception counseling?

Many national and international medical organizations and advocacy groups have emphasized the importance of preconception care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends, “every reproductively capable woman create a reproductive health plan.” A reproductive health plan should address the woman's desire for a child or children, or not to have children. The preferred number and timing of children should be considered, along with age-related changes in fertility. 

RELATED: Find a Women's Health Care Provider Near You

   

More Baby Articles:

Normal Baby Spit-up: Is Your Baby Healthy?

Here's what you need to know about healthy baby spit-up from a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children's Hospital of Brooklyn at Maimonides Medic...


Latest News:

Baby Products for New Parents: Relieving Colic, Gas, Constipation, and Sore Gums

These products can help soothe your baby's colic, gas discomfort, sore gums from teething, and constipation.


Family Activities:



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.

Author:

Catherine M. Herway, M.D., FACOG, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare’s West Nyack office. She completed her fellowship training at the University of Arizona, earned her medical degree from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Herway is board-certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and provides consultations and direct care for women found to have a high-risk pregnancy.

See More

Featured Listings:

WhizKidz-Tutoring-LLC

WhizKidz-Tutoring-LLC

We provide expert tutoring in your Long Island home to fit your family’s busy schedule. Pre-K through College Prep, all subjects. Our tutors are exper...

Spark Math

Spark Math

San Mateo, CA Spark Math helps students enjoy learning math. Our expert-designed course-ware includes animation, gamified learning, and live teachers. The program u...

Urban Air Lake Grove

Urban Air Lake Grove

Lake Grove, NY Escape the same old birthday formulas with a unique experience that allows you run, jump and soar! Test your skills in the Warrior Obstacle Course and...