By Dr. Sumana Talakokkula, Gynaecology
Preconception counseling is consulting a medical professional to stay in good health during pregnancy and to avoid complications: be it related to physical, mental or emotional health.
Preconception counseling is the perfect opportunity to prepare for events during your pregnancy and plan how you are going to handle your health during it.
Here is what you can expect at preconception counseling and why it is necessary:
- Your reproductive history, (previous pregnancies, if any) would be discussed alongside any use of contraceptives or sexually transmitted diseases to prepare a health plan for the pregnancy.
- You will need to discuss with your doctor any previous surgery you have had because that affects the plans and procedures of surgery in the future.
- If you are under any medication while you are planning for the pregnancy, you need to discuss that with your doctor. Those medications, depending on your body’s reaction to them, can affect the health of the baby and may lead to congenital diseases in some cases.
- You need to discuss your weight with your doctor and achieve your ideal weight as this is going to be a very important factor influencing your health conditions during pregnancy.
- Your doctor will discuss what you usually eat and make a diet plan for pregnancy that you must follow strictly.
- Your doctor shall prescribe physical examinations to evaluate the status of your organs and prescribe medications if required.
- Lifestyle is also what you and your doctor are going to discuss, especially if you have a history of excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or drug abuse.
- You are also going to be checked for vaccinations so that it would be easier to allocate vaccinations during and after pregnancy.