of your health before getting pregnant is not only good but important for your
baby’s health and yours.
This kind of care is called
preconception care. A preconception assessment is done to check for any
potential risks to you and your baby during pregnancy and to treat any health
problem diagnosed before you get pregnant.
Before you take that step into
pregnancy, you need to become very healthy; physically and emotionally.
To assess your preconception health,
you’ll need to consult your healthcare provider. This will expose you to the
vital information you must have in order to be and remain healthy as you become
PLACE DURING A PRECONCEPTION ASSESSMENT?
Making a preconception counselling
appointment with your doctor gives you the perfect opportunity to let out all
the questions you have on your mind.
Be it your diet, prenatal vitamins,
or any health problems that run in your family. Most women don’t know that
eating the right food during pregnancy helps in having a safe delivery. A
preconception assessment will let you know this and even more.
During a preconception assessment,
you will discuss the following with your doctor:
HISTORY – This covers your previous pregnancies (if any), your use of
contraceptive, menstrual history, sexually transmitted infections or vaginal
infections you’ve had in the past, and previous Pap test results.
HISTORY – This will not only include your past but present health
concerns, so they can be treated before you get pregnant.
HISTORY – A history of gynecologic surgeries in the past
may affect how you are managed during your pregnancy.If you’ve had any transfusions, hospitalization, and surgeries for
fibroids or abnormal pap smears, it is important you let your doctor know.
HEALTH HISTORY – If certain medical conditions like hypertension, history of
blood clots, or diabetes run in your family, tell your doctor about them.
AND WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT – Talk about possible allergies and hazards
that can hinder your ability to get pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy.
MEDICATION – Let your doctor know about any supplements, herbal medicines,
and over-the-counter drugs you are taking or have taken. This will help prevent
WEIGHT – You need to add weight or lose weight accordingly to get an
ideal body weight before pregnancy. It will help reduce complications if you’re
obese and having a low birth-weight baby if you’re underweight.
- LIFESTYLE – You and your doctor
will discuss any habits you or your partner is having that could influence your
pregnancy. Habits like drinking alcohol, smoking, and use of recreational
drugs. The aim of this is to help you quit any habits that could be harmful to a
- DIET – Your eating habit
will be discussed. It’s very good to go into pregnancy with established healthy
eating habits. That includes eating foods rich in fibre,
getting enough folic acid, calcium, and other nutrients.
– Some recommended forms of exercise will keep your body fit
before and during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you do or do not work out. He
or she can advise you better.
VITAMINS – You should be taking a folic acid supplement before you get
pregnant; it reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect. Your
doctor may likely recommend taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily
before conception and in early pregnancy.
- CAFFEINE – Caffeine can be found
in tea, coffee, chocolate, certain medications and some soft drinks. You may be
asked to reduce your caffeine intake to just 300mg per day; about the amount in
two 8-ounce cups of coffee.
In addition, your doctor may also:
lab tests – To screen conditions like HIV, syphilis, rubella, hepatitis, and
other indicated conditions.
a physical exam – This exam will be performed to assess your breasts, abdomen,
lungs, heart, and thyroid. It is likely a Pap smear and pelvic exam may be
– A genetic counselling will explain your
chances of having a baby with a birth defect. It may be recommended for people
with a family history of genetic problems, mental retardation, or birth
defects. Older mothers may also be advised to do it.
the best way to chart menstrual cycles – Charting your
menstrual cycle will help detect ovulation and determine when you are most
likely to get pregnant.
on your vaccination – Diseases that can be vaccinated against to
prevent transmission from mother to child will be examined. If your doctor
finds out that you’re not protected against rubella or chickenpox, he or she
may recommend the appropriate vaccines and delaying attempts to conceive for
the period of at least one month.
Preconception assessment is a
practice that facilitates healthy delivery.