What Happens at a Preconception Doctor's Appointment? or a preconceptional counselling?
A preconception appointment is the perfect time to ask your doctor all the things that are on your mind -- whether it's your diet, prenatal vitamins, or any health concerns that run in your family.
WHAT HISTORY WILL THE DOCTOR ASK ?
Reproductive history - This includes any previous pregnancies, your menstrual history, contraceptive use, previous Pap test results, and anysexually transmitted diseases or vaginal infections you've had in the past.
Medical history - This includes any health problems you have now, so you can get those under control before you get pregnant.
Surgical history - Have you had any surgeries, transfusions, and hospitalizations? If so, tell your doctor. It is especially important to inform your doctor of any gynecologic surgeries you may have had, including surgeries for fibroids or abnormal pap smears. A history of previous gynecologic surgeries may affect how you are managed during your pregnancy.
Family health history - Tell your doctor about any medical conditions that run in your family, such as diabetes, hypertension, or history ofblood clots
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR MEDICATIONS?
Tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking or have taken. In some cases, it may be time to make a change to help prevent birth defects. Also tell your doctor about any herbal medicines or supplements you take.
WHY WORK PLACE INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT?
Home and workplace environment - You'll talk about possible hazards -- such as exposure to cat feces, X-rays, and lead or solvents -- that could affect your ability to become pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy.
HOW DOES THE BODY WEIGHT MATTER BEFORE PREGNANCY?
It's a good idea to reach your ideal body weight before you get pregnant. This means losing weight if you are overweight to reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy; or gaining weight if you are underweight to reduce the risk of delivering a low birth-weight baby
HOW DOES LIFESTYLE AND DIET INFLUENCE PREGNANCY?
Lifestyle factors - Your doctor will ask you questions about you and your partner's habits that could influence your pregnancy, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs. The goal is to help you stop any habits that could stand in the way of a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will keep it confidential, so feel free to be open.
Exercise - Tell your doctor what type of exercise you do -- and if you don't work out, tell them that, too. Generally, you may continue your normal exercise routine while pregnant unless you are instructed to decrease or modify your activities.
Diet - Your doctor will ask you about what you eat and drink. It's ideal to go into pregnancy with good dietary habits already in place. That includes eating a variety of foods rich in fiber, and getting enoughcalcium, folic acid, and other nutrients.
Caffeine - Before you get pregnant, your doctor may recommend limiting caffeine to no more than 300 milligrams (mg) per day. That's about the amount in two 8-ounce cups of coffee. Remember, caffeineisn't just in coffee and tea -- it's also in chocolate, some soft drinks, and certain medications.
ANY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTATION PRIOR PREGNANCY?
Prenatal vitamins - Before you're pregnant, you should be taking a folic acid supplement. Folic acid makes it less likely that your baby will have a neural tube defect, and it's best to start taking it before you conceive. Your doctor will likely recommend taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily before conception and in early pregnancy.
WHAT ARE THE TESTS CONDUCTED ?
YOUR DOCTOR WILL
Do a physical exam to evaluate your heart, lungs, breasts, thyroid, andabdomen. A pelvic exam and Pap smear may also be performed.
Order lab tests : Some of the conditions screened for include rubella,hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, and others as indicated.
Discuss how to chart menstrual cycles to help detect ovulationand determine the time when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Check on your vaccinations. If you are not protected against rubellaor chickenpox, your doctor may recommend the appropriate vaccinesand delaying attempts to conceive for at least one month.
Discuss genetic counseling.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL TIME GAP TO VISIT THE DOCTOR?
woman SHOULD visit them as soon as the woman is .WILLING .to have a child, and optimally around 3 to 6 months before actual attempts are made to conceive.[. This time frame allows a woman to better prepare her body for successful conception .. and pregnancy, and allows her to reduce any health risks which are within her control.
How does it help?
Pre-conception counseling and assessment can be compared to a well-baby visit in which a baby is screened for normal health, normal development, with the benefit of identifying emerging problems that may have gone unnoticed in an infant. For a woman, the Pre-Conception Counseling Assessment and Screening is intended to assess normal health of a child-bearing woman, while at the same time identifying:
Existing or emerging illness or disease which may have gone undetected before, and
Existing risks for the woman who may become pregnant, and
Existing risks which may affect a fetus if the woman does become pregnant.