The Importance Of Preconception Care

Once upon a time, couples decided to get pregnant and they did. Today things aren't quite that simple. Experts have found that in order for a woman to have the best chance for a healthy pregnancy with a successful pregnancy outcome, a woman must take care to achieve a high level of good reproductive health before becoming pregnant.

Spotting Risks

The goal of preconception care is to spot potential risk factors or conditions that might have a negative impact on a woman's fertility or a pregnancy in the event that she becomes pregnant. This goal is no less pertinent for women who have already borne children and experts feel that the goal is even relevant for women who don't plan to have a child. Women in their childbearing years should be in good reproductive health. That is the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Potential Minefields

Your preconception care visits will include an examination of your lifestyle and personal health issues. Potential minefields like alcohol consumption and prescription drug use will be weighed in terms of their possible risk to a fetus or to a woman in a state of pregnancy. The aim of providing proper preconception care prior to pregnancy is to create a safe environment for a potential fetus and mother-to-be. In addition, a woman is pointed toward good medical care and ensured of a strong support system.

The woman who receives preconception counseling will be taught healthful lifestyle habits for use within the home and within the workplace. As a result, harmful behaviors and environmental factors are eliminated before they can cause damage to a pregnancy. Women are counseled to avoid substances that could be detrimental to their own health and to that of a fetus. Issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, genetic risk factors, and mental health are all covered during preconception care visits.

Because preconception care is centered on the individual, existing health conditions are examined and discussed so that damage to woman's future fetus, health or fertility is avoided if at all possible. Couples are counseled together and are shown how to work together to minimize potential risk factors. The couple is also encouraged to continue to receive ongoing preconception care.

The CDC has decided to place preconception care front and center as an important health issue. This is due to the fact that United States birth outcomes are worse than those of any other developed nation. There is a high rate of premature babies and babies with low birth weights. The idea of preconception care is not novel, but has gained in importance as a result of the current situation.