Pre-Pregnancy Counselling & Care

Becoming parents is an incredibly joyous and life-changing experience for couples. For those who are planning on this journey, pre-pregnancy counselling and care can ensure a healthy conception and pregnancy.

This comprehensive approach assesses various aspects of your health and lifestyle to improve your chances of conceiving and growing a healthy baby to term.

Why is pre-pregnancy counselling and care important?

Pre-pregnancy counselling and care are vital for several reasons. First, they allow couples to identify and address potential risk factors affecting conception or pregnancy. Second, optimising your health before conception can reduce the likelihood of complications during pregnancy and birth.

Additionally, pre-pregnancy care> is an opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes, genetic risks, and medical interventions that may be necessary for a successful pregnancy.

What happens during pre-pregnancy counselling?

During a pre-pregnancy care session, your healthcare provider will look into various aspects of your health and lifestyle to assess your readiness for pregnancy. The following are what you can expect.

Your doctor will inquire about your reproductive history, including previous pregnancies, childbirth, and any fertility issues, to identify potential risks and customise interventions to increase the chances of conception.

Your doctor will investigate the underlying causes of recurrent miscarriages and recommend a targeted treatment plan to reduce the risk of future occurrence and improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.

You will discuss your medical history, including chronic conditions, previous surgeries, and ongoing medical treatments. A thorough medical history review allows healthcare providers to identify pre existing health conditions that may impact fertility or pregnancy outcomes.

Ensuring your vaccinations are up-to-date protects you and your future baby from preventable diseases.

Any previous surgeries, especially those involving the reproductive organs, will be reviewed to assess their potential impact on fertility and pregnancy.

Your doctor will check if the medications you are currently taking are safe to consume during pregnancy and make adjustments if necessary. Many medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and supplements, can potentially affect fertility or pose risks to a developing fetus if taken during pregnancy.

A comprehensive review of your family’s medical history will help identify any hereditary conditions or genetic risks that could affect your pregnancy.

You’ll discuss lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use, as well as strategies for addressing any unhealthy habits.

Physical activity is an essential component of pre-pregnancy care, and your doctor will offer guidance on the appropriate type and intensity of exercise for optimal fertility and pregnancy.

A balanced, nutrient-rich diet is crucial for reproductive health and fetal development. Your doctor will provide dietary recommendations tailored to your needs.

Exposure to certain environmental toxins and hazards can impact fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Your healthcare provider will assess your home and work environment for potential risks.

Achieving a healthy weight before pregnancy can improve fertility and reduce the risk of complications. Your doctor will discuss weight management strategies if necessary.

Starting prenatal vitamins containing folic acid before conception can lower the risk of fetal neural tube defects. Your doctor may also recommend other supplements based on your needs.

Overconsumption of caffeine has been linked to fertility issues and pregnancy complications. Your doctor will advise you on safe limits for caffeine intake.

How can pre-pregnancy care help identify genetic risks for my baby?

Pre-pregnancy caregenetic screening to identify any hereditary conditions or chromosomal abnormalities that could affect your baby. Your doctor will perform carrier screening for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and thalassemia and testing for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.

The goal of preconception care is health education and promotion, risk assessment, and intervention before pregnancy begins to reduce the chances of poor perinatal outcomes.

It is targeted at the mother, father, and family to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Preconception counselling and education must include early health promotion and information to guide families in identifying risks and addressing those risks before pregnancy.

Pre-Pregnancy Screening Tests

There are a variety of pre-pregnancy tests you can do to ensure the health of your baby.

Blood tests can check for various conditions such as anaemia, auto-immune disorders, thyroid function and immunity to infections like rubella, hepatitis B, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus and chicken-pox.

A combined Pap smear and HPV test is used to check for abnormal cells in the cervix that could develop into cancer. Doctors recommend women to go for this test at least once every 1 to 3 years

This test can help you check whether you or your partner have genetic conditions that may be passed to your child. This screening can be done through a blood or saliva sample.

Who needs pregnancy counselling & care?

Pre-pregnancy counselling and care are beneficial for all persons and couples who want to conceive or are considering starting a family.

While there may be specific circumstances that warrant more urgent or specialised attention, pre-pregnancy care can benefit anyone seeking to optimise their reproductive health and prepare for a healthy pregnancy.

Pre-pregnancy counselling and care may be especially useful for:

  • Couples planning to conceive
  • Individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • Couples with a history of infertility
  • Individuals with a history of recurrent miscarriages
  • Women with high-risk pregnancy factors
  • Individuals with genetic or family history concerns

Pre-pregnancy care in Singapore

Pre-pregnancy counselling and care can optimise fertility, identify potential risks, and promote a healthy pregnancy. By being proactive in addressing health and lifestyle factors before conception, couples can increase their chances of achieving their dream of parenthood while ensuring the best possible start for their future child.

Dr TC Chang understands the importance of pre-pregnancy counselling and care in preparing couples for parenthood. Our clinic offers personalised consultations and evaluations to maximise your chances of a healthy conception and pregnancy. We will provide the support and guidance you need every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

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