Becoming a parent is the most cherishing moment in a couple’s life, hence it is important to ensure that both the mother and the baby are healthy. In today’s world lot of factors like environmental, socio-economic, lifestyle associated, and addictions such as smoking and alcohol affect the health of both men and women. If the parents have ill health or unhealthy lifestyle practices, the same can complicate matters and also cause infertility.
Today’s life, especially in the metro cities, is fast and becoming more stressful. Pregnancy is a period when the health of the baby is directly dependent on the health of the mother and father. Also during the early phase of pregnancy the development of a baby inside the womb is very rapid and is the base for its future. Preconception counseling helps parents to understand and identify the different factors affecting the growth of the baby along with the modifications or complete illumination of these factors (if possible) to maintain the healthy development of the baby and the health of the mother as well.
Hence preconception counseling is a good initiative towards a healthy outcome. It not only guides the parent about the healthy lifestyle but also helps to find out the genetic factors causing any malformation or medical conditions, affecting the baby- the mother- the whole family through an emotional, psychological, social and economic point of view. It helps the parents to understand the condition, its future consequences so that they are able to take informed decisions.
The Prenatal Counseling Guides About-
➢ The right height and weight as per the BMI. This highlights the right attributes needed for conception
➢ Blood pressure to check any abnormality
➢ Medical history – whether they have had any medical treatment for any particular disease. If yes, then what are the medications? They check whether these are safe medications for pregnancy or not. The doctors then alter them accordingly to avoid any harmful effect on pregnancy.
➢ Abdominal & pelvic examination to rule out any abnormality
➢ Rubella screening- It is important to have a vaccine. As Rubella causes abortions or congenital birth defects in baby.
➢ Varicella screening to assess any chances of future abnormalities
➢ Depression screening as its medication are harmful for the baby & also if mother is not prepared for pregnancy then the outcome is usually affected.
➢ Blood tests like urine analysis, complete blood count, sugar, blood group & tests for -STDS (HIV, VDRL), Hepatitis B, thyroid dysfunction
➢ The importance of well-balanced nutritional diet and how to opt it
➢ The change or modification in the lifestyle to reduce stress
➢ Exercise and its benefits
➢ Any family history of any disease like Haemophilia and the steps towards it
➢ Quitting alcohol and smoking as they have adverse effects on the growth and development of baby
➢ Any kind of drug addiction having ill effect on the health of both mother and baby
Thus prenatal counseling in planning a baby is a step towards ensuring a healthy outcome.