The Goals Of Preconception Care

The main goal of preconception care is to assist women in achieving excellent reproductive health before conception. Being healthy from the start is the best way to have an uncomplicated pregnancy with a healthy mommy and baby after delivery.

Future Fertility

Preconception care involves the identification and elimination of risks that might affect the health of a woman during her childbearing years; risks that might place her future fertility in jeopardy or endanger her baby should she decide to conceive. You can benefit from preconception care whether or not you've had a baby before. The CDC recommends that during your childbearing years, you should take care of your reproductive system irrespective of whether you plan to ever conceive.

During a preconception care visit, your health care provider will be taking a close look at your lifestyle and any behaviors that might pose a risk to your reproductive health. Such risks include drinking alcohol and using prescription drugs that are contraindicated for a woman who might become pregnant.

Support System

By making sure you are in good preconception health, you and any fetus you might produce will be able to count on a safe environment, good medical care, and a support system, too. You'll receive advice about improving your lifestyle at home and in the workplace. This type of advice means you'll have eliminated the risks before they pose a problem.  

A crucial part of preconception care is in the counseling you'll receive. Women undergoing preconception counseling learn which substances to avoid: substances that may be harmful to their own health, or that of a potential fetus. During counseling, you'll learn how to protect yourself from developing habits like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using recreational drugs.  You'll receive education about the issues that can crop up to affect a pregnancy, for instance genetic risks, mental illnesses, and domestic violence.

Preconception care can be helpful in tackling preexisting health problems before they threaten fertility, your health, or a potential pregnancy. Since you are an individual with your own medical history, you will receive individualized attention tailored to your own specific needs. Both women and their partners are encouraged to seek out this type of care and to follow through on the recommendations they receive including any advice regarding follow-up visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have decided to shine a spotlight on preconception care since, in spite of having come so far in the fields of prenatal care and general medicine, U.S. birth outcomes rank at the bottom of all developed countries. A still significant number of babies are born too early and with low birth weights. Preconception care can stop this trend cold in its tracks.  

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