The goal of preconception care is health education and promotion, risk assessment, and intervention before pregnancy to reduce the chances of poor perinatal outcomes. Nearly half of the 200 million pregnancies that occur annually are unplanned. Preconception counseling can play a major role in reducing poor perinatal outcomes. Preconception counseling targeted at the mother, father, and family can reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Preconception counseling and education must include early health promotion and information to guide families in identifying risks and addressing those risks before pregnancy.
A preconception checkup is especially important if you've already had a premature baby, a baby with a birth defect, a miscarriage, or stillbirth. If certain health conditions run in your family, you may want to see a genetic counselor. It is also necessary if you have had prolonged use of birth control pills which can cause conceptions problems if not addressed in time.
Any woman with a chronic disease should review her desire to become pregnant with their physician and her family. Pregnancy can increase risks for both the mother and the child requiring additional visits, changes in routine care, and possible prolonged hospital stays if the perinatal period and pregnancy outcomes are not optimal. Preconception counseling focuses on optimizing both primary and secondary prevention, treatment compliance, and improving overall well-being prior to becoming pregnant. Any identified risks including disease history and status, current medications, social barriers, and limited support systems or financial barriers must also be reviewed. Patients with diseases or health issues associated may adversely affect the pregnancy and therefore proper precautions should be taken prior to conception and that is where pre-conceptional counseling and Dr. Sajjad’s expertise comes in.