Dr. Apoorva Pallam Reddy, Gynaecologist at Mathrutva Fertility Centre, Bangalore, India talks about the importance of pre-pregnancy counselling for couples planning for parenthood.
Times have changed, and so has the mindset of people. We are now more aware of the importance of medical guidance when it comes to family planning. Couples are no longer interested in unplanned pregnancies. Pre-pregnancy counselling has become an integral part of family planning. It is seen as a welcome change as it promotes healthy family, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
“It is essential to get medically assessed by a gynaecologist to rule out any chances of complication in the future pregnancies. A doctor should assess both the partners for identifying the risk of having children with genetic defects and avoiding complicated pregnancies. Knowing health issues beforehand is better as it provides an opportunity to manage the existing problems.”
Seeking medical advice before planning a pregnancy is considered ideal. Your doctor would evaluate you and your partner’s medical histories, lifestyle, diet and habit in detail.
Some aspects that are discussed can include:
- Medical history: Pre-existing diseases are discussed to understand its effect and management to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
- Past pregnancies and deliveries: Your doctor would evaluate your past pregnancies, complications and other details.
- Family history: Genetic diseases that run in the family are a major concern. Discussing the probability of genetic disorders is important.
- Medications and Vaccinations: Your vaccination history and current medication would be studied in detail to understand any contraindications.
- Clinical assessment: Clinical examinations and your vital signs need to be checked as well.
Apart from these your doctor would advise on some supplements such as folic acid to be taken to prior to getting pregnant. Healthy lifestyle habits are encouraged for both the partners.