Preconception Counselling is the idea of visiting a health care professional before attempting to get pregnant. It is done for risk assessment for any potential complications that can occur during pregnancy and to modify the risk factors that can lead to adverse fetal outcomes. It is actually advised to go to a doctor, 3 months before attempting to get pregnant. This time frame allows a woman to better prepare her body for successful conception (fertilization) and pregnancy and also allows her to reduce any health risks which are within her control.
If this is available then why is it not happening?
The most important reason is most of the pregnancies especially in India is still unplanned. Secondly, as the trend goes the patients or the patient's families for that matter do not understand the value of this visit. The taboo here is not to reveal about of the pregnancy until you cross the first trimester. I come across so many patients who still visit us after the first trimester when the organogenesis has already occurred inside the womb.
There are few tests which need to be done and normally just a folic acid tablet is prescribed in this visit. If there is any problem which is caught hold of in this phase of life of the woman, it reduces the physical, mental, economic and social trauma caused by the complications that can happen later.
As a doctor it is imperative for me to mention here is, this is meant to correct most of the common adverse outcomes that can happen and Not all. There are few which get detected at a later stage in pregnancy and some even after birth. But well begun is half done!!
When the thought of expansion of family strikes your mind, visit your consultant right away.