Taking Precautions Before Pregnancy in NJ
NJ Perinatal Associates recommends that any couple looking to become pregnant should undergo preconception counseling, testing, and appropriate medical care. Taking this initial precaution minimizes the impact of pre-existing health conditions that may affect the pregnancy. Our team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists and genetic counselors is here to provide you and your family with expert evaluation and counseling for all varieties of health concerns. Preconception counseling often begins at least three months before you start trying to get pregnant.
Importance of Preconception Counseling
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a family’s life, and accurate prescreening, testing, and counseling are key to set the stage for you and your family to cherish every moment before bringing a new member of the family into the world. Issues like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, autoimmune disorder, and infectious diseases are all health issues that our treatment plans can help to mitigate. Obstetrical health issues that can affect pregnancies include recurrent pregnancy loss or stillbirth, advanced maternal age (35 years or older at time of delivery), and history of preterm labor/premature birth. Please contact us today and let us help your family navigate the path to parenthood by undergoing preconception and prenatal counseling with our expert staff in New Jersey.
What Happens During Preconception Counseling?
Preconception counseling is a chance for you to properly prepare for your pregnancy with the help of a team that truly cares about you. A major part of the preconception counseling process is a discussion with your doctor to give them a clear understanding of anything that may affect your future pregnancy. Topics that will be covered during your appointment include:
- Family history
- Being aware of you and your partner’s family medical history allows your doctor at NJPA to determine if genetic testing is needed or if certain conditions should be monitored for. Your doctor will ask you whether anyone in your family has had diabetes, mental disorders, birth defects, and other conditions.
- General medical history
- To gain a full understanding of your health, your doctor will ask about your personal medical history, including past surgeries or hospitalizations, pre-existing conditions, allergies, and medications you are taking.
- OB/GYN history
- During the discussion of your medical history, your doctor will ask about any previous pregnancies, your menstrual history, STDs, and other aspects of your gynecological health that could affect your pregnancy or your ability to conceive.
- You will be advised on lifestyle changes to make during your pregnancy to promote your health and the health of your baby. These may include eating a balanced diet, exercising, and stopping smoking.
- Please bring your vaccination records with you to your preconception counseling appointment. This will allow your provider to determine if any vaccinations need to be updated.
What Types of Testing are Included in Preconception Counseling?
The type of testing you receive as part of the preconception counseling process depends on your unique situation and the specifics of your medical history and family history. Genetic counseling is often recommended for prospective parents, especially if there is a family history of genetic conditions. You may be tested for certain conditions that could be passed down to your child. The results of your tests will be explained to you by your doctor, and the appropriate suggestions will be made. Your appointment may also include lab tests, a pap smear, diabetes screening, or testing for thyroid issues and/or HIV. Our specialists at NJPA will explain each test and the reason behind it so that all decisions made for your health are clear.
Once testing is complete and proper analysis is performed, our team of doctors and counselors will advise you on what course of action should be taken to give you the best possible outcome. The NJ Perinatal Associates staff will spend as much time as you need answering all of your questions and ensuring that you fully understand the situation.