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At Bliss women’s clinic we offer consultation and counseling to women who state their intentions to "start a family" and ask for advice and a check-up. This provides a window of opportunity for health promotion as it is thought that women are very motivated to alter unhealthy life styles at this time.

Preconceptual care is important in maximizing the future chance of healthy pregnancy and a good maternal and fetal outcome is widely recognized.

Preconceptual care is distinct from antenatal care1 and include:2

  • Informed choice, which helps women and men to understand health issues that may affect conception and pregnancy.
  • Women and their partners being encouraged to prepare actively for pregnancy, and be as healthy as possible.
  • Identifying couples who are at increased risk of having babies with a genetic malformation. Provide them with sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions.

A large number of pregnancies are unplanned - approximately a quarter in a recent study in Southampton.3 Folic acid supplementation before conception and during the first trimester reduces the risk of a neural tube defect (NTD) by 50-70%.4 However, often women may not be aware they are pregnant or only attend the first antenatal visit towards the end of this period. Similarly, diabetic women's glucose control appears to be most critical during the first 8-10 weeks of pregnancy in terms of preventing birth defects so targeted care needs to occur before and early in pregnancy.

Prepregnancy counseling with us at Bliss involves communicating important aspects about nutrition, medication use, and lifestyle months in advance of getting pregnant. Issues include diet, nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol, drugs, emotional health, and referral to genetic counseling if a patient knows of a history of inherited disease.