Preconception consultation, what is it?

Consulting before conceiving a baby may be useful in some cases to ensure that the expected pregnancy is not going to be a problem. Who is this consultation for? Who to consult? We take stock.

The desire for a child is a personal, intimate wish that belongs to the couple. The project of pregnancy, its hope of realization, are part of the natural events of their life and to consult a doctor on this subject does not appear to them necessary. Pre-conception consultation may, however, be useful for some women who wish to become pregnant; it will be an opportunity to ensure that the expected pregnancy will not be a problem for their health and that of their future baby.

In which medical situations is it reasonable to ask for an opinion and to whom?

  • If you have a condition that requires continued treatment, tell your doctor about your desire for a child. If he does not tell you about it, it's not because he thinks that a pregnancy would be bad for you, it's probably because he does not anticipate this project for you. He will then direct you to the most suitable professional.
  • The gynecologist-obstetrician is best placed to give an opinion. You can also consult it without mail from your doctor. In some special cases, the gynecologist-obstetrician will take the advice of fellow specialists, such as a cardiologist, a diabetologist, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, especially if you are hypertensive, diabetic, or treated for epilepsy or for psychiatric disorders.
  • If you suffer from any of these diseases, you are surely aware of the risks of pregnancy and it is particularly important to monitor or modify the current treatment; the same is true of heart disease. But do not modify or interrupt your treatment without medical advice: this is what some women do, fearing that their treatment will be harmful to their baby if a pregnancy occurs. Thus, in case of diabetes, it is important that blood glucose be as balanced as possible several months before fertilization. This reduces the risk of complications.

To know about the preconception consultation

  • There are other medical situations in which it is highly recommended to have medical advice, which women do not always know. This is the case of obesity, asthma, a history of thrombosis, diseases of the thyroid gland or autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
  • If you have ever been pregnant and have had complications such as recurrent miscarriage, the loss of a baby during pregnancy or at the time of birth, premature delivery, if you had a cesarean section including because of preeclampsia: again it is advisable to consult an obstetrician; it is the same if you know that you have a uterine malformation, or if your mother has taken Distilbene.
  • Preconception consultation is advised, apart from any pathology, if you are 40 years old or older. The doctor will perform a general examination, including cardiology, more complete.
  • In addition, know that there are genetics consultations in major hospitals and that every time a genetic risk is known in the family, you will be told the level of risk of having the same disease and if it can be detected before birth.
  • If you smoke (tobacco or cannabis), if it is difficult for you not to drink alcohol, do not hesitate to contact a consultation of tobaccology or addictology in the maternity where you have planned to birth. There is always a professional who can help you.

Article from the book I'm waiting for a child by Laurence Pernoud (Horay edition)

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