Pregnancy and Motherhood is a beautiful experience. Preparing for pregnancy and being in the best possible health before conception ensures a healthy and normal pregnancy and improves reproductive outcomes
Preconception health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It means knowing how health conditions and risk factors could affect a woman or her unborn baby if she becomes pregnant.
Preconception Care and counselling involve health-promoting education and guidance before conceiving that helps to have a healthy, safe and complications-free Pregnancy.
As per WHO Preconception care is a set of interventions to be provided before pregnancy, to promote the health and well-being of women and couples, and to improve the pregnancy and child health outcomes.
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that preconception care is relevant for all women of reproductive age
Adolescence is a natural extension of the pre-pregnancy phase of the life
Counselling the adolescent population is an excellent opportunity to promote the adoption of healthy behaviours and to ensure health during adolescence, adulthood and later life.
key part of preconception care involves screening tests to rule out certain conditions like
Folic acid supplementation-
It is advisable to take a daily supplement (prenatal or multivitamin) of 400-800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid and consume a balanced, healthy diet of folate-rich foods. Folic acid supplementation starting before conception and continuing through 12 weeks of pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as anencephaly, spina bifida, and encephalocele
Other important recommendations are
Planning pregnancy at the right age, teenage pregnancies and pregnancy at older ages are associated with more complications