Preconception care includes the analysis of possible risks—factors that could prevent the realization of a healthy pregnancy. A number of different factors have the ability to impact the progress of any pregnancy. Preconception counseling, a normal part of preconception care, helps a couple to look carefully at each of those factors.
During preconception counseling, a couple shares with their counselor their medical history and their family history. That allows the counselor to better determine whether or not the couple can expect to have a healthy pregnancy. That permits the counselor to weed out those factors that could present a risk to the health of the developing baby.
The family history can point out any possible genetic risk to a growing fetus in the counseled mother’s womb. The medical history can sometimes offer clues to the parents’ lifestyle. For example, prevalence among family members of Type II diabetes would suggest that the couple might not adhere closely to the strict guidelines on exercise and proper diet.
Regular exercise and a controlled diet offer two ways to prevent, or at least delay, the onslaught of Type II diabetes. Therefore a family in which many family members suffer with that disorder generally fails to find time for exercise and ignores the announcements regarding the regulation of a daily diet. A lifestyle that deviates sharply from the one in published, government guidelines could well diminish a couple’s chances for a healthy pregnancy.
The lack of a healthy pregnancy can lead to a number of unfortunate outcomes. The most common complication that can arise during a pregnancy is preeclampsia. Older readers might recognize preeclampsia by its former name, toxemia.
A woman with preeclampsia exhibits high blood pressure. Laboratory tests normally show that such a woman has an excess amount of a particular protein in her blood, a substance referred to as a vassopressive factor. Such a woman can not expect to have a healthy pregnancy. Sadly, such a woman can not look to health professionals for a cure.
The fact is that preeclampsia dictates an early end to the affected pregnancy. Such an occurrence does not rule out the possibility of a woman having a successful pregnancy following a repeat conception. If such a woman chose to attempt again to have a child, she would have what has been called a “high risk” pregnancy.
During such a pregnancy, the mother-to-be would no doubt undergo a test of her glucose level, so that any risks caused by a less than normal lifestyle could be better avoided. The woman’s obstetrician might also put her on a special diet, one in which the intake of carbohydrates was carefully controlled.