ACOG Committee Opinion No. 762: Prepregnancy Counseling.
The goal of prepregnancy care is to reduce the risk of adverse health effects for the woman, fetus, and neonate by working with the woman to optimize health, address modifiable risk factors, and provide education about healthy pregnancy. All those planning to initiate a pregnancy should be counseled, including heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and gender nonconforming individuals. Counseling can begin with the following question: "Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?" Prepregnancy counseling is appropriate whether the reproductive-aged patient is currently using contraception or planning pregnancy. Because health status and risk factors can change over time, prepregnancy counseling should occur several times during a woman's reproductive lifespan, increasing her opportunity for education and potentially maximizing her reproductive and pregnancy outcomes. Many chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, psychiatric illness, and thyroid disease have implications for pregnancy outcomes and should be optimally managed before pregnancy. Counseling patients about optimal intervals between pregnancies may be helpful to reduce future complications. Assessment of the need for sexually transmitted infection screening should be performed at the time of prepregnancy counseling. Women who present for prepregnancy counseling should be offered screening for the same genetic conditions as recommended for pregnant women. All patients should be routinely asked about their use of alcohol, nicotine products, and drugs, including prescription opioids and other medications used for nonmedical reasons. Screening for intimate partner violence should occur during prepregnancy counseling. Female prepregnancy folic acid supplementation should be encouraged to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
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