Case Study 2
The health of a woman and her partner prior to pregnancy are of utmost importance for a healthy fetus. When a woman and her partner are healthy prior to pregnancy, unintended or planned, the woman and her fetus have a better chance at a healthy gestation. Preconception health care can be incorporated into every visit with all women of reproductive age who are not pregnant. It is a primary intervention that benefits reproductive-age women and their potential children. The goal of preconception care is health education and promotion, risk assessment, and intervention before pregnancy to reduce the chances of poor perinatal outcomes (Fowler et al., 2021). The Centers for Disease and Control established goals and evidence-based guidelines for preconception care as followed:
· Make a plan: Setting goals and planning how to achieve those goals. Family planning and pregnancy prevention is key to pregnancy readiness.
· See a primary care physician annually: Any woman with a chronic disease should review her desire to become pregnant with her PCP. The doctor will review any previous pregnancy problems, current medication regimen, vaccinations and steps that should be taken prior to pregnancy.
· Take Folic acid daily: Early use of Folic acid prevents neural tube defects. According to the CDC, if a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least 1 month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.
· Smoking cessation and stop drinking excessive amounts of alcohol: Smoking, drinking alcohol and using certain drugs can negatively affect the pregnancy. Termination of these activities prevents the occurrence of premature birth, birth defects and infant death.
· Avoid toxic substances: Toxins with potential impact on reproductive health include lead, arsenic, fluoride, toluene, flame retardants, plastics, and pesticides (Fowler et al., 2021). These substances can hurt the reproductive systems of men and women and make it more difficult to get pregnant.
· Reach and maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is associated with multiple perinatal risks including increased risk for gestational diabetes, hypertension, congenital heart disease in the fetus and a higher risk of difficult deliveries, cesarean section, and complications of delivery.
· Get help for violence: Violence screening and getting help is an extremely important preconception. Violence can lead to injury and death and lifelong physical and emotional scars. During pregnancy, violence increases the chances for injury to the uterus, miscarriage, stillbirth preterm delivery.
· Learn your family history: Collecting a thorough family history can identify whether there is a higher risk for disease for mother or baby. A complete family history should include information about the mother, father and both of their families.
· Mental health: Parental mental health before and during pregnancy has been known to influence the development of offspring. If mental health is of concern, one should seek professional help.
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