Pre Pregnancy counselling is like a preventive medicine in obstetrics. As how we prepare before any big celebration like wedding, we also need to prepare before pregnancy to ensure a smooth pregnancy and a safe delivery.
Goal is to optimise health of the couple, address modifiable risk factors and educate about a healthy pregnancy.
For example –
The two leading causes of death in the 1st year of Baby’s life -
1. Birth Defects.
2. Consequences of preterm birth.
Both of which can be significantly reduced / eliminated by initiating certain preventive strategies. Here, we proactively prepare the body for smooth Pregnancy.
1. Lack of Public Awareness.
2. Many pregnancies are unplanned.
We need to modify diet, nutritional status, lifestyle and address the risk factors:
1. Body Mass Index – Ideal BMI is 19-24.
Hence, we council to achieve an ideal BMI.
2. Prenatal Vitamins –
3. Infections Screened – Hepatitis, Sexually transmitted diseases. Immunity to Rubella and Hepatitis are assessed and immunization offered.
4. Screening for medical disorders - like diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and effects of disease on pregnancy and pregnancy on disease counselled. For example, uncontrolled sugars can lead to major congenital malformations, abortions – so medication started / Medication changed because certain medications would be toxic to the baby.
5. Detect and Counsel regarding genetic diseases – Thalassemia, sickle cell anemia.
6. Life Style Modification – Recreational Drugs and smoking would be addressed. Alcohol – related mental retardation is currently the only mental retardation syndrome amenable to primary prevention. The first step is the honest assessment of her usage. Pre Pregnancy program to reduce or eliminate usage would be provided.
7. Environmental Exposures – Industrial Workers – Exposed to Chemicals such as Heavy Metals, Organic Solvents, women in rural areas exposed to pesticides would be counselled. Pet’s excreta should be meticulously managed to avoid infections. So Health during pregnancy depends on health before pregnancy. Hence, Preconception Care is very important to ensure a safe pregnancy and beautiful motherhood.
Book an Appointment with Dr. Rijaphin R for all Gynecology related concerns.
Couvade syndrome, also known as sympathetic pregnancy, describes a situation where the partner of the pregnant person experiences pregnancy-related symptoms. The name COUVADE comes from the French word COUVEE which means “ TO HATCH” or “TO BROOD” This condition is rooted in empathy experienced by the otherwise healthy partner of their pregnant counterpart leading them to believe they also have similar symptoms usually experienced during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that symptoms associated with Couvade syndrome often occur during the first and last trimesters of the pregnancy. Research have shown instances of syndrome vary depending on geographical location, with prevalence in Australia ( 31 percent ).
It is important to note that although a person suffering from couvade syndrome will experience symptoms, they are aware of the fact that they are not pregnant. Some of the symptoms associated with couvade syndrome include:
• Vomiting or nausea
• Changes in appetite
• Bloating of the abdomen
• Back pain
• Leg cramps
• Weight gain or weight loss
• Stomach distention
• Urinary irritation
• Trouble sleeping
• Less desire for sex
In most cases, symptoms associated with sympathetic pregnancy or couvade syndrome often surface during the first trimester. These symptoms then subside in the second trimester only to appear again in the last trimester. In some cases, couvade syndrome during delivery is also apparent. The patient may experience pain that can be described as “sympathy” pain.
There is no specific treatment for Couvade Syndrome as the symptoms are usually temporary. The only way to cope with the symptoms is to try calming approaches like yoga, meditation. This will also help resolve physical symptoms that have cropped as a result of couvade syndrome. Rather than ignoring symptoms brought forth by Sympathetic pregnancy, it is a good idea to ensure that you get plenty of rest, stick to a healthy diet and avoid alcohol. Fortunately, Couvade syndrome has been deemed temporary and will soon pass once the pregnancy and delivery of the partner are over.
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