The view that pregnancy is “always a normal process and that all will be well”, is not always correct. It is essential to monitor all patients, look for problems and treat if necessary. The majority of pregnancies will result in the birth of healthy babies.
Pre pregnancy Counselling
Where possible pregnancies should be planned.
The first step in achieving a healthy pregnancy is to attend for Pre Pregnancy Counselling.
Women need to be given healthy living guidelines, dietary advice and guidance regarding appropriate vitamin intake.
Some patients have personal medical or past obstetric history that may have an impact on their next pregnancy. Women with conditions such as Hypertension, Thyroid disease, diabetes and connective tissue disease etc. should have pre pregnancy counselling. A team approach may be necessary with involvement of physicians in other specialties. Appropriate treatment would be offered to control pre-existing medical problems before a woman conceives.
Women with a poor past obstetric history such as recurrent miscarriages, chromosome anomalies or even a family history of inherited genetic abnormalities should also have pre pregnancy counselling. They should be offered all the relevant investigations and given guidelines regarding risks. In this group some couples may require referral to a geneticist.
It should be self evident that pre pregnancy counselling is very important in managing some pregnancies.
It is important that Doctors get to know their patients personally and they should to aware of all their anxieties and concerns.
Pregnant woman need to be fully investigated to ensure that they do not have any special risks developing in their pregnancy.
A comprehensive medical history should be taken to identify any relevant personal or family history. A full sequence of investigations needs to be performed to identify concerns. Risks can adversely affect pregnancy and may warrant special monitoring.
Ultimately close obstetric surveillance is required to monitor fetal and maternal well-being. Any variation from the normal progression of a healthy pregnancy can be detected and managed appropriately.
A pregnancy is too important and all pregnant women need to be monitored closely.