Preconception Counseling

David L. Principe, MD, FACOG

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist & Board Certified OB-GYN located in Clifton, NJ

When you’re planning to start a family, preconception counseling (counseling you receive before you become pregnant) is an invaluable tool used by OB/GYNs to identify genetic risks or lifestyle habits that can affect your pregnancy’s health. At their office in Clifton, New Jersey, the team at David L. Principe, MD, provides comprehensive preconception counseling to help you have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby. To schedule a consultation with David L. Principe, MD, call or book an appointment online now.

Preconception Counseling Q & A

What is preconception counseling?

Preconception counseling is the care and patient education you receive from your OB/GYN before conceiving. Many women and couples seek preconception counseling when they’re planning to start a family.

While you can’t always plan when you’re going to conceive, preconception counseling can help ensure that you’re as healthy as possible when you do. This is especially important if you’ve had high-risk pregnancies in the past or pre-existing conditions that could affect your pregnancy’s health.

Why is preconception counseling important?

Many women don’t realize they’re pregnant until 6-8 weeks into their pregnancy. During this time, your fetus experiences many developmental changes, including the formation of some organs.

By identifying potential risks before you conceive, you can prevent some pregnancy complications, including:

  • Gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy)
  • Preterm labor and delivery
  • Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Cervical incompetence

Preconception counseling provides you with the information you need to have a healthy, worry-free pregnancy.

Do I need preconception counseling?

Preconception counseling is helpful for any type of pregnancy. If you’re planning to conceive soon, talk to David L. Principe, MD, about scheduling a comprehensive evaluation to identify possible risks before you start trying for a baby.

While anybody can benefit from preconception counseling, David L. Principe, MD, strongly encourages you to make an appointment if you:

  • Have a pre-existing condition (diabetes, heart disease, etc.)
  • Are obese
  • Are over the age of 35
  • Have had several miscarriages
  • Have had a stillbirth
  • Have had multiple gestations (twins, triplets, etc.)

You should also consider preconception counseling if you have another child with a genetic condition or a family history of certain inherited conditions, like Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or muscular dystrophy.

What is included in preconception counseling?

Depending on your possible risks, your provider can recommend diagnostic tests, like a diagnostic ultrasound, first-trimester fetal echo, noninvasive prenatal test (NIPT), blood work, and other imaging tests besides the ultrasound.

During your preconception counseling visits, David L. Principe, MD, reviews your medical history and asks you questions regarding your health and lifestyle. To ensure you have a healthy pregnancy, your provider might recommend:

  • Dietary changes
  • Weight loss
  • Regular exercise
  • Vitamin, mineral, and/or other supplements
  • Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol

Preconception counseling is personalized for every patient that visits David L. Principe, MD. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Principe and his team, call today.