Preconceptual Counseling for Childbearing Couples

Preconceptual counseling for childbearing couples is important for improving health outcomes for women, children, and families. Prenatal care is often too late to intervene and prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes. Critical points in fetal organogenesis occur during the first 9 weeks of pregnancy—often before a woman knows she is pregnant and has attended her first prenatal care visit. Often, women who are at highest risk for adverse outcomes present late for prenatal care, reducing the opportunities for intervention even further. Addressing the health risks and concerns of women and men in preconceptual counseling prior to pregnancy is critical to improving health outcomes.

Preconceptual counseling is a framework for providing health care services to men and women of reproductive age. The content of preconception care is broad and ...

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