Ready To Have a Baby? Preconception Counseling Can Help You Prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy

Preconception Counseling

Ready to have a baby, but have a condition that puts you at high risk during pregnancy? UofL Physicians – Maternal-Fetal Medicine, a part of UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health, offers preconception counseling services to keep you and your baby healthy from the very beginning.

What is Preconception Counseling and When Should I Begin?

Before you even think about seeing a positive pregnancy test, it is recommended that you schedule a preconception consultation at least three months before you start trying to get pregnant. Picture your future pregnant self – are you as healthy as you could be?

Preconception counseling helps you get on the right path to a future healthy pregnancy, and it’s especially important if you have a condition that puts you in a higher risk category.

The goal is to help you get pregnant safely, keep you and the baby healthy, and reduce the risk of complications.

Who is Eligible for Preconception Counseling?

Anyone who is considering getting pregnant should talk to their OB/GYN about preconception counseling. For patients with certain conditions, however, it is even more important because the pregnancy may be considered high risk. Preconception counseling is offered with a high-risk pregnancy doctor (maternal-fetal medicine specialist) for patients with the following conditions:

  • Advanced maternal age (over age 35 during pregnancy)
  • Cardiac disease, including those diagnosed at birth
  • Diabetes
  • History of poor pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm delivery or growth restriction
  • Hypertension
  • Immunologic disorders (Lupus, Crohn’s disease, etc.)
  • Infections (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.)
  • Infertility
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Renal disorders
  • Substance use disorder or other psychiatric disorders
  • Thyroid disorders

Will Counseling Continue Throughout My Pregnancy?

If your pregnancy is considered high risk, you will see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist throughout your pregnancy who will monitor both you and the baby. Typically, patients will have eight to 10 appointments with Maternal-Fetal Medicine after they become pregnant. Maternal-Fetal Medicine is also prepared to refer you to other specialists if necessary to help you and your baby remain healthy throughout your pregnancy.

How Can I Get Started with Preconception Counseling?

Congratulations on taking the next step toward preparing for a healthy pregnancy. To schedule a preconception consultation, call UofL Physicians – Maternal-Fetal Medicine, part of UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health, at 502-588-4400.

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Article by: Tiffany Tonismae, M.D., FACOG

Tiffany Tonismae, M.D., FACOG, is a maternal-fetal medicine and high-risk obstetrician with UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health. Dr. Tonismae specializes in high-risk pregnancies that include diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy, multiple gestations and fetal anomalies. She has researched extensively involved management of extremely preterm pregnancies as well as mental health disorders and substance use disorders in pregnancy. Dr. Tonismae is also certified in perinatal mental health, and she is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health with University of Louisville School of Medicine.

All posts by Tiffany Tonismae, M.D., FACOG
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