PreConceptual health is a health check prior to pregnancy. It focuses on enhancing fertility and addressing any conditions and risk factors that could affect a woman if she becomes pregnant. It is recommended 3 – 6 months prior to trying to conceive. Research indicates it takes 3 months of change to show health benefits.

Preconception health is beneficial to those who have never been pregnant before, and also to those who want to become pregnant again.

Preconception health looks at factors that effect fertility and also factors that can affect a fetus or infant. These include factors such as taking prescription drugs, smoking or drinking alcohol. It also includes advise on important pre-natal supplements (i.e. Folic Acid, Iodine, Vit D). The key to promoting preconception health is to combine the best medical care, healthy behaviors, strong support, and safe environments at home and at work.

Good preconception health care is about managing current health conditions. By taking action on health issues BEFORE pregnancy, future problems for the mother and baby can be prevented. Preconception health care must be tailored to each individual woman. It means helping women and their partners reduce risks and get ongoing care.

Men and other family members are also very important in supporting the goals of preconception health.

Experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. While this is not a new idea, there has not been an organized effort to promote preconception health and health care until now. The recommendations at Nest Consulting consultations are within guidelines set by the NZ & World Health Organisation (WHO). The goal is to improve the health of women, and their partner’s, so that babies can be born healthier in the future. It is also an ideal opportunity to ensure general healthcare is updated (i.e. cervical smears, breast self examination etc).

The family health histories of men are also important when planning a pregnancy.
Men can improve their own reproductive health by reducing stress, eating right, weight management (healthy BMI), avoiding excessive alcohol use, not smoking, and talking to their health care providers about their own medications. It is also important for men who smoke to stop smoking around their partners, to avoid the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

So don’t delay: Book your Pre-Conception Appointment with Nest Consulting today.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Folic Acid: Frequently Asked Questions. Updated 1/30/08.
  • Berry, R.J., et al. Prevention of Neural Tube Defects with Folic Acid in China. New England Journal of Medicine, volume 341, number 20, November 11, 1999, pages 1485-1490.
  • Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, April 7, 1998.
  • Bukowski, R., et al. Preconception Folate Prevents Preterm Delivery (abstract). American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Special Supplement, Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine 28th Annual Meeting, volume 197, number 6, December 2007.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Folic Acid: PHS Recommendations. Updated 7/26/05.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Preconception Care Work Group and the Select Panel on Preconception Care. Recommendations to Improve Preconception Health and Health Care – United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, volume 55, no. RR-6, April 21, 2006.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Your Pregnancy and Birth, 4th edition. ACOG, Washington, DC, 2005.
  • Conde-Agudelo, A., et al. Birth Spacing and Risk of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes. Journal of the American Medical Association, volume 295, number 15, April 19, 2006, pages 1809 -1823.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General – 2004. Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta, GA..
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) and Pregnancy: Facts and Prevention. Updated 9/20/06.
  • Khattak, S., et al. Pregnancy Outcome Following Gestational Exposure to Organic Solvents. Journal of the American Medical Association, March 24/31 1999, volume 281, number 12, pages 1106-1109.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish. Accessed 5/4/06.
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Patient’s Fact Sheet: Weight and Fertility. Revised 8/01, accessed 5/8/06.