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Preconception care 

Preconception care
Chapter:
Preconception care
Author(s):

Janet Medforth

, Linda Ball

, Angela Walker

, Sue Battersby

, and Sarah Stables

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198754787.003.0002
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date: 20 October 2019

This chapter includes taking a menstrual history, used to predict ovulation and the length of the menstrual cycle, and also as an opportunity to provide health care advice and education for women who are planning a pregnancy. Preconception nutrition is briefly covered with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups such as those with closely spaced pregnancies, adolescent mothers, vegans and vegetarians, those on low incomes, those with pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, those with eating disorders, and those from within ethnic minority groups. If needed, the practitioner can then refer women to professionally qualified nutritionists or dietitians. Lifestyle advice and medical considerations are provided here as healthy adjustments can be suggested to clients before conception to optimize maternal and early fetal health. A non-comprehensive list of some of the more common medical conditions is also provided, allowing for advice on screening or potential adjustments to medications to be organized prior to conception.

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