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Preconception Care

Preconception Care

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Preconception Care

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  1. Preconception Care Greater New York Chapter of the March of Dimes Preconception Care Curriculum Working Group Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center Peter Bernstein, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health

  2. Preconception Care • May be the most important part of prenatal care • US Public Health Service, 1989 • Only 20-50% of primary care provider routinely provide preconception care • Healthy People 2000 Report

  3. Preconception Care 1. The Case for Preconception Care 2. What is Preconception Care? 3. How to incorporate Preconception Care into clinical practice

  4. Preconception Care 1. The Case for Preconception Care

  5. The Need for Preconception Care • Kempe, 1992 (NEJM): Racial disparities in low birth weight rates may partially be the result of maternal conditions that should be addressed prior to conception • Haas, 1993 (JAMA): Additional access to prenatal care only in Massachusetts did not impact rates of adverse birth outcomes

  6. The Need for Preconception Care • More than 40% increase in utilization of prenatal care by African-American Women since the 1970’s • No improvement in rates of very low birth weight infants • Minimal improvement in rates of low birth weight infants • National Center for Health Statistics 1975, 1984, 1994

  7. Preconception Care 1. The Case for Preconception Care 2. What is Preconception Care?

  8. Preconception Care • Identifies reducible or reversible risks • Maximizes maternal health • Intervenes to achieve optimal outcomes • Provide health education

  9. Preconception Care • Reframes issues • Adds an anticipatory element • Focuses on the impact of pregnancy

  10. Elements of Preconception Care • Focus on elements which must be accomplished prior to conception or within weeks thereafter to be effective • Risk assessment • Health promotion • Medical and pyschosocial interventions

  11. Components of Preconception Care • Medical history • Psychosocial issues • Physical exam • Laboratory tests • Family history • Nutrition assessment

  12. Family planning and pregnancy spacing Family history Genetic history (maternal and paternal) Medical, surgical, pulmonary and neurologic history Current medications (prescription and OTC) Substance use, including alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs Nutrition Domestic abuse and violence Environmental and occupational exposures Immunity and immunization status Risk factors for STDs Obstetric history Gynecologic history General physical exam Assessment of Socioeconomic, educational, and cultural context Examples of Components of Preconception Care

  13. Prevalence of Risk Factors

  14. Conditions Addressed by Preconception Care • Those that need time to correct prior to conception • Interventions not usually undertaken in pregnancy • Interventions considered only because a pregnancy is planned

  15. Conditions Addressed by Preconception Care (cont) • Conditions that might change the choice or timing to conceive • Conditions that would require early post-conception prenatal care

  16. Family Planning • A short pregnancy interval may be associated with: • birth of an SGA infant in a subsequent pregnancy • Lieberman 1989, Zhu 1999 • preterm birth in a subsequent pregnancy • Basso 1998, Zhu 1999

  17. Preconception Genetic Counseling and Screening • Family history of genetic diseases • Discussion of age-related risks • Discussion of disease-related risks • Carrier screening • Potential options of donor egg or sperm or early genetic testing • Discussion of exposure to teratogens

  18. Critical Periods of Development Critical Periods of Development Weeks gestation from LMP 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Most susceptible Central Nervous System Central Nervous System time for major malformation Heart Heart Arms Arms Eyes Eyes Legs Legs Teeth Teeth Palate Palate External genitalia External genitalia Ear Ear Mean Entry into Prenatal Care Missed Period

  19. Substance Use and Preconception Care • Patient education as to effects of substances on fetus • Screening for use/abuse • Referral for treatment program • Pregnancy may be a strong motivator for change

  20. Alcohol • Leading preventable cause of mental retardation • Most common teratogen to which fetuses are exposed • Effects related to dose • No threshold has been identified for “safe” use in pregnancy • Effects at all stages of pregnancy

  21. Tobacco • Leading preventable cause of low birthweight • For every 10 cigarettes smoked each day the risk of delivering an SGA infant increases by a factor of 1.5 • Associated with placental abruption, preterm delivery, placenta previa, miscarriage • Smoking cessation results in increased birth weight

  22. Substance Use and Consequences

  23. Environmental Teratogens • Exposures • Home, workplace, environment • Physical/chemical hazards • ionizing radiation, lead, mercury, hyperthermia, herbicides, pesticides

  24. Physical and Emotional Abuse in Pregnancy • Two million women each year are abused by a partner • No correlation with ethnicity, socio-economic status, or education • 29% of abused women report escalation of abuse during pregnancy

  25. Role of the Health Care Provider • Be open to the subject • Provide a private, confidential setting for visit • Use a standardized screen • Ask every woman • Know local resources for referral

  26. Nutritional Risks • Underweight (BMI < 19.8 prepregnant) • Increased risk for: low birthweight, fetal death, mental retardation • Overweight (BMI 26.1-29.0) and Obese (BMI >29.0) • Increased risk for: diabetes, hypertension, thromboembolic disease, macrosomia, birth trauma, abnormal labor, cesarean delivery

  27. Nutritional RisksVitamins and Minerals • Folic acid - modifies risk of neural tube defects • Iron - increased risk of preterm delivery, LBW • Oversupplementation of Vitamins A & D - increase in congenital anomalies • Pica - iron deficiency, lead poisoning

  28. Prevention of Neural Tube Defects • Supplementation for all women of childbearing potential with folic acid • No history of NTD: 0.4 mg. qd • Prior infant with NTD: 4.0 mg. qd • Woman with NTD: 4.0 mg. qd • Nutritional sources often inadequate

  29. Immunizations • Women of childbearing age in the US should be immune to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, tetanus, diptheria, and poliomyelitis through childhood immunizations • If immunity is determined to be lacking, proper immunization should be provided • Need for immunizations according to age group of women and occupational or lifestyle risks

  30. Rubella Vaccination • Determine rubella immunity prior to conception • Vaccinate susceptible nonpregnant women • Congenital rubella syndrome may result from infection during pregnancy (microcephaly, fetal growth restriction, cardiac malformations, etc)

  31. Preconception Care for Men • Alcohol • may be associated with physical and emotional abuse • may decrease fertility • Genetic Counseling • Occupational exposure • lead • Sexually transmitted diseases • syphilis, herpes, HIV

  32. Preparedness for Parenthood • Pyschological • Financial • Life plans • education • career

  33. Preconception Care 1. The Case for Preconception Care 2. What is Preconception Care? 3. How to incorporate Preconception Care into clinical practice

  34. Epidemiology of Unintended Pregnancy • 49% of pregnancies in the US are unintended (unwanted or mistimed) • Henshaw, 1998 • Preconception care should be provided to all reproductive age individuals

  35. Barriers to Preconception Care • Unintended pregnancy • “Planned” pregnancies are seldom planned with a health care provider • Unpreparedness of health care providers

  36. When should preconception carebe offered? • As part of routine health maintenance care • At a defined preconception visit • For women with chronic illness • At one visit v. several visits