Planning a Pregnancy & Pre Conceptual care

Before and during pregnancy, the behaviour or risk situations of a woman are numerous and can have serious consequences on the embryo and foetus.

Here are a few recommendations to protect the embryo, then the foetus and to ensure the best health conditions for the future child.

Prevention before pregnancy

You should consider specific pre-conception consultations:
  • A general consultation in the event of scheduled pregnancy or stopping taking contraception
  • A multidisciplinary consultation in the event of maternal antecedents of chronic pathology

It is very important to deal in good time with everything

  • Prevention of risk behaviours such as smoking, alcoholism and the use of drugs (cannabis...)
  • Prevention of infectious risks: tracking of patients with HIV, HBV, HCV virus, tracking of toxoplasmosis.
  • Correction of diabetes and the prediabetic states, while monitoring the rate of hemoglobin A1C which will have to be lower than 7%.
  • Correct obesity
  • Supervise the folic acid amount to avoid Spina bifida
  • Controlled diet excluding phenylalanine in the event of congenital phenylketonuria

Information for young people must be offered

  • From adolescence, adapted to all people with for example, distribution of booklets and explanations by health professionals liaising with the population.
  • In primary and secondary schools, for pupils above the age of 15, via doctors and school nurses.
  • For young people from a disadvantaged social background, badly informed and often marginalised

Prevention during pregnancy

"Zero" tolerance concerning the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other drugs and self medication.

The prescribers will have to take particularly in account the risks caused by certain drugs at the beginning of pregnancy.

To help the concerned expectant mothers to cease these risky behaviours, the following is recommended:
  • A specific care by health professionals at the maternity,
  • A development and a gratuitousness for nicotinic substitutes,
  • A priority access to addiction centres for expectant mothers,
  • An early medical management for pathological situations for which certain dangerous drugs cannot be stopped even during pregnancy.

The importance of the measures which are essential during the pregnancy to prevent infectious risks:
  • Tracking of HIV, HBV, HCV at the beginning of the pregnancy;
  • Checking of rubella and Hepatitis B vaccinations;

In the negative cases, renew controls every month and inform the pregnant women of preventive measures.
  • Seek streptococcus B by smear tests towards the end of a pregnancy or at the beginning of labour.

A prevention which must start early

A first examination during the first month

It is recommended that (taking into account early risks linked to tobacco, alcohol, certain drugs and some infectious illnesses) the first examination of pregnancy should be carried out before 6 weeks of amenorrhoea, and not before the 3rd month as it is done currently.

A relation mother-child to supervise

To prevent the situations likely to disturb the relation seriously. It is recommended to screen at the beginning of pregnancy and at the latest in the 4th month, the psycho-emotional psychological disorders or any ignored psychiatric states, in particular in women in social distress.

Maternity notebook

It must be updated regularly because it plays an important role in the assumption of responsibility of pregnancy and in the early information transmitted concerning the risks incurred by the embryo and the fetus.


Full report

Photographic copyright: © Francois du Plessis -
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