Preconceptual Counseling and Testing

At Montefiore, we are committed to the idea that a healthy mother is key to delivering a healthy baby. Our Preconception Care program helps women ensure they are in optimal health before they become pregnant or prepare for in-vitro fertilization. We support all women, no matter what their particular needs, in approaching pregnancy and childbirth with good health and peace of mind.

Advanced Preconception Care

Montefiore is the proud recipient of a March of Dimes grant, with which we have fully funded our Center for Preconception and Inter-Conception Care. This new program reaches out to women who are between pregnancies or have yet to become pregnant.

Preconception testing benefits women being treated for a condition such as sickle cell anemia, hypertension, heart disease or diabetes that may cause a high-risk pregnancy. Screening and preconception care can minimize complications for mother and fetus later on. Women seeking preconception counseling not because of special issues but in order to be well-prepared for pregnancy are also welcome.

Ensuring Total Wellness

The first step in preconception care is a complete health screening. Several appointments may be required to ensure thorough testing, but this comprehensive process reaps multiple benefits for each woman and her future child. Our preconception care screening covers:

  • A complete medical history
  • Pap smear test
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • HIV and STD screening
  • Standard health maintenance screening
  • Immunization status, including rubella, tetanus, Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Family history review for potential genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia
  • Screening for alcohol and drug use, including over-the-counter medications
  • Domestic violence screening
  • Nutritional status assessment to determine optimum weight

Careful Planning for Healthy Pregnancy

After women have received a complete checkup and health assessment, our doctors help them set individual, realistic goals for improving their health before and during pregnancy. Sample objectives might be to lose a specific amount of weight before conceiving or learn how to better manage a chronic condition such as lupus or diabetes.

Such careful planning allows women to avoid complications that can occur when a chronic condition worsens during pregnancy. Women are also educated about the best nutritional and medical means of ensuring a healthy pregnancy, such as taking folic acid before they conceive to reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

Counseling for Pregnancy Problems

Our expert staff pays special attention to women who have experienced difficulties with conception or carrying a child to term. Those women identified as having a condition that makes a healthy pregnancy unlikely are counseled on their options and supported through their decision. We evaluate women with a history of miscarriage, premature birth or still birth with the goal of helping them achieve a full-term pregnancy and healthy baby in the future.