Environmental exposures: how to counsel preconception and prenatal patients in the clinical setting

Published:February 16, 2012DOI:
      A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that preconception and prenatal exposures can impact fetal development adversely and lead to potential long-lasting health effects. Reproductive health professionals have little training on these exposures and how to counsel patients effectively. We present short summaries of some of the most common environmental exposures and give providers practical tools with which to counsel patients in the clinical setting. These tools may enable practitioners to help prevent harmful environmental exposures and to reduce the risk of future adverse health impacts for the prenatal and preconception patient population.

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      • Comment: Environmental exposures: how to counsel preconception and prenatal patients in the clinical setting
        American Journal of Obstetrics & GynecologyVol. 207Issue 6
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          Sathyanarayana et al1 address the important matter of counseling of reproductive age women on minimizing risks of prenatal environmental exposure that can influence fetal development and maternal health negatively. Mercury exposure is of special interest because the benefits of seafood consumption, mentioned but not emphasized, must be balanced against risks. Untested messaging on this topic is known to cause avoidance of all fish by pregnant women,2 which leads them to eat less fish rather than to shift away from some species but to maintain overall fish consumption.
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