Preconception Counselling Service

We have introduced a specialist preconception counselling service for you and your family if you need extra support with your general and mental health before you plan to get pregnant.

Care and advice at this time is important because your health at the time of conception and in the early stages of pregnancy has an impact on the rest of your life. it can also affect the health of your children.

Our counselling helps identify and manage your physical and mental health conditions, as well as social needs you might have before you get pregnant. together with your partner, you can get advice about any potential risks to help you make plans and take decisions about conception and pregnancy. Advice and counselling may be able to help reduce or remove these risks.

Contact Details

If you would like to get this advice and counselling you can email or phone

Email: (preferred)

Telephone: 01823 343671

Information and Referral Service for GPs and healthcare Professionals

Women can be referred to the service using the above contact details if they have any of the following medical factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Renal disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mental health (on treatment/previous psychosis)
  • Haematological disorder
  • Neural tube defect
  • Coeliac disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Hypertension disorder
  • Rheumatic disease ( rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis)
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • previous thromboembolism
  • BMI 35 or above related to a medical condition
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Previous bariatric surgery

Lifestyle Factors

  • BMI 35 or above related to lifestyle
  • Smoking

Obstetric Factors – any previous pregnancy affected by:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia or HELLP syndrome
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Small for gestational age birthweight baby (<10th centile)

Please refer women of childbearing age you feel could benefit from this service. We can also currently accept self-referral from patients via the email address. For any further information and to make a referral please email

For general conception advice for healthcare professionals prior to referral please see the NICE (National Institute of Clinical Exellence) clinical summaries – pre-conception advice and management click here

It is advised to start taking folic acid at least 3 months before conception and up to the 12th week of pregnancy. The standard dose is 400 micrograms once a day for most women however if you have any of the conditions listed below you will need the higher dose of folic acid 5mg which can only be prescribed by a GP.

Please advise the following group of women to take high dose 5mg folic acid daily during the pre-conception period until the 12th week of pregnancy

  • Woman or partner with NTD (neural tube defect)
  • Previous pregnancy affected by NTD
  • Family history of NTD
  • Type I or Type II diabetes
  • BMI 30 or above
  • Taking anti-epileptic medication
  • Coeliac disease
  • Sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia and thalassaemia trait (5mg folic acid should be continued throughout pregnancy for these women)

Please advise these patients to continue with all regular mediactions and reliable contraception methods until seen and plan of care made by the pre-conception team.