Here are some ideas to help prepare you and your family for pregnancy
- Start taking folate and iodine supplement at least 3 months prior to conceiving (e.g. I-folic, Elevit, Blackmore’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Gold)
- Have a blood test with your doctor to check you are immune to rubella (German measles) and varicella (chicken pox)
- Have your influenza immunisation. Your doctor may also recommend a pneumococcal vaccination. You will have a pertussis (whooping cough) immunisation when you are pregnant.
- Check your cervical screening test (pap smear) is up to date
- If you have any medical problems, discuss these with your doctor before becoming pregnant
- Discuss any medications or over the counter supplements you take with your doctor
- If you have had anxiety or depression, please let your doctor know
- Talk to your families about any history of medical problems or genetic disorders
- Your partner is invited to come for a preconception check-up as well
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
- Both parents should stop smoking and avoid social drugs – talk to your doctor if you would like help with this
- Enjoy a balanced diet. Are you eating fruit and veggies, and getting enough protein? Talk about this with your practice nurse.
- Stay active - 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days per week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- See your dentist for a check-up and discuss dental health in pregnancy
- If you have health insurance, check if you have the level of cover you need for pregnancy. Most insurers require you to be a member for 12 months prior to the baby’s birth.
- Discuss any upcoming travel plans with your doctor
- If you have a history of sleep problems, you may wish to discuss this with your doctor. Getting enough sleep is beneficial for your general health.
- If you wish, you can discuss genetic carrier screening with your doctor
healthdirect.gov.au – ‘Foods high in iron’
pregnancybirthbaby.org.au – ‘Planning for pregnancy’
beyondblue.org.au – ‘Becoming a parent- what to expect’
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Quitline 13 11 20
Drug and Alcohol Services Australia 1300 13 1340
Sexual Healthline 1300 883 793
Get Healthy 1300 806 258 – free telephone based health counselling
pinkelephantssupport.com – ‘Pregnancy after loss’
andrologyaustralia.org – Men’s health
www.clinicallabs.com.au – ‘Gene access carrier screen’