Women's Health

Preparing for Pregnancy

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

Resources:

yourfertility.org.au

healthdirect.gov.au – ‘Foods high in iron’

pregnancybirthbaby.org.au – ‘Planning for pregnancy’

www.eatforhealth.gov.au

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’