When it comes to preparing for pregnancy, we believe in personalised care and fostering strong relationships with our patients. There are many things you need to consider before pregnancy, which we will gladly guide you and your partner through.
The Importance of Folic Acid
Folic acid is an essential vitamin in the pre-pregnancy stage. Folate is a B vitamin that is found in some foods. Folic acid is a synthetic version of the vitamin that can be taken as a supplement. It is important for the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord, and reduces the risk of neural tube defects (spina bifida).
The recommended daily intake level of folic acid is 0.4mg. However, women preparing for pregnancy are advised to take 0.5mg of folic acid a day for one month before pregnancy and 0.8mg a day for the first three months after becoming pregnant. Folate-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, fruit and beans. Supplements are recommended to ensure your advised daily intake is met.
Women who are overweight before and during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing diabetes, having a caesarean section, high blood pressure and preeclampsia, contracting an infection after delivery, or having a baby with a congenital abnormality. It is recommended that you aim to be as close to your ideal weight as possible before pregnancy and giving birth. We understand this can be difficult and will work closely with you to help you achieve your goals.
There are a few vaccinations that are necessary prior to pregnancy in order to avoid complications and promote your baby’s healthy growth. These include:
German Measles (Rubella)
Typically, German measles – or Rubella – is a minor viral disease. However, an infection in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy can seriously hinder your baby’s brain and eye development in the womb. It is very important that you get vaccinated before you try to get pregnant.
It is very beneficial for you to get a flu shot prior to pregnancy. A vaccination during pregnancy can help in protecting babies against flu in the first six months of life. Pregnant women can also become quite sick from the flu, which can lead to complications. The same goes for whooping cough.
Chickenpox during pregnancy can cause an infection in the baby or even a miscarriage. If you have had chickenpox before then you will be immune. However, if you have not it’s a good idea to get a vaccination.
The Importance of Iodine
As with folic acid, iodine is an essential nutrient for your baby’s development. Iodine intake requirements increase during pregnancy as it aids with brain development and foetal growth. Intake from your normal diet can be difficult – iodine is found in seafood, and in some vegetables, but it often depends on where and how they are grown – so taking supplements is recommended. The suggested intake before and during pregnancy is around. 0.15 milligrams.
Adjusting Your Lifestyle
Getting pregnant will mean a significant lifestyle shift. Cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational or illegal drugs can seriously affect your baby’s development and are strongly discouraged before and during pregnancy. Getting pregnant can also be quite stressful too and anxiety is common amongst mothers-to-be. Remember, we are here for you every step of the way.
Trouble Getting Pregnant
Some couples will experience trouble with getting pregnant, which can be both mentally and physically trying. Roughly one in six couples will have problems getting pregnant, and even more with older couples. Fertility issues, irregular periods and previous conditions are amongst the many reasons some women struggle to become pregnant. If you are having trouble starting a family, we can advise you on the most suitable solution.
If you have any questions about preparing for pregnancy, or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We will strive to offer advice and compassionate care in every way possible.