If you are starting to think about having a baby, you will soon realise that there is a lot to consider. Often, it feels like there is a million things you need to do before your baby enters the world.
If you are starting to think about conceiving, here are some handy tips to help you plan ahead and experience the most comfortable pregnancy and birthing process as possible.
Start planning early
If you or you and your partner are thinking about pregnancy, it is a good idea to start planning six months in advance. This gives you time to begin to track your menstrual cycle and learn your body’s signs of ovulation. Most women need a cycle between 21 and 35 days to achieve ovulation. On average, you ovulate 14 days before the end of your cycle. If you have a regular cycle length, you will then be able to predict your fertile window, which is usually from 5 days before ovulation to 2 days after. Giving yourself a 6-month planning period means you can also start educating yourself on pregnancy and motherhood, so you are super prepared when the baby finally arrives.
Consider medical conditions
If you have any medication conditions that regularly require you to see a GP or specialist, it is essential that discuss your plans for pregnancy with your doctor. Occasionally some medical conditions can place a pregnant woman at risk of a number of complications. Knowing this before falling pregnant allows you to make an informed and of course, a safe decision about your pregnancy.
Take pre-pregnancy vitamins
Planning ahead means that you can start taking vitamins which will help you through your pregnancy to grow a happy, healthy baby. Folate-supplementation before and during pregnancy has many health benefits, most importantly, it reduces the chance of congenital defects in babies, especially neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. You can read more about vitamins and supplements here.
Get pre-pregnancy vaccinations
It is hugely important that you check your rubella (German measles) and varicella (chickenpox) immunisation status before falling pregnant. This requires only a simple blood test with your GP, obstetrician or gynaecologist. Because these vaccines are not safe to have during pregnancy, it is important you get them done before you fall pregnant. You can read more about pregnancy and vaccinations here.
Get on top of your diet and exercise
Planning ahead means that you can get on top of your health. This time period is the perfect opportunity to change any lifestyle habits which may impact your pregnancy, such as drinking and smoking. Furthermore, you can begin to maintain a pregnancy-friendly diet and exercise regime.
Pregnancy and birth is no small feat, and you never have to feel like you are going through it alone. If you have any questions about your pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Dr Bevan Brown is one of the most trusted gynaecologists and obstetricians in Sydney. Personalised care and strong relationships with our patients are of utmost importance!