Planning for a pregnancy is an exciting time but few people realise how important your overall health is during this time. There is good evidence in relation to the environment that the baby is exposed to whilst growing as a fetus and the life long consequences this environment can have. This means that optimising your health – both physically and mentally, is important to try to achieve before you get pregnant.
This includes :
Diet – healthy, fresh and well rounded. If you are vegetarian try to enhance your iron intake before conceiving
Exercise – try to have some daily exercise as part of your routine. It makes it easier to then maintain it in pregnancy and is good for weight optimisation. Exercise is also good for mental wellbeing
Weight – this is a sensitive and difficult area for all women. However purely from a health aspect if your BMI (body mass index) is in the normal range you are giving the pregnancy the best chance of success and your baby the best start possible.
Smoking– it really is best not to smoke at all – but especially in pregnancy and with a newborn baby. Please see your GP for helpful advice before you conceive if you do smoke
Vitamins – folic acid (0.5 mg) for one month before you get pregnant and then for the first 3 months has been shown to decrease the risk of Spina bififda. If you are at a high risk for this condition (eg. previous affected baby, if you take epilepsy medication, have diabetes or absorption disorders) then you should take 5mg of folic acid instead. Iodine (150 micrograms) should also be taken before and then continued throughout the whole pregnancy.
It is often helpful to book a checkup before you get pregnant. This will allow the above areas to be discussed but also any blood tests that may need to be done eg. Check rubella immunity, Iron if you are at risk of it being low. If you have more specific medical problems then a pre-pregnancy review with Dr Chandler is important. This also allows her to liaise with your other specialists early or coordinate care with other doctors if you don’t have that in place yet. For more information please read information under our ‘gynaecology’ tab or call us on (08) 8364 3642.
Meet and Greet
We recognise that choosing an obstetrician can be daunting- whilst most people rely on word of mouth you might be the first in your circle of friends/family to have a baby and not have that resource. Although you will need a referral (Medicare policy) we are more than happy to make you an appointment for you to come in and see us. You are welcome to come by yourself or with your partner – whichever you prefer.