Preparing for pregnancy
This article may help answer:
Why should I see my GP before getting pregnant?
Do I need a supplement before conception?
How much exercise should I do?
What foods should I avoid?
Getting ready to start or extend your family is a great opportunity for you and your partner to think about your health and wellbeing. There’s no need to get complicated.
Just do your best to eat sensibly, take a pregnancy supplement, stay moderately active, quit smoking, cut back on alcohol and book a pre-conception consultation with your GP.
Find out more:
How your GP can help
Speaking to your GP about wanting a baby will set you up for a healthier pregnancy journey.
Your GP will give you a reassuring general check-up, confirm you are up to date with your vaccinations and can chat to you about the benefits of healthy eating and staying active.
Your GP or pharmacist can also explain the role of a pregnancy supplement, such as Elevit.
If you tend to go to different GP practices, consider building up a trusting relationship with a specific GP or practice before your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
A bad diet may reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Avoid processed meats, sugary drinks and trans-fats found in crackers, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza and fast food.
You may know already that it’s best to minimise alcohol and avoid recreational drugs and smoking when trying for a baby. A diet rich in unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean protein and dairy will help optimise your chances of conception. Click on the links for more information about what to eat and what to avoid in the lead up to getting pregnant, and throughout pregnancy.
Why you need a supplement
It’s difficult to consume enough folate and other nutrients that are vital for your baby’s development in the early weeks of pregnancy. Like most women, you may not even know you are pregnant at this critical stage, which is why it’s best to start taking a daily pregnancy supplement, such as Elevit, for at least one month before trying to become pregnant.
Men can also take a supplement, such as Menevit, to help support sperm health. This is most effective if taken 3 months before trying for a baby, as the sperm lifecycle is this long.
Medical conditions and medications
Make a point of speaking to your doctor if you or your partner smokes or if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems or epilepsy.
Speak to your pharmacist
It is essential to ask your pharmacist to review all your prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, food supplements and herbal remedies.
Watch your weight
Your chances of getting pregnant are reduced if you’re carrying too much or too little weight. You can use this simple online BMI calculator to check how you’re doing. Talk to your doctor if you feel you need to lose or gain weight.
How much exercise?
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. Don’t overdo it though. Too much exercise can affect your hormones, and that can make it harder to conceive.