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Planning Pregnancy Begin Your Wonderful Journey Here

When you are planning to have a baby, it is important to review your health and lifestyle to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to conceive and to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Your baby’s health and development can be affected by your health and lifestyle prior to conception and during your pregnancy, so it is important to look at the various changes you can make and steps you can take before becoming pregnant that can be beneficial to you and your baby in the long-term.

Here are some things that prospective parents are encouraged to review before trying to become pregnant.

Visiting Your Doctor Pre-Pregnancy

Please ensure that you visit your GP prior to trying to conceive. Your doctor will check a series of factors that have the potential to affect your pregnancy and baby. These include:

  • Management of pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Vaccinations (e.g. Rubella and Chickenpox).
  • General physical health, blood pressure, breast exam and pap smear (where required).
  • Risk of genetic or chromosomal conditions.
  • Outcomes of any previous pregnancies.

Focus on Your Diet

Prior to, during and following your pregnancy, your diet should be balanced and healthy containing fresh, unprocessed food including lots of vegetables, as well as fruit, grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and dairy products.

Prior to and during their pregnancies, some women may require supplements to optimise their health. These may include:

Folic acid

Folic acid can reduce the risk of conditions such as spina bifida and neural tube defects. It is recommended for women to take at least 0.5mg of folic acid daily for at least a month prior to a planned pregnancy, and through the first 3 months of pregnancy.

A 5mg daily dose of folic acid is recommended for women in the following groups:

  • Women with diabetes,
  • Women with a high BMI,
  • Women with any family history of neural tube defects,
  • Women taking anticonvulsant medication,
  • Women who may be at risk of poor absorption from their food,
  • Women who have had a previous child with a neural tube defect,
  • Women with any other known increased risk of neural tube defect.

Iodine

Iodine is important for infant brain development and is recommended at 150mcg per day prior to and during your pregnancy, as well as if you are breastfeeding.

Regular Exercise

Regular, moderate exercise is beneficial for your fertility, as well as your health and wellbeing as a whole.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important when trying to conceive as women who are underweight or overweight are more at risk of a variety of problems in pregnancy.

If you are very underweight, you may experience fertility issues and your baby may be at risk of nutritional problems.

If you are overweight or obese this can also cause fertility problems and increase the risk of miscarriage or other problems for your baby and your pregnancy. These can include:

  • Diabetes,
  • Pre-eclampsia,
  • Bleeding and the development of blood clots,
  • Greater likelihood of requiring a caesarean section,
  • Anaesthetic risks.

It is recommended that if you are not currently a healthy weight, you take steps towards improving this prior to trying to conceive.

Medication Safety

Not all medications are safe to take during pregnancy. Please ensure you check all medication you are currently taking (prescribed or over the counter) and discuss these with your GP prior to trying to conceive.

Alcohol, Smoking, and Illicit Drugs

Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and taking illicit drugs all have adverse effects on fertility in men and women, as well as on pregnancy, and the development of your baby.

The safest option for women trying to conceive is to stop consumption of any of the above products. Please seek help with quitting if you need to.

Management of Pre-existing Medical Conditions

It is important that any medical conditions you are currently dealing with are appropriately managed and controlled where possible prior to attempting to conceive to give you the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Please discuss any conditions with your GP prior to conception.

Your Home and Work Environments

When seeking to conceive, both prospective parents should seek to reduce their exposure to toxins, infections and radiation in their daily lives.

Travel Safety

If you are travelling to an area which may increase your risk of an infection which may affect your pregnancy (such as Zika virus), please seek medical advice prior to travelling.

Hospitals & Associations

Get in touch

Contact us directly using the details below, or fill in the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Barangaroo Clinic

Postal address

Specialist Clinics of Australia Level 1, 300 Barangaroo Av, Barangaroo
NSW 2000

Phone number
0284 590 312
Fax number
1300 880 566

North Sydney Clinic

Postal address

Suite 1.03, Polaris Building 150 Pacific Highway,
NSW 2060

Phone number
0401 249 092
Fax number
0280 886 697