If you and your partner are thinking of starting a family there are a few main points which will help towards a happy, healthy pregnancy.
General Health - Important Tips
It is important when planning your pregnancy to ensure that you are protected from certain diseases, which may affect you and the baby later. German Measles (Rubella) is the most important one to be immune to, a simple blood test will identify whether or not you should be immunised. If you need to be immunised against Rubella it is very important that you allow 3 months between the injection and trying to start a family.
A visit to the practice nurse for a cervical smear is a very good idea when planning a baby; some conditions if not treated beforehand are difficult to resolve during pregnancy.
Check your weight at the start of your planning; being as near your ideal weight as possible will make carrying much easier, and getting your shape back afterwards will not be so difficult.
Eating a normal healthy diet with at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day is a good start. By increasing the amounts of food with good folic acid content, you will naturally help the health of the baby inside the womb. A lack of folic acid in the diet has been linked to cases of Spina Bifida. If you require further general information on the importance of your diet and the need for folic acid speak to your doctor.
If you have an alcoholic drink during pregnancy your baby is having one too. Regular drinking whilst pregnant is not recommended, so limit yourself to the absolute minimum, none preferably.
Some research has linked the increase of childhood Asthma and other respiratory conditions with smoking. Try and give up smoking prior to getting pregnant, this gives you and your baby a chance to be happy and healthier. If you need help to stop smoking make an appointment to speak to your doctor about the best ways.
Walking, swimming, dancing; all these forms of exercise will help to keep you fit during pregnancy, especially in the latter stages when it is easy to just sit. Ask the surgery or check the notice boards for any group activities so that you can be with other expectant mothers to socialise and talk about the important things.
Congratulations You Are Pregnant!
Once you know you are pregnant and have informed the surgery, they will guide and advise you through your pregnancy; you do not have to worry about a thing. Even after the birth the surgery takes care of you and your baby, answering all those questions you never thought of asking before. Your partner will want to feel included so keep him posted and ask him if he wants to come with you when you reach the key stages of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Care Planner
The more you know about your pregnancy and your options, the more you are likely to feel in control. The information given in the links below from NHS Choices is based on The Pregnancy Book, which your midwife should give you at your first appointment.
Before you are pregnant
Your Pregnancy and Labour
- How the baby develops - your pregnancy week by week
- Your health in pregnancy
- Common health problems in pregnany
- Antenatal care and classes
- Choosing where to have your baby
- Labour and birth
- When pregnancy goes wrong
You and Your Baby
General Pregnancy Topics