We’re not going to tell you how to get pregnant because you probably know that by now!
Planning for pregnancy:
You're already a superwoman, so why not plan to be a supermum also?
Date: October 14 2012
But, just like everything else, a bit of planning can help you be ready. If you’re at the stage where you’re hoping it will happen, here are some tips on how to prepare for conception.
About 12 months beforehand
1. Start a healthy eating and exercise plan now. If you’re feeling healthy and at a healthy weight when you conceive, it’s better for you and your baby during pregnancy. It’s also a good time to start avoiding certain – but not all – seafood such as swordfish and mackerel which are high in mercury.
2. Stop smoking! You know you should anyway but why would you risk your baby’s health also by smoking during pregnancy? It doubles the risk of ectopic pregnancy and of having a low birth weight baby, and children exposed to smoke in the womb (or secondhand from your partner) are more likely to experience overactive and risk behaviours.
About 8 months beforehand
3. Make a longer appointment and see your GP to make sure you’re ready for pregnancy. If you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, talk about how it can be controlled while pregnant. Make sure any medications you take are safe during pregnancy and, if not, what the alternatives are. Be checked for nutritional deficiencies, thyroid function, immunity to infections. Make sure all your vaccinations are up-to-date. Get screened for sexually transmitted diseases.
About 6 months beforehand
4. Visit the dentist. Dental health is vital to overall health, so make sure your dental and oral health and hygiene are ship-shape. Tooth decay and gum infections can harm the foetus.
About 3-6 months beforehand
5. This might seem obvious, and the timing will be different for everyone: get off the pill. You need to clear the hormones from the contraceptive pill out of your system and it’s useful to resume a normal menstrual cycle without hormone intervention before conceiving.
About 2 months beforehand
6. Subject to what your GP says, start taking a prenatal vitamin supplement with folic acid and vitamin B6. The folic acid decreases the risk of defects and the vitamin B6 can help decrease morning sickness.
As soon as you start really, really trying
7. This can be the toughest one for many of us who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner – but an essential one for the health of your baby. Avoid alcohol from the moment you start trying unless or until your GP says it’s safe to do otherwise.