Womens Health Clinic Blog

Planning To Have a Baby? Things to Consider in Your Pregnancy Plan

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Dreaming of having a baby? Planning the right time to start or add to your family can be challenging — there are so many things to consider before having a baby. From health preparations to financial readiness, it's essential to gather advice on what to do before conceiving.

A pre pregnancy planning appointment with one of our skilled Create Health pregnancy specialists is the perfect place to start. They will walk you through all the important considerations that will prepare you for a safe and smooth pregnancy. Our pregnancy specialists are highly experienced obstetricians that can also guide you through the birth process.

Before we see you at our clinic, here are some pregnancy preparation tips to get you started.

Lifestyle and diet before pregnancy

When you're ready, starting a family comes with its own set of considerations around your health and wellbeing. Lowering stress levels, moderating caffeine intake, and reducing alcohol/drug consumption are all beneficial practices to begin early on to ensure you will have a healthy baby. It’s also highly recommended to stop smoking cigarettes because they are prone to increasing your chances of a miscarriage.

Normal weight (BMI between 18 and 24) is ideal if you are heading into pregnancy because this will lower the risks of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. Engaging in regular workouts are beneficial to manage weight while also strengthening muscles and boosting circulation, providing essential nutrients to you and your future baby. Prioritising quality sleep can also improve fertility by promoting regular ovulation.

Healthy eating is also necessary when you are pregnancy planning. Incorporating fibre-rich foods like oats, beans, peas, lentils, fruits, and vegetables while limiting consumption of fried and sugary items is highly advised. This balanced approach supports overall health and lays a solid foundation for a healthy future baby. You can read more about lifestyle tips on our preconception care page.

What prenatal supplements should you take?

Prior to conceiving a baby, it is recommended that women begin taking preconception vitamins, with the particular recommendation of folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin used by every bodily cell for healthy growth and development. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, while folic acid is a natural form found in food. Folic acid is one of the best pre pregnancy vitamins. By taking it before and during early pregnancy, it can safeguard your baby against neural tube defects, which are birth defects affecting the baby's brain and spine development. Other important pre pregnancy supplements such as iron, vitamin D and iodine can be considered if you have a known deficiency.

What pre-pregnancy screening tests should you do?

You may not be pregnant yet, but in order to care for yourself and the future baby, going through a preconception check up makes it easier to overcome health issues before the baby arrives.

General screening tests include blood group and full blood count, as well as iron studies, Vitamin D, and thyroid function. These all help to individually screen for pregnancy risks and see if anything needs to be corrected before conceiving.

Additional full body tests you may be recommended include:

  • Cervical screening (pap test)
  • Pelvic, breast, and abdominal exam
  • Gynaecological conditions screening
  • Weight check
  • Urine test
  • Mental health screening

Immunity to Rubella (MMR), Chicken pox (Varicella), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Parvovirus, HIV, Hepatitis B, and Syphilis are also advised before pregnancy. Testing for these would allow immunisations to occur but also help to plan around potential exposures during pregnancy. An extensive list of required tests can be found on our pregnancy care page.

Why you should get a genetic carrier screening done

Through a blood test or a saliva test, genetic carrier screening allows you to understand the chance of passing on an inherited health condition to your children. We suggest that people planning a family or in their first trimester of pregnancy should go through genetic carrier testing to be sure of what genes they have and how they can affect a future baby.

Genetic carrier screening does not replace tests that can be done during pregnancy such as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and combined first trimester screening (CFTS). These screenings don’t pick up on every health condition either and unfortunately cannot guarantee that you will have a healthy baby. However, it can still provide a lot of useful information about your pregnancy.

Other things to consider before having a baby

There may be important factors in your personal or family history that need to be investigated before you start trying for a baby. Cervical screening tests (CST) should be up to date and normal and you should be having a regular menstrual cycle off any form of hormonal birth control.

Who can I talk to?

The specialists at Create Health are always available for advice regarding planning a pregnancy. Particularly if you think you might have risk factors for pregnancy or fertility concerns, we are experts in this area and are here to help.

Contact us by ringing 9873 6767 or by writing to info@create-health.com.au.

  1. https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/pregnancy-and-birth/preparing-for-pregnancy/a-healthy-start
  2. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/screening-for-carrier-status
  3. https://www.dorevitch.com.au/patients/pre-pregnancy/carrier-screening/

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