you can even begin to think about having a baby you
have to make sure that both you and your partner are
at your healthiest. After all your body is going to
be the babys home for its first 9 months. So making
that home as healthy as possible should be first on
your agenda. You should take a year to prepare for your
body and lifestyle to adapt to the changes. The first
thing you should do is make an appointment to see your
doctor who may advice you on a pre-pregnancy health
checkup whether you have any health problems or not.
Here is a list of the things that you will need to do
to help you get your health into order before trying
to conceive. You should also take note o these to help
when having a checkup.
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions regarding
your health and lifestyle. It is always best to be prepared
in advance here are a few things that you should let
him know about.
medication that you or your partner are taking. Even
some over the counter drugs can affect the developing
baby, so telling your doctor about every medicine that
you are taking is essential. The doctor might want to
change some medications and stop some before trying
Any serious or chronic diseases that you may have had
diabetes, low or high blood pressure, heart disease,
epilepsy. There might be need to change some medications
problems in your family such as Down`s syndrome or cystic
type of contraception you are using. Remember with may
contraception's such as the coil you will have to wait
at least 2 months after removing it before you can begin
to try to conceive.
problems that you have had in previous pregnancies such
as, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, premature birth
or any complications that you may have had during labour.
let your doctor know if you have had any termination's.
menstruation problems that you have had.
you had an eating disorder?
sexual disease that you have had such as, Chlamydia
which can make both men and women infertile.
things that you should inform your GP about are;
Your diet/eating patterns.
Any exercise program that you are currently doing.
Risks with lead at work or home.
Your doctor will do a series of tests to make sure that
your body is ready for pregnancy and make sure that
you have no diseases that will prevent you from conceiving
or that you don`t have any infections that can be passed
on to your baby.
An internal examination may be carried out if you have
had problems in the past with menstruation or a pelvic
infection and if you have any infections or conditions
they can be treated now to ensure you have a healthy
It is important that you have a cervical smear test
every three years. Check when you last had one and make
an appointment if you are due one. Let your doctor know
if you have had any abnormal cervical smear test in
transmitted diseases (STDs)
Both you and your partner should have complete tests
for STD`s also an AIDS test. If you do have an STD you
should let your doctor know immediately to start treatment
to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
You should always use a condom while one of you have
an STD and should never try to conceive until you are
completely clear of the disease.
Urinalysis are taken to test for urinary tract infection
(UTI). You may be asked for a urine sample so you can
be checked for UTI so that it can be treated immediately.
Avoid trying to conceive altogether if you have an UTI
as it is associated with miscarriage, low-birth weight
and premature labour.
If you have not had rubella, it may be advisable to
be vaccinated prior to becoming pregnant. If you do
get vaccinated, you should delay trying to get pregnant
for three months. You should not get vaccinated during
pregnancy. If contracted during pregnancy, rubella can
cause birth defects. Avoid eating undercooked meat or
handling cat litter. These are known sources of toxoplasmosis,
a parasitic infection that can seriously affect the
A blood test will be done to test for anaemia and other
abnormality in your blood. Once you have conceived your
GP will continue to take blood tests throughout your
Pregnant women with high blood pressure (hypertension)
are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia and have placental
problems, so it's important to control high blood pressure
before you conceive.
If there is a history of genetic problems in either
of your families you will be referred to have genetic
testing done. The vast majority of babies are perfectly
healthy only 2 to 3% are born with a major birth
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