Planning a Pregnancy
- Published: Tuesday, 26 January 2016 15:19
Any woman who is planning a pregnancy should talk to one of the doctors or nurses in The Ashe Street Clinic at least three to six months before you start to try to become pregnant. All woman planning a pregnancy should take folic acid 400micrograms for at least three months before they try to conceive. This vitamin should be continued for as long as the woman is trying to become pregnant and should also be taken during pregnancy. It significantly reduces the risks of the unborn baby suffering from neural tube defects which can cause various congenital abnormality such as spinal bifida and hydrocephalus.
Woman who are planning to become pregnant should also have a routine cervical smear test if they are over the age of 25 years old. This can be provided free of charge in The Ashe Street Clinic. Before conceiving a woman should also have her blood checked to ensure she has good protection against rubella (German measles). If she does not have immunity against this virus, it is important that she be vaccinated with the rubella vaccine and she should avoid becoming pregnant for at least three months after this vaccine.
If you are planning a pregnancy you should not smoke and you should have a good diet with lean meat, fish and plenty of fruit and vegetables. It is best to avoid alcohol when planning a pregnancy and during pregnancy. If you do have a drink you should not consume more than eleven units of alcohol per week, and preferably not more than two or three units in any one day. Pregnant woman should try and stay fit by taking plenty of aerobic exercise and should try to stay within a normal weight for their height. You should also have your blood checked to ensure you are not anaemic or suffer from diabetes. It is also worth having your blood pressure and urine checked before trying to conceive. Most couples take six to twelve months of trying before they get pregnant so please be patient. If nothing happens after twelve months of trying to conceive at the most fertile time of the month, then you should see one of the doctors in The Ashe Street Clinic for further specialised tests to check the woman and the man’s fertility.