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Supporting you through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood
Planning a baby
lifestyle considerations
It is important to have a healthy balanced diet to ensure your body is in best condition to fall pregnant. Eating healthily during your pregnancy does not actually differ that much from any other time; make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limit your intake of processed foods, biscuits and cakes and don't consume too much fat. This is all pretty obvious however when you are pregnant there are certain foods you must avoid; undercooked meat, unwashed vegetables and salads, and food that is unpasturised such as certain cheeses. It may be worthwhile to avoid these foods completely once you start trying for a baby as you will not actually be sure you are pregnant till at least two weeks into the pregnancy. It has also been recommended that you take a folic acid supplement as soon as you start trying for a baby, as this has shown to reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Once you are actually pregnant it can sometimes be hard to follow a healthy diet as you may suffer from nausea and go off certain foods. For two weeks in my early pregnancy all I could eat was beans on toast and ginger nut biscuits without feeling sick. However it was just a phase and when that passed I went back to being able to eat most things and trying to eat healthily.
for more advice on healthy eating and slimming click here
You should stop smoking when you start trying for a baby, again so that you are in best condition of health, and also because as mentioned in the diet section (foods to avoid) you will not be sure that you are pregnant until at least two weeks into the pregnancy. Each puff on a cigarette subjects you and your baby to harmful chemicals such as nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. You should not resume smoking after the birth so as to avoid risking your health and that of your babies and to be honest if you have managed to stop smoking for nine months then why would you want to resume such an unhealthy habit. It is also important to ensure that your partner and any other house member stop smoking so that your baby is not subjected to the harmful effects of the smoke.
for more advice on stopping smoking click here
As you probably already know alcohol is poisonous to your unborn child. It is not known yet exactly how much alcohol is too much during pregnancy, but research does show that it may cause a serious condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Heavy drinking of alcohol while pregnant can also increase the risk of miscarriage. So to be safe and to ensure your unborn baby the best possible start in he or she's development and growth in your womb it is safest to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy.
for more advice on alcohol and pregnancy click here
a good healthy eating
tip is to freeze grapes and
suck them like sweets
It is also important to
ensure that your partner
and any other house
member stop smoking
Other considerations when planning a baby
When you and your partner decide to start trying for a baby there are many other
factors to consider. Obviously sometimes falling pregnant is unplanned, however
if you are choosing to try for a baby then the following are some points to consider:
If you are on a form of birth control such as the pill then you should discuss with
your doctor when to come off it and how long to wait before trying to conceive. It
can take a while for your periods to return to your normal cycle so you should not
worry if you do not conceive straight away. In most cases women don't fall pregnant
for a while anyway sometimes as much as six months to a year before doctors start
to look into a reason why.
If you or your partner has a medical condition that requires regular medication,
then you should discuss wanting to try for a baby with your GP or Specialist.
Your Rubella status is important to consider as if you think you might not be
protected against the Rubella virus (German Measles) then you should ask
your doctor for a blood test. You can be vaccinated at least 3 months before
you conceive. It is worth having done as if you contract this during
pregnancy it can harm the baby.
If you or your partner have any congenital conditions in the family then you
should talk to your GP and if there are any grounds for concern ask your GP
for a referral to a geneticist before you start trying to get pregnant.
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