What do I need to think about before I get pregnant?

By | March 06th, 2016 | Comments Off on What do I need to think about before I get pregnant?

(adapted from Dr. Kirkham’s Pregnancy Planning Guide)

  • start folic acid (0.4-1 mg/day)
  • have your immunity to German measles (rubella) checked by a blood test
  • if you have not had chickenpox as a child, have your immunity to chickenpox (varicella) checked by a blood test
  • some couples should be tested for inherited disorders that could affect the baby. Examples include

        Tay Sachs disease and Canavan disease testing in people of Jewish decent

       Testing for hemoglobinopathies (such as thalassemia) in Asian, African, Mediterranean, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, East Indian nationalities

  • if there is a family history of birth defects, inherited diseases or recurrent miscarriage, speak to your doctor to see if any testing before pregnancy is advisable
  • get tested for HIV if not done recently
  • consider getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases
  • obtain help to quit smoking and using street drugs
  • stop or minimize alcohol consumption
  • discuss the safety of any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medications you use with your caregiver
  • avoid contact with cat litter if you think you might be pregnant
  • eat well and exercise regularly
  • if you are over or underweight, speak to your doctor for help in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
  • visit your doctor to discuss preparing for pregnancy