There are things you can do now before you try for a baby that will affect your fertility and the health of your baby.
Your health before pregnancy will affect the lifelong health of your baby. By following the advice below you can:
- improve your fertility
- protect your baby’s future health
- bring down your risk of problems in pregnancy.
Once you start trying for a baby (have stopped contraception) you won’t know you’re pregnant for the first few weeks.
So, if you’re trying for a baby, making these changes sooner rather than later will give you peace of mind when you get pregnant.
These are the things to do before pregnancy make your pregnancy and baby healthier.
- If you smoke, quit smoking or cut down
- If you drink alcohol, stop or cut down
- If you take drugs, stop
- Start taking folic acid now, it needs time to build up in your body
- Have a healthy balanced diet – it improves fertility as well as affecting your baby’s future health
- Cut down on caffeine if you drink a lot
- Try to get closer to a healthy weight if you are overweight.
- Become more active if you are not already – this has been shown to improve fertility and will make your pregnancy and baby healthier
- Have a cervical screening test if you haven’t had one in the last three years
- Check that you have had the MMR vaccine against rubella
- Don’t take any new medication or stop taking existing medications without talking to your GP or healthcare professional
- Get tested for STIs if you think there’s a possibility you may have one
1. Get help to stop smoking
Smoking affects fertility (the ability to get pregnant) in men and women. If you stop smoking now it will improve your chances of conceiving. Smoking has also been shown to damage the DNA of your baby. During pregnancy smoking is the biggest risk factor for serious complications in pregnancy that you can change.
2. Start taking folic acid now
Folic acid needs to build up in your body to provide maximum protection for your baby against neural tube defects. Many women conceive within one month of trying so it is ideal to start taking folic acid two months before you stop contraception. If you have already stopped contraception, start taking a 400mcg folic acid supplement daily until you are 12 weeks pregnant.Please Scroll Below for NEXT Page to continue