Things to do before you fall pregnant

By Dr Elna Rudolph

My Sexual Health, Intercare Silver Lakes

There are many things that you can do before you fall pregnant to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby:

Get a full physical examination to check:

  • Blood pressure and pulse rate
  • Heart for a murmur
  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Pelvic examination and pap smear

Do blood tests for:

  • Anaemia and other defiencies (FBC)
  • Thyroid functions
  • Blood sugar
  • Blood group
  • HIV
  • Syphilis
  • Any other tests that your doctor suggests according to your medical history.

Ask your doctor for the following Vaccinations

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) - you should get it, even if you have had it as a child. If you have never had it, you will need two dosages, one month apart.
  • Adacel Quadra (Tetatus, Polio, Diphteria and Pertussis) - Pertussis is whooping cough; a major cause of hospitalisation in infants that can be prevented by vaccinating adults who come in contact with children.
  • Varicellla (Chicken pox) - only if you have never had chicken pox.
  • Flu – all women trying to fall pregnant and all pregnant women further than 12 weeks should get this.

You can have all these vaccinations now, even if you are not planning to fall pregnant soon, they all stay effective for at least ten years (apart from flu, which needs to be done annually). You have to wait at least a month after your last vaccination before you can fall pregnant.

Stop smoking!

Get to a healthy weight.

Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Take a pregnancy multi-vitamin with Folic Acid to prevent birth defects before you start trying and all the way through your pregnancy.

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