Before you can even begin to think about having a baby you have to make sure that both you and your partner are at your healthiest. After all your body is going to be the baby’s home for its first 9 months. So making that home as healthy as possible should be first on your agenda. You should take a year to prepare for your body and lifestyle to adapt to the changes. The first thing you should do is make an appointment to see your doctor who may advice you on a pre-pregnancy health checkup whether you have any health problems or not. Here is a list of the things that you will need to do to help you get your health into order before trying to conceive. You should also take note o these to help when having a checkup.
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions regarding your health and lifestyle. It is always best to be prepared in advance here are a few things that you should let him know about.
Any medication that you or your partner are taking. Even some over the counter drugs can affect the developing baby, so telling your doctor about every medicine that you are taking is essential. The doctor might want to change some medications and stop some before trying to conceive.
Any serious or chronic diseases that you may have had - diabetes, low or high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy. There might be need to change some medications before conceiving.
Genetic problems in your family such as Down’s syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
The type of contraception you are using. Remember with may contraception’s such as the coil you will have to wait at least 2 months after removing it before you can begin to try to conceive.
Any problems that you have had in previous pregnancies such as, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, premature birth or any complications that you may have had during labor.
- Also let your doctor know if you have had any termination’s.
- Any menstruation problems that you have had.
- Have you had an eating disorder?
- Any sexual disease that you have had such as, Chlamydia which can make both men and women infertile.
Other things that you should inform your GP about are:
- Your diet/eating patterns.
- Any exercise program that you are currently doing.
- Risks with lead at work or home.
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD