Planning your pregnancy

If you’re planning on getting pregnant, you can improve your chances of conceiving and having a successful pregancy by following these simple steps:

Folic Acid

Take a 400 microgram (400mcg) supplement of folic acid every day while you’re trying to get pregnant, and up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. This is advised due to the fact that folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.

Stop smoking

Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of health problems, including premature birth, low birthweight, cot death (also known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), miscarriage and breathing problems/wheezing in the first six months of life.

For more information and advice about stubbing out for good, click here.

Cut out alcohol

Don’t drink alcohol if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Alcohol can be passed to your unborn baby, and the Chief Medical Officers recommend that the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all.

Keep a health weight

If you’re overweight you may have problems getting pregnant. Being overweight or obese also raises the risk of some pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, blood clots, miscarriage and gestational diabetes.

Long-term conditions

If you have a long-term or chronic condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it could affect the decisions you make about your pregnancy – for example, where you might want to give birth.

While there is usually no reason why you shouldn’t have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby, some health conditions do need careful management to minimise risks to both you and your baby. Have a pre-conception discussion with your specialist or GP

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