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Pregnancy

If you and your partner are thinking of starting a family there are a few main points which will help towards a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Congratulations You Are Pregnant!

Once you know you are pregnant and have informed the surgery, they will guide and advise you through your pregnancy; you do not have to worry about a thing. Even after the birth the surgery takes care of you and your baby, answering all those questions you never thought of asking before. Your partner will want to feel included so keep him posted and ask him if he wants to come with you when you reach the key stages of your pregnancy.

General Health - Important Tips

It is important when planning your pregnancy to ensure that you are protected from certain diseases, which may affect you and the baby later. German Measles (Rubella) is the most important one to be immune to, a simple blood test will identify whether or not you should be immunised. If you need to be immunised against Rubella it is very important that you allow 3 months between the injection and trying to start a family.

A visit to the practice nurse for a cervical smear is a very good idea when planning a baby; some conditions if not treated beforehand are difficult to resolve during pregnancy.

Check your weight at the start of your planning; being as near you ideal weight as possible will make carrying much easier, and getting you shape back afterwards will not be so difficult.

Diet

Eating a normal healthy diet with at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day is a good start. By increasing the amounts of food with good folic acid content, you will naturally help the health of the baby inside the womb. A lack of folic acid in the diet has been linked to cases of Spina Bifida. If you require further general information on the importance of your diet and the need for folic acid speak to your Doctor. Any woman with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 should, ideally seek medical advice from your doctor before becoming pregnant so that a larger dose of folic acid can be prescribed. All pregnant women should be taking Vitamin D 10 mg. once daily, throughout pregnancy.

Alcohol

If you have an alcoholic drink during pregnancy your baby is having one too. Regular drinking whilt pregnant is not recommended, so limit yourself to the absolute minimum, none perferably.

Smoking

Some research has linked the increase of childhood Asthma and other respiratory conditions with smoking. Try and give up smoking prior to getting pregnant, this gives you and your baby a chance to be happy and healthier. If you need help to stop smoking make an appointment to speak to your doctor about the best ways.

Exercise

Walking, swimming, dancing; all forms of exercise will help to keep you fit during pregnancy, especially in the latter stages when it is easy to just sit. Ask the surgery or check the notice boards for any group activities so that you can be with other expectant mothers to socialise and talk about the important things.

Vaccinations in Pregnancy

The Department of Health advises that all women receive the Pertussis vaccination from 20 weeks of pregnancy (after your scan) to protect the unborn child from Whooping Cough.

Flu Vaccination

Flu (Influenza) vaccination to also offered to all pregnant women during the winter flu season and it is recommended that women are vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.

More information regarding vacinations during pregnancy can be obtained from the midwife or online at www.nhs.uk/vaccinations

 


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