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Planning for pregnancy : Overview

Planning for pregnancy

There are variety of belongings you 
can do to organize yourself for pregnancy and also increase your chances of getting a healthy pregnancy. Things like eating healthy, maintaining your fitness, taking folate, quitting smoking and alcohol will all be beneficial to you and your baby. It is also very important that your vaccinations are up to date as there are some that can’t be given once you have fallen pregnant.

Planning for your pregnancy

If you're brooding about 
pregnancy, visit your doctor for a preconception consult. They will provide you with expert advice on planning your pregnancy.

The preconception period (three months before 
pregnancy) is that the time to form life changes which will help boost fertility, reduce problems during pregnancy and assist in recovery from birth.

Folic acid

If you and your partner are getting to 
conceive, you ought to start taking vitamin Bc before you get pregnant. Folic acid helps to provide the best health outcomes for your baby when it is growing. Taking vitamin Bc daily before and through pregnancy also prevents the occurrence of ectoderm defects, like rachischisis , in your baby.

Folate and pregnancy

Folate and vitamin Bc are important for pregnancy since they will 
help prevent birth defects referred to as ectoderm defects, like rachischisis . Folate may be a B group vitamin needed for healthy growth and development.

This vitamin is understood 
as ‘folate’ when it's found naturally in food, like green leafy vegetables, and as ‘folic acid’ when it's added to food, such as bread and breakfast cereals, or used in dietary supplements.
Folate has been proven to be particularly important for the development of the nervous system and for preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) in babies.


Spina bifida is one among 
the foremost common birth defects. It occurs within the first weeks of pregnancy, when the brain and medulla spinalis are forming.

Folic acid supplements: These are available in Australia over the counter from pharmacies and through your doctor at varying doses. Some women need more folate than others. Talk to your doctor about what dose of vitamin Bc 
would be right for you. Generally, when trying to urge pregnant or within the early months of pregnancy you'll got to search for supplements that contain a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid; these will generally be supplements that contain only vitamin Bc or special pregnancy supplements. Multi-vitamin supplements don’t normally contain enough folic acid. The best thanks to guarantee you get enough vitamin Bc is to require a daily vitamin Bc supplement a minimum of 1 month before and three months after conception. You don’t need to take folic acid supplements after that.

Folate-rich foods: Many foods are naturally rich in folate. But note that folate is water-soluble and is easily destroyed by cooking. Vegetables are best lightly cooked or even eaten raw. Cooking by microwave or steaming is best. The following are good sources of natural folate:


Ø  fruit (avocado, grapefruit, orange)

Ø  legumes (chickpeas, soya beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, lentils, haricot beans)

Ø  eggs

Ø  nuts

Ø  juices (many apple and orange juices)

Immunisation and pregnancy

During pregnancy, your system is of course 
weaker than usual. This means you're more vulnerable to certain infections and illnesses which may be harmful to you and your developing baby.

Following some simple precautions will help minimise the danger 
to you and your baby of developing these health issues.

Immunisation is a simple and effective way to protect yourself and your baby from certain infections. Before becoming pregnant, check that your vaccinations are up to date to protect against diseases that can cause illness in you or your unborn baby.

Vaccinations before pregnancy

Measles, mumps and rubella

Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Checking your immunity with a blood test before becoming pregnant and having a booster vaccination if required will help protect your unborn child when you do become pregnant. This should be done in consultation with your doctor. It is recommended that you simply 
wait 4 weeks after receiving this vaccine before trying to urge pregnant.

Chickenpox (varicella)

Chickenpox infection during pregnancy can cause severe illness in you and your unborn baby. A simple biopsy 
can determine if you've got immunity to the present infection. If you're not protected, speak to your doctor about receiving two doses of the vaccine for full immunity. It is recommended that you simply wait 4 weeks after receiving this vaccine before trying to urge pregnant.


Protection against serious illness caused by pneumococcal disease is recommended for smokers and people with chronic heart, lung or kidney disease, or diabetes.

Travel vaccinations

Vaccines that are required to travel to other countries are not always recommended during pregnancy. Find out more about travel and pregnancy.

Genetic counselling

Genetic counsellors can review your family and medical history, help you learn about how the condition is inherited, give you information about genetic tests and provide advice on support services available to you.

What is genetic counselling?

Genetic counselling involves talking about a genetic condition with a health professional who has qualifications in both genetics and counselling.

Genetic conditions are caused by changes or mistakes in genes. These conditions may be inherited from one or both parents.

Genetic counselling can help you understand more about an inherited condition, what causes it and how you and your family can adjust to it and plan for the future.

Some of the genetic conditions (sometimes referred to as ‘hereditary disorders’) people talk to a genetic counsellor about are:


Ø  cystic fibrosis

Ø  Down syndrome

Ø  Fragile X syndrome

Ø  Haemochromatosis

Ø  Haemophilia

Ø  Huntington’s disease

Ø  muscular dystrophy

Ø  neural tube defects



Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of

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