So you have decided that you want an addition to your family. You think a beautiful little baby will be the right addition, either as a first-born or another child to share in your family. However, planning for a baby means you need to evaluate your life and your life choices in order to help increase the chances of pregnancy and more importantly to help the child’s fetal development. Here are some important elements you need to think about when considering Planning for a Baby?
Table of Contents
1. Folic Acid
You need to take around 400 micrograms of folic acid supplements every day while you’re trying for a baby. Then after you’re pregnant you need to maintain the intake for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. This can help combat spinal Bifida – a defect that affects the spinal cord development in the baby. You can talk to your GP or buy folic acid supplements from health stores and pharmacies.
It is important that you think about your tobacco intake as it has been well documented that smoking during pregnancy has been linked to health problems in newborn babies, from premature birth, cot death, miscarriage and breathing problems in later life. Why not talk to your GP or the team at Simply Better Births to talk about how you can cut back on the cigarettes to help your baby’s development.
It is important that you cut out alcohol as when you’re pregnant, alcohol is passed to your unborn baby. Therefore, too much alcohol can hinder your baby’s development. If you choose to drink, protect your baby, by only drinking a maximum of two units of alcohol once or twice a week, and don’t get drunk. NICE advises women who are pregnant to avoid alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy. If you need further advice why not talk to your GP or alternatively why not get in contact with the team at Simply Better Births?
Keeping your weight to a healthy level is important. If you’re overweight, you might have problems conceiving a child. Being obese can cause problems during pregnancy like high blood pressure and these problems are passed on to the child. Therefore, it is important that you start by eating healthy, partake in moderate exercise (swimming, walking, etc), and not gain too much weight before getting pregnant.
It’s important that you make sure you are immunized before trying for a baby. Rubella, for example, can harm your child and if you catch it during pregnancy it can cause developmental problems. Therefore, visit your GP before you start trying for a baby – make sure you’re up-to-date with all your immunizations.
Long-term conditions – If you have a long term condition, like heart disease, epilepsy, or asthma, get in contact with your GP first to find out how you can better manage your condition and have a healthy pregnancy. For more advice why not get in contact with the midwives at Simply Better Births to find out how you can manage your condition better?