There are many ways you can prepare for your pregnancy. These simple tips on how you and your partner can improve your general health will ensure you not only have the best chance of getting pregnant, but will also help you maximise your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Folic AcidFolic acid is a vitamin found in foods such as green leafy vegetables and fruits such as pawpaw, and is essential for growing a healthy baby. Taking folic acid supplements daily for three months prior to conception and throughout your pregnancy is proven to reduce the chance of your baby getting Spina Bifida, a serious defect of the spine and skull.
Cigarettes & AlcoholBoth potential mothers and fathers are strongly advised to stop smoking and drinking when trying to conceive. For women, quitting helps to protect your egg levels and also reduce the chances of miscarriage, growth-restricted babies and bleeding in pregnancy. For both men and women, quitting smoking also reduces the chances of losing a newborn baby to sudden infant death, also known as cot death.
Having a healthy weightA healthy weight is important for getting pregnant and for having a healthy pregnancy. Working out your body mass index (BMI) is a good way to determine how healthy your weight is.
BMI = Your weight (kgs) / Your height (m) x 2If you are overweight (BMI > 25) your chance of getting pregnant with fertility treatment is usually lower, whatever the cause of your infertility may be. Also, being very overweight (BMI > 35) poses additional risks during pregnancy. For these reasons, most fertility clinics will postpone fertility treatments until the BMI is acceptable (under 30). At the Trinidad & Tobago IVF & Fertility Centre, fertility treatment is generally not offered until the woman’s BMI is below 37. If you are underweight (BMI < 19), this can also cause problems.