Health advice for mother and baby

To prepare for your baby, you have to keep healthy! It's important to eat healthy and have a balanced diet. On top of that, if you want to become pregnant, you should avoid high levels of stress as there is a complex interplay between high stress levels and the menstrual cycle. Here are some things you can do to prepare for your impending pregnancy.

  1. Take folic acid
  2. Get vaccinated
  3. Avoid smoking
  4. Avoid alcohol
  5. Manage stress

Prepare for a healthy pregnancy by taking folic acid 3 months ahead

Folic Acid is something that all ladies should be taking if they are planning to conceive or are already pregnant in the first trimester.

How much folic acid should you take if preparing for pregnancy?

Folic acid is a safe supplement and a woman can take 5mg or at least 400 mcg of folic acid per day, ideally from 3 months prior to conception until week 12 of pregnancy.

Folic Acid is a type of vitamin B that is needed for

  • The formation of red blood cells and
  • The development of the baby's nervous system
  • Preventing malformations in the baby, such as spina bifida

Spina bifida is essentially a birth defect caused by incomplete closure of the spine which, depending on the severity can cause life-long medical deficits. Folic acid is highly recommended in ladies with a positive family history or previous child with spinal bifida.

Also, for those intending to get pregnant, do ensure that you have immunity to the following:

  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Varicella (Chicken pox)
  • Hepatitis B

If you don't, do set aside some time (~3 months before conception) as certain vaccine courses require a longer period of completion and are safer to be given in a non-pregnant state.

The reason for keeping up to date with your vaccinations is that some of the above diseases can be harmful to both mother and child. In the worst case scenarios, they could lead to birth defects that are not easily picked up on ultrasound, miscarriages or even chronic illnesses in your child.

Click the link for the complete listing of articles for Pregnancy Week 1 - Week 40.

Ref: L20