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How can I prepare for pregnancy?

A planned pregnancy is always advisable. This enables you to be as fit as possible and as healthy as possible embarking on your pregnancy. Ideally you should take folic acid 400mcg per day for 12 weeks before and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

You should ensure that you are immune to rubella (German measles) and that you are up to date with your cervical smears if you are over 25 years.

Ideally your weight should be in the normal range for you, as measured by BMI (Weight in KG/Heights in metres x2). A normal BMI is between 19-25. You can use the calculator here to calculate your BMI.

Keep a menstrual calendar so you know the date of your last period and how regular your three previous cycles were. This helps in determining your expected date of delivery.

Maintain a healthy diet, avoiding shell fish and unpasteurised cheese in particular.

Once you begin trying to become pregnant it’s best to avoid alcohol, although an occasional glass of wine won’t cause any problems.

If you have any underlying medical conditions, seek medical advice before embarking on pregnancy. In cases of underlying medical conditions, it’s best that they are as stable as possible prior to pregnancy.

Generally, most achieve pregnancy within a few months of actively trying to get pregnant. If you have not achieved pregnancy after 12 months trying then its best to seek medical advice, as it may be worth doing some investigations to identify any reasons for the delay.