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Advice Before Pregnancy

Your support when trying to get pregnant

The support of an obstetrician or specialist doctor is invaluable when you are trying to get pregnant.

There are general measures you can take whilst you are trying to get pregnant. An important general recommendation is to take a daily vitamin supplement of folic acid, which is easily available at pharmacies or can be prescribed. The typical recommended dose is 400mcg per day (though will be much higher if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy), and this is to be taken until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Folic acid is a safeguard against neural tube defects (when the spinal cord doesn’t form properly, such as in spina bifida) in an unborn baby. It is advised that you stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when you are trying to conceive and then throughout your pregnancy, as both can affect the health of an unborn baby. Weight loss (or getting your BMI to 25 or below) can reduce your risks of developing some of the most common complications of pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots (thrombosis).

If you already have a condition before you conceive, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor about how to manage this in conjunction with pregnancy, and about any measures you can take to minimise risks. Some vaccinations are also recommended. It is a good idea to check whether your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination is up to date, as rubella can be harmful to a foetus if contracted during pregnancy.

What to do next

The doctors at the Walk-in clinic can give advice tailored to your specific constitutional and nutritional needs and lifestyle demands, and help you to ensure that you are in optimal health for conception and pregnancy.

That is why we have only the most experienced and highly trained obstetricians, who are here to help with any concerns, and to ensure that you have as safe and healthy a pregnancy as possible.

Call us to make an appointment.

  • 02073231023Harley St Area


Will my nutritional needs change during pregnancy?

Yes. One of the main recommendations for all pregnant women is to take a 400mcg supplement of folic acid every day, from the time they are trying to conceive until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Dietary changes can also be helpful. Your obstetrician can discuss these with you.

What other lifestyle changes are recommended for pregnant women?

Both smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can affect the health of a baby in the womb. If you are overweight, getting your BMI to 25 or below before becoming pregnant can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes. Some vaccinations are also recommended.

Why is folic acid important during pregnancy?

Folic acid reduces the risk of your baby developing neural tube defects, such as spina bidifa, which affect the formation of the spinal cord.

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