You have decided that the time is right to start trying for a baby – you are embarking on the most fabulous journey of nurturing a new life and taking on a new role. Falling pregnant is such a variable process for couples. For some it happens the first month off contraception and for others it’s a long journey with some disappointments along the way. You will not know what your path to parenthood holds until you go off contraception.

 

As you prepare your mind and body, these are the important boxes to tick:

 

-You should be tested for immunity to certain infectious diseases that can affect your developing fetus: German measles; Chicken pox; HIV; Syphilis; Hep B and Herpes. If you are not immune to some of these, you may need to have a vaccination before going off contraception.

-You will need to stop medications that may harm your baby such as certain anti-epileptic meds, acne treatments, blood thinning tablets and some mood stabilizing mediations. Ask your doctor before changing any medication.

-Stop smoking and using recreational drugs and cut back on alcohol as you prepare your body to be the healthiest space for your new baby.

-Start a folic acid supplement before you fall pregnant.

 

Most importantly, as you prepare yourself for the journey, choose the right caregiver. We know that the likelihood of a Caesar versus Natural delivery is strongly driven by your doctor or midwife, which is why Heather Wood of Thula Baby Centre, Mouille Point believes that “you need to find and meet with a caregiver you feel shares your philosophy for birthing your baby. This may take quite some research - first find out what you want in a caregiver and then find someone who meets these criteria in your area.”

 

If falling pregnant is taking time, you should know that the average couple takes a year to conceive. If you are over 37, you should consider consulting a specialist if you have not fallen pregnant within 6 months of trying.

 

Remember that stress, whether about work or anxiety about not falling pregnant is not helpful to the cause. While you are most likely to fall pregnant around mid-cycle and there are apps to monitor your likelihood of falling pregnant, they can create undue pressure and anxiety.

 

The top 5 Babies R Us tips for being prepared-ish to fall pregnant are:

  • Take a folic acid supplement
  • Do your research and find a like-minded caregiver to advise you on tests, medications and supplements
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices ahead of pregnancy
  • Decrease stress where possible
  • Don’t over think the process but get professional advice if you have been trying to fall pregnant for longer 6 months if you are over 37

 

Becoming a parent is a physical, emotional and financial shift of epic proportions, use the time before falling pregnant to mindfully focus on preparation for parenthood.

 

For more information on preparing for pregnancy and fertility, read ch4 Pregnancy Sense (Faure, Searle & Wood) - https://www.babiesrus.co.za/book-pregnancy-sense.html