Top Ten tips for Preconception Care
Tips are for both men and women
1. Start thinking about planning for your baby 4-6 months before you decide to conceive
2. Get checked out for any gynaecological problems and check with your GP that any medication you are on is safe during pregnancy. Make sure you are immune to rubella and check whether you are a carrier of sickle-cell anaemia or thalassaemia.
3. Ensure any chronic medical conditions are as best controlled as possible such as diabetes, hypothyroid, blood pressure
4. Have a healthy balanced diet which contain all the essential food groups (milk, protein, fruit and veg, starches)
5. Follow a sensible weight loss diet if you need to lose weight; no more than 1-2 lbs a week.
6. Make sure you are active for at least 1/2 hour every day
7. Do not take any recreational drugs and do not smoke. Drink sensibly; women should try and have no more than one unit/day if possible
8. Avoid environmental pollutants and take care with food hygiene such as avoiding undercooked eggs, unpasteurized and blue veined cheeses. Wash your hands after handling pets and wear gloves when gardening. Avoid pates and liver.
9. Although eating some oily fish every week is good, do not have more than two portions a week. Of this have no more than 4 medium sized cans or two tuna steaks a week and avoid eating shark, marlin and swordfish
10. Women should take a 400 ug supplement of folic acid daily. Avoid any other supplements, especially vitamin A, and herbal treatments, unless advised by a qualified medical practitioner