Last Revised 09/05/2022
When considering fertility, it’s a good idea to develop a pre fertility checklist. This checklist will help you and your partner plan for the pregnancy, set up a fertility schedule, and start taking the supplements and making the behaviour changes that you need.
Use this pre-fertility checklist as a guide:
11 Things to Do Before Getting Pregnant
Follow this pre pregnancy checklist to make the fertility process a little easier:
1. Track Your Ovarian Cycle
Tracking the ovarian cycle is one of the best ways to time conception. This can give you a lot of control in the fertility process and can minimize stress around getting pregnant. You can start tracking your ovarian cycle a few months in advance to understand your rhythm.
Purchase fertility testing kits to make this process easier.
2. Schedule a Preconception Appointment
It doesn’t hurt to schedule a preconception checkup with your doctor or OBGYN to gain medical advice. You can inform your practitioner that you and your partner are trying to get pregnant and together you can come up with a fertility plan.
Your practitioner might recommend some lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, or taking supplements like Inositol to help with fertility, especially if you are PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or diabetes. They want to do a pelvic exam or recommend a blood test depending on your situation.
For a list of key questions to ask, check out “Five Questions To Ask Your Doctor Before Getting Pregnant.”
3. See The Dentist
While the dentist may seem random, maintaining dental hygiene is important for fertility health. Bad dental hygiene is actually associated with pregnancy complications like preterm delivery. Routine dental cleanings and dental care is encouraged prior to conception.
4. Maintain A Healthy Diet
With pregnancy comes natural changes in diet. You’ll want to eat a variety of healthy foods to ensure that your body, and the growing fetus, is well nourished.
Consume whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, and make sure to address any food allergies that you think are present. Hydration is also important, so make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
5. Take Folic Acid
Folic acid is a highly recommended supplement for a healthy pregnancy. Also known as a prenatal vitamin, folic acid improves fetal health and development and reduces the risk of birth defects.
Women of childbearing age are encouraged to take at least 0.4 milligrams (MG) of folic acid one to three months prior to conception. Continue to take folic acid until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
6. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise can help you maintain an optimal weight, reduce stress, and help you feel good throughout pregnancy. Physical activity can improve your overall physical health and improve the health of the pregnancy. Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.
Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your chance of complications during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes.
7. Quit Poor Lifestyle Habits
Smoking, vaping, cannabis, and other illicit drugs can be bad for fetal and personal health. Therefore, you want to come up with a quit plan to cut out these harmful habits.
There are other things that pregnant women should not consume, such as alcohol, caffeine, and raw fish. If you regularly consume any of these things, then you should try to quit a few months prior to your expected conception date. Cut caffeine to 200 mg per day as this can affect your ability to conceive as well.
If you are anticipating this to be a problem, connect with your practitioner during your preconception appointment.
8. Know Your Family’s History
Planning families should be understanding of the potential for genetic implications with any birth. If your family has a history of a certain birth defect, then you’ll want to be prepared for this and discuss potential options with your practitioner.
Even if you do not have the known defect, it may be present in your partner’s family, both your parents, siblings, and aunts and uncles. Write up a list of known, inheritable medical conditions and discuss this with your practitioner. Also consider genetic testing if you’re concerned.
9. Budget For Baby
Pre-conception planning should also include financial planning for a baby. Because having a baby can cost more than expected. Try to at least get your finances in order and start to anticipate new changes that come with a new baby: You may need prenatal coverage on insurance You’ll need medical insurance once the baby is born Prenatal services are covered under Australian Medicare, but some expenses may not be covered depending on the level of coverage you need You’ll have to consider workplace family medical leave
If you need to apply for financial aid, check your eligibility
Consider the costs of having a child, including childcare services
10. Modify Your Medication Plan
Among many of the other changes you’ll need to make, you’ll have to consider the current medications you are taking as some of them can interact with your pregnancy.
For example, if you are on metformin because you are insulin resistant, you may want to switch to a more natural form of insulin control like Inositol, which is safe to take during pregnancy.
Similarly, some allergy medication cannot be taken when you are pregnant. You’ll need to discuss with your doctor which medications are safe and make adjustments where necessary.
11. Talk to Your Employer About Maternity/Paternity Leave
Another important part of the fertility planning process is your paternity leave situation. If you and/or your partner have any leave coverage through your employer, you’ll want to understand exactly what that looks like. How much time do you have before the baby is born, and how much time is given after?
Paternity leave is part of medical coverage freely available in Australia, and your employer may extend this for you.
We hope you find this pre fertility checklist of use. If so please share it with friends.
Fair Work. (2022). Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme. Australian Government: Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
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