safe motherhood

Finding out you are pregnant

Pre-conceptual care

Am I pregnant?
Pre-conceptual care
Early symptoms
Home tests
Visiting your doctor's practice
Your feelings
Telling other people
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If you are trying for a baby, there's plenty you can do to help your chances of conceiving quickly and having a healthy baby. Use the time before you get a positive test result to look after yourself and give your baby the best start you can.

Here's what to check up on and sort out before you conceive. If you are already pregnant don't be alarmed, just start these measures now and ask your GP if you have any concerns.


• Eat properly balanced meals to ensure you are getting the correct range of nutrients. Fresh simple foods are best.

• Take a folic acid supplement (ideally for three months before conception and for the first three months of your pregnancy). This will help protect your baby from neural tube defects


• Ask your GP for a blood test to ensure you are immune to rubella (German measles). Don't assume that you are immune simply because you have previously been vaccinated (your immunity may have diminished). Wait at least three months after the vaccination before trying to conceive.

• If you are concerned that you may be anaemic (lacking iron), your doctor can check for this at the same time as your rubella test. You may become more anaemic during pregnancy so it's good to boost your reserves before conception. This can be achieved by eating well and taking an iron supplement, which your doctor will prescribe if necessary.

• If you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma or epilepsy, ask your doctor what the impact of pregnancy may be on your condition.

• If you are taking any ongoing medication, check with your GP before trying for a baby.

• Make sure you're at a healthy weight - being under or overweight can cause problems in pregnancy. Try to boost your fitness before conception to help your body can handle the extra demands pregnancy will place upon it.