So, you're thinking of trying to have a baby—now what? Part one

So, you're thinking of trying to have a baby—now what? Part one

Welcome to our four part blog series on trying to have a baby. Part one covers how to optimise your health before pregnancy and underlying health problems.

So you’ve decided that it might be time to think about having a baby. The months ahead will be an exciting time in your life and there is plenty to think about before the pitter-patter of tiny feet arrive. Our four part blog covers what you need to know about trying to conceive.

Do I need to see my doctor before I start trying to conceive?

Generally, yes. Now is the time to see your GP (or find a GP if you don’t already have one) and make sure your health is in order. It’s a good idea to discuss your general health and wellbeing and also your plans to conceive.

Your GP will likely suggest some preconception blood tests to check your blood count and blood group, check your immunity to rubella (German measles) and check for other potentially significant infections such as hepatitis and HIV. If you aren’t immune to rubella there is the opportunity to vaccinate against this before pregnancy.

Some women may benefit from additional tests depending on their medical history. Now is also a great time to make sure you are up to date with your pap smear.

What if I have an underlying health problem or I’m on medications when I’m not pregnant–do I need advice before conceiving?

Some women, and some men, have pre-existing health problems that may be significant during a pregnancy for both mum and baby. If this is a concern please talk to your GP for some initial advice.

Depending on your situation you may benefit from formal preconception counselling to assess your health issues and make the best of your conditions and medications prior to pregnancy.

Your GP can refer you to an appropriate clinic or specialist, such as the preconception clinic we run here at the Mater, if this is appropriate for you.


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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