What do women need to know prior to falling pregnant?
“It's very important that you see your doctor for a ‘pre-pregnancy check-up’," Dr Dharmesh Kothari from Wollongong Obstetrics and Gynaecology said.
“Your doctor will ask you about things that could affect your pregnancy.
“For instance, he or she might ask about your diet, lifestyle, use of birth control, past pregnancies, medicines, and any diseases that you have or that run in your family.”
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These things should be done before you try to get pregnant:
- Discuss any medicines or herbal drugs you take and find out if you need to make changes
- Discuss whether you are up to date on vaccines
- Start taking a multivitamin that has folate
- Know which foods you should avoid and which foods are best
- Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs not prescribed for you by a doctor
Understand the risks to you and your baby if:
- You have any medical conditions
- There are diseases that run in your family or your partner's family
- Discuss whether there are any harmful substances in your home or work
- Try to reach a healthy weight
You should seek genetic counselling
If you have had a child with a genetic disorder, a family history of genetic disorders, or if you’re aged over 35 you are at a higher risk.
Genetic disorders include Down’s syndrome, thalassaemia and cystic fibrosis - some of these are more common in certain populations.
Your doctor can provide advice about genetic testing and counselling for yourself and your partner.
Develop a healthy lifestyle and exercise schedule – your partner's health is as important as yours in the pre-conception period.
With practice locations at Wollongong Private and Shellharbour Private Hospitals, contact Dr Dharmesh Kothari before you start planning on having a baby.
Dr Kothari is well qualified with many years of experience both overseas and locally.
The benefit of seeing Dr Kothari is that, if there is an issue, he can treat problems and diseases of the female reproductive system.
Also he is one of the few surgeons in the area to offer less-invasive laparoscopy surgeries available to women in the Illawarra area.
For more information about planning for a healthy pregnancy, see the website at www.wollongongObGy.com.au for more information.