Planning a Pregnancy

Should I have Pre-Conception Counselling?

As a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, Dr. Colin Walsh frequently sees couples for pre-pregnancy counselling and helps them achieve an uncomplicated pregnancy. Most women will not require a pre-pregnancy consultation but should be seen by their obstetrician during the 1st trimester. Women who are at higher risk may benefit from a pre-pregnancy visit, to discuss any risk factors and create an individualised antenatal care plan. This includes:

  • Women with long-standing medical problems
  • Women with previous pregnancy complications
  • Women planning pregnancy through IVF/ICSI

This is an important consultation and we recommend that, if possible, women attend with their partners. We are happy to see any couple for pre-pregnancy counselling, even if they simply want extra peace of mind prior to conceiving.

What to Do Before Conceiving

The best way to achieve a healthy pregnancy is to be healthy yourself at the time of conception. Most women discover they are pregnant when they are already 4-6 weeks along (when they miss a period) but the initial few weeks of pregnancy is the critical stage for fetal development. Therefore it is recommended that women adopt as healthy a lifestyle as possible in the months prior to conceiving.

  • Stop smoking
  • Take a folic acid supplement (0.4mg daily) for 3 months prior to conception
  • Minimise alcohol intake as much as possible
  • If you use prescription medication, check with an experienced knowledgeable obstetrician about whether it is safe in early pregnancy.
  • Aim for a healthy body weight
  • Check that your vaccinations are up to date, including Rubella (German measles)
  • If you have a chronic medical condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, it is advisable to attend for a pre-pregnancy consultation, to ensure the optimal start to the pregnancy

Other Pregnancy Lists

  • Mater Hospital
  • North Shore Private Hospital
  • The University Of Sydney
  • Royal College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists