Thinking of having a baby?

If you’re thinking about starting a family or considering having another child, it’s a great idea to visit the One For Women clinic to chat with one of our specialist GPs first.

We call this kind of session ‘pre-pregnancy counselling’ and in it we cover off topics that are most pertinent to your particular situation including:

  • Optimising your health
  • Minimising any potential risks to your baby
  • Improving chances of conception.

Why pre-pregnancy counselling?

At One For Women we take a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to health care. We also believe prevention and/or early identification of potential issues which leads to early intervention ensures the best chances of long-term health for you and your family.

Pre-pregnancy counselling can help us identify and action simple steps such as taking supplements or ensuring appropriate immunity to significantly reduce risks to your baby. A thorough assessment of your family history can reveal disorders or genetic conditions that could complicate your pregnancy. Preventing a pre-term birth by good pre-pregnancy counselling and ongoing re-assessment of risks throughout your pregnancy is high on our priority list, and no doubt on yours too.

When to have pre-pregnancy counselling

It is recommended all women and their partners attend a pre-pregnancy counselling appointment roughly three months before they’d like to start trying to conceive. For most women, a good time to attend is before they stop using contraception.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions or any challenges in previous pregnancies, we’d recommend coming for an appointment before subsequent pregnancies as well.

What to expect at your pre-pregnancy appointment

We’ll start by discussing the personal and family medical history of you and your partner. This is followed by a brief examination, and a cervical screening test if this is not up to date.

Then we chat.

If we’ve identified any personal medical history such as low thyroid or low iron that could affect you or your baby, we can discuss how to test for and manage this condition.

If we’ve identified any family history of genetic conditions that could affect you or your baby, we can discuss how to proceed with any screening tests that are available.

We’ll chat about your menstrual cycle and when is your best chance to conceive, or whether you might benefit from ovulation tracking.

We’ll check your immunity to common preventable diseases such as rubella, measles and mumps. If your immunity is low, we can provide further immunisation to protect you and your baby.

There are also some lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, nutrition and weight, exercise and travelling that we should discuss with you.

We then send you on your way and wish you the best of luck as you try to conceive and look forward to seeing you in the early days of your pregnancy. You will also have the confidence that we’re here to help you if you’re having difficulty becoming pregnant.

By Dr Erin Horsley, GP/GP Anaesthetist

First published: March 2019

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