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1.09 The Fertility Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is recommended prior to and during pregnancy. It is also important to maintain a suitable diet and exercise program to optimize your reproductive health. It is recommended that you discussing your own circumstances with your fertility specialist or nurse however there are some recommendations with regard to diet and lifestyle that apply to most patients:

  1. Smoking- is contraindicated when trying to conceive and during the course of pregnancy and throughout the infancy period. Smoking has a negative impact on the ability to achieve and maintain a pregnancy, so it is strongly discouraged for both male and female partners undergoing a treatment cycle

  2. Can I have caffeine? - It is recommended that women limit caffeine intake to 200mgs (one cup) a day when trying to conceive and once they have conceived

  3. Can I work?- Yes returning to work is not contraindicated in early pregnancy

  4. Can I lift children/ heavy objects? Yes, in early pregnancy the uterus is well protected in the pelvis meaning that every day activities like lifting/carrying children, groceries or other heavier objects is totally fine. Your Specialist will inform you if there is some reason that you need to rest rather than continue with everyday life.

  5. Can I take paracetamol / panadeine - Paracetamol is considered the first choice of painkiller if you are pregnant since it has been taken by large numbers of pregnant women without any adverse effect on the mother or baby. Panadeine is also perfectly fine to take whilst trying to conceive and whilst pregnant and like Paracetamol has not been known to cause any adverse effects on mothers and babies.

  6. Can I continue with Acupuncture? It is completely fine to continue having acupuncture during your treatment cycle

  7. Can I use sauna’s/spas? It's advisable to avoid them because of the risks of overheating as sauna’s and spas can rapidly increase your core temperature.

  8. Zika virus: Women planning a pregnancy or at risk of pregnancy should either defer travel to high and moderate risk areas, or avoid pregnancy during travel and for at least 8 weeks afterwards. For asymptomatic people, serological testing should occur at least 4 weeks after the last day in a Zika virus affected country.

  9. Vaccines:

  • The influenza vaccine is recommended during the flu season for those women wanting to conceive or have recently conceived. Not only does it prevent a serious infection in mum but may also help to protect baby for the first few months of life.

  • Whopping cough vaccine is currently recommended with each pregnancy. The recommended time for this vaccine is early in the third trimester.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella commonly known as MMR is contraindicated in pregnant women and it is also recommended that pregnancy should be avoided for 28 days following this vaccination.

  • Tetanus whilst not routinely recommended for pregnant women can be given under certain circumstances.

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