Preparing for pregnancy
If you’re thinking of trying to conceive, there are a number of things you may want to think about so you’re prepared for pregnancy – and of course prepared for a new family member!
If you’re considering falling pregnant, you may want to have a look at a few elements of your current lifestyle to see if there’s anything you should change to give your baby the best start to life:
- Quit smoking if you currently smoke.
- Stop drinking alcohol. While an occasional sip to celebrate an event might be ok, current advice^ is clear that it’s best to have no alcohol at all while you’re pregnant.
- Check current medications with your GP. This may include coming off birth control if you currently take it or have a device implanted.
- Consider starting to take an antenatal vitamin.
Having a baby can be a big change to your lifestyle. Before you fall pregnant is a great time to look at your current finances, and understand how they might be effected by your new baby.
- Does your work offer paid maternity leave? If so, is there the option to take it at half-pay to make it last longer if you want to?
- Can you afford to take unpaid leave if you want to?
- How long will your job keep your position for you?
- What will you need to buy new for the baby? And for you?
- Will you need to make changes to your house for a nursery?
- Will you need childcare once the baby is born? How much will that cost and is there some available near you?
Private Health Insurance
If you want to have your baby in a private hospital, you may want to use private health insurance to cover some of the costs – or you may consider self-funding your private maternity care.
If you have private health insurance, the cover that is suitable for you when you’re a single might not be appropriate for a new family. Some insurers might have a waiting period for pregnancy, so checking this one early is important. Some examples of things to ask your insurer include:
- Am I covered for pregnancy?
- What are the things that might not be covered, or may have a gap (eg. scans, obstetrician appointments, anaesthetist if I want an epidural during labour etc)?
- Will my baby also be covered on my policy? Some policies might cover you, but when bub arrives they might not also be covered from birth, so it’s best to check.
- Will your insurer cover meals/accommodation if your partner/husband wants to stay with you in the hospital?
St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital has a number of families who don’t have private health insurance, but choose the hospital’s maternity care because of all the services and support offered. The hospital’s Maternity Care Navigator can talk you through the information and any questions you may have regarding self-funding.
Planning for pregnancy should be an exciting time in your life. We hope this checklist had some helpful tips for you as you prepare for pregnancy.