Planning to get pregnant?

Tips from an M.D. on how to prepare for your pregnancy.

Planning a pregnancy , many women ask themselves, if they need to do something in preparation.

There are three main aspects to pay attention to.

1. Folic Acid

It is recommend for women to take folic acid when trying to get pregnant.
This can be either taken as a single preparation (e.g. Folio Forte) or as a combination nutritional supplement (e.g. Femibion). The products can be bought in pharmacies and drugstores.

What does folic acid do? It is a vitamin that is involved in many important metabolic processes in the body. It is also called folate or vitamin B9.  If there is a deficiency of folic acid in a pregnant woman, this can lead to a so-called neural tube defect even in early pregnancy. These are malformations of the brain and nervous system such as open back (spina bifida) and anencephaly (under/non-development of the brain). In addition, folic acid deficiency can promote premature births and be involved in the development of heart defects.
It is therefore strongly recommended to take folic acid if you want to get pregnant.

2. Vaccinations

It is very important to check your vaccination passport before pregnancy. Since not all vaccinations can be given during pregnancy, the Standing Commission on Vaccinations (STIKO) recommends that women of childbearing age have some vaccinations before a possible pregnancy. Here it is particularly important to know whether you have been sufficiently vaccinated against chickenpox, measles and above all rubella. These vaccinations are given with so-called live vaccines, which must not be vaccinated during pregnancy. After a vaccination with a live vaccine, it is also recommended to become pregnant only after one month.

Vaccinations against influenza and whooping cough are recommended during pregnancy. 
In our blog post about whooping cough & Influenza  you can read more.

These vaccinations work with inactivated vaccines (e.g. for influenza, tetanus and whooping cough) and therefore these vaccinations can be given during pregnancy.

The following recommendations apply to adults:

  • Tetanus/diphtheria (Tetanus, Diphterie) booster every 10 years
  • whooping cough (pertussis) (Keuchhusten) one-time refreshment in adulthood with the administration of tetanus/diphtheria
  • Measles (Masern) if no two vaccinations were given as a child or your antibodies are low
  • Chickenpox (varicella) (Windpocken) if no two vaccinations were given as a child or the antibodies are low.
  • Rubella (Röteln) if no two vaccinations were given as a child or the antibodies are low.
  • Polio (Polio) follow-up vaccination if not vaccinated 3 times as a child
  • Hepatitis B (Hepatitis B) if not vaccinated 3 times as a child

Here is the official recommendation of STIKO

cytomegaly and toxoplasmosis

These two diseases can cause considerable damage or even death in early pregnancy, sometimes even before you know you are pregnant. For this reason, it is recommended to be careful when cleaning cat toilets if you are planning to get pregnant. Wash fruit and vegetables well and thoroughly and do not use the same spoon/cup for small children. Especially when changing diapers, remember to wash your hands after contact with a full diaper and do not put the toddler's pacifier in your mouth. You can read details about these diseases in our blog post:

Cytomegaly & Toxoplasmosis

Taking these three aspects into consideration, you should be well prepared for the adventure of pregnancy.
We wish you all the best! You know where to find us :-) 

 

December 2020 Dr. Christine Krämer
This blog post is a personal recommendation and based on personal experience. It has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“

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