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Medicine and Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

Pregnancy and childbearing takes a lot of planning and preparation. This involves physical, emotional and psychological toning for the couple. There are also a lot of lifestyle changes required for a safe pregnancy. You will need to prepare your body for pregnancy. This will involve paying a lot of attention to what you consume, because what you eat goes directly or indirectly to your baby before and during pregnancy.

Your baby’s organs begin forming around 17 days after conception when most people don’t know they are pregnant. Most doctors recommend that you take a little control over the natural process of pregnancy and see a doctor before you conceive to make sure you and your baby get a healthy start. Prior to conceiving, women should have a check up and consultation with their obstetricians to discuss general health and how it may affect a pregnancy. Doctors will also want to review any medical treatments, medications, vitamins and herbs you may be taking as some may be harmful to a developing baby and should be changed or stopped before getting pregnant. You and your partner should give yourselves a few months to prepare for pregnancy. With a little planning, some common sense and by following the advice of your doctor or health officer, you will be able to start your new family in the happiest, healthiest way possible.

Here is a list of foods that you should avoid when trying to conceive:

* Cigarette, alcohol and drugs.
* Caffeine (coffee, black tea, cola, and chocolate).
* Excesses of Vitamins A, C, or D
* Avoid raw or undercooked meats
* Avoid raw or undercooked eggs
* Soft cheese

You should, however, take a vitamin supplement containing 0.4 mg (400 mcg) of folic acid at least three months before they try to conceive. Folic acid in your diet lowers the chance of having a child with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.

Prescription And Over-The-Counter Medications

If you are taking prescription drugs, ask your obstetrician about them before you become pregnant. Some blood pressure medications are not safe in pregnancy and should be avoided. Seizure medications may also be an issue. It is best to discuss the pros and cons of continuing the medication before trying to get pregnant. Allergy medications fall in the debatable zone and can be considered harmful based on other factors; you must consult your doctor about these.

Among over-the-counter medications for pain relief, Tylenol is safe, but ibuprofen isn’t. Ibuprofen interferes with implantation and causes other problems in pregnancy.

Birth control pills can also be harmful when trying to conceive. You must consult your doctor about when and how should you stop taking birth control pills and how long should you wait before getting pregnant? Most doctors advise that you should stop taking birth control pills three months before you actually try to get pregnant. In this period of time, you and your partner should use a barrier method of contraception like condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, until you start having normal cycles.

The most important benefit of getting off any oral contraceptive tablets is that you will soon begin to cycle on your own without medication. It also prevents any ill effects from the medication on the soon to come baby. If you get pregnant immediately after stopping the pill, you can chalk up a missing period to the effects of stopping the pill, and may not realize that you are pregnant for a few months.

Once you’ve tried to conceive and you miss a period, you can try one of the many home pregnancy tests sold online, in drug stores or see your doctor for a test. If your home test is positive, you should see your doctor to confirm that you are indeed pregnant.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.