If you have concerns or a medical condition that could affect your pregnancy, please make an appointment to discuss these with your doctor. Most couples will conceive within a 12 month period of trying to. If you have not and you are worried, it is best to consult your doctor about this.
About Folic Acid
You should start taking folic acid tablets before becoming pregnant (from the time you plan to become pregnant). If the pregnancy is unplanned then start taking folic acid tablets as soon as you know that you are pregnant. For most women the dose is 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) a day and is available from pharmacies. If your risk of having a child with a spinal cord problem is increased then the dose is higher (5 mg a day - you need a prescription for this higher dose). That is, if:
- you have had a previously affected pregnancy.
- your partner, or a first-degree relative, have a spinal cord defect.
- you have coeliac disease (as your intake of folate may be affected by this condition).
- you are taking medication for epilepsy.
- you have sickle cell anaemia or thalassaemia
Care during pregnancy is shared by your GP and the Community Midwife team. When you realise that you are pregnant, you need to see your doctor for a 'booking appointment'. This is usually done between 6 and 8 weeks into the pregnancy. The weeks of pregnancy are counted from the first day of your last menstrual period.
You should start taking folic acid supplements as soon as you realise that you are pregnant.
Pregnancy also means that you should abstain from alcohol consumption and smoking.
Your next appointment is held at Maternity Unit, Furness General Hospital (FGH) and includes an ultrasound scan, blood tests and a discussion about antenatal classes. This is done at 10-12 weeks gestation. A further ultrasound scan is done is done at 20 weeks gestation.
By alternating between seeing your doctor and midwife it means that both your doctor and the midwife team are able to follow your progress through your pregnancy.
The maternity unit of the Furness General Hospital (FGH) is the obstetric centre for this area. Your doctor and midwife will discuss your options with you.