woman preparing for pregnancy

By Dr Tan Shu Qi, Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

You've probably started to stay away from raw foods like sashimi and unprocessed dairy products like brie. Folic acid is probably also your friend by now. So now it's time to start thinking about these other matters:

1. Decide on Your Doctor

decide on your obstetrician

You'll see your doctor a lot over the next few months, so choose one whom you trust to look after both you and your baby safely. Are you considering a recommendation from a family member or friend? Remember, what may be a great choice for one person may not be the same for another. Find one whom you're comfortable with. Alternatively, choose a doctor once you select your maternity hospital.

Related: Before The First Antenatal Visit (Choosing Your Doctor)

2. Choose Your Hospital

choose your hospital when preparing for pregnancy

You can choose to deliver either in a restructured maternity or private hospital. Some hospitals like KK Women's and Children's Hospital give maternity tours that help you understand its full service scope and facilities. These include delivery suite and rooms viewing, antenatal classes and lactation consultations. Select a hospital that will ensure optimal care for both yourself and your baby, and that is within your budget. Remember, hospital bills are not the only expense you'll be looking into during this exciting journey into parenthood.

Related: When To Sound The Alarm On Your Pregnancy

3. Exercise at a Moderate Pace

exercise at a moderate pace during pregnancy

Maintain an active lifestyle and exercise in moderation — at least 15 to 30 minutes every day — throughout your entire pregnancy, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Safe exercises during pregnancy include walking and swimming. Avoid contact sports such as squash and tennis as they involve motions that are too jarring. Besides preparing you for the physical demands of labour and motherhood, exercise may help you gain less body fat, making it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy fitness and weight.

diet and food to eat during your pregnancy 

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Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore