You’ve decided that now is the time to prepare for a baby, but what to do to prepare? The first thing, from a midwifery perspective, is to arrange a preconception appointment to ensure that you are in peak health before trying to conceive. This can be with a midwife, obstetrician or naturopath. It can also be a good opportunity to meet a prospective midwife or obstetrician ahead of time.
So, what’s the next step? Below are some things to think about as you prepare for pregnancy:
Start taking Folic Acid
It can be difficult to get all the folic acid you need from your diet, so it’s a good idea to take folic acid supplements at least 3 months before you plan to conceive. This can help prevent neural tube defects like Spina Bifida.
Explore Your Private Health Cover
If you intend to be treated as a private patient in hospital, either by a midwife or an obstetrician, or if you wish to claim midwifery benefits through your extras cover, you will want to ensure that your health fund will cover you. For most funds, you will need to be covered for 12 months before your baby is born, while for some other heals funds, you need to be covered for 24 months before your baby is born.
So it's important to make sure that your health fund cover is sufficient. Some women have hospital cover, but not for obstetrics and midwifery, so it's best to check to make sure your cover is up-to-date. It can be very expensive to give birth in a private hospital without health cover, however the costs of birthing in a public hospital as a private patient are not prohibitive.
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