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    Pre-pregnancy planning, advice? 
    #1
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Now, I'm not planning to get pregnant in the short term- I'm looking at starting having kiddies in 18 months or so. However, when I get pregnant I want to be in the best possible physical and mental state. I'm trying to develop a timeline for getting myself into a condition where I will be best able to cope with the rigors of pregnancy and motherhood.

    At the moment, I'm slightly overweight, unfortunately quite unfit and have problems with low iron. I've just been diagnosed Bipolar II. I've got slight back problems from wearing inappropriate shoes when I was a growing child.

    Currently, my pre-pregnancy timeline goes something like this:

    18 months: Begin weight loss & exercise program (starting weight 74kg or approx 165lb), continue with iron supplementation to increase ferritin levels. Discuss with psychiatrist treatment for BPII, with particular regard for medications that have few ill effects relating to pregnancy/breast feeding.

    12 months away: be at goal weight (62kg or 138lb), be participating in yoga program weekly for relaxation and muscle strength, pilates 2x weekly for strength, including back muscles. Swimming 2x weekly for aerobic exercise (along with running for the bus!). Stop using hormonal contraception. Get fully checked for STDs, any potential gynae problems. Iron level to be adequate, but keep up iron supplementation.

    6 months away: Begin charting ovulation etc. so I know when my fertile periods are. Full health check. Increase calcium and iron in diet, maintain exercise/relaxation program. Recheck mood medications with psych and check for current advisories on medications and pregnancy. Begin folate supplementation. Reduce stress levels in life if possible. Abstain completely from unnecessary psychoactive drugs (aside from caffeine, which is limited to 100mg/day)

    3 months away: Continue exercise, ovulation charting, begin "pregnant diet" (avoiding potential sources of food poisoning), continue drug abstinence, begin taking pregnancy multivitamin, establish regular daily routines. Contact local midwifery services to discuss potential services.

    1 month away: Schedule more counselling services to deal with extra stress caused by TTC. Plan approx dates for beginning TTC, continue exercise etc. Avoid potential allergens. Have consultation with midwife. Reduce caffeine intake further (1 cup coffee/tea etc per day). Get large store of ginger for impending horrifying nausea.

    Anything particularly unneccessary? Anything I should be adding in that I've overlooked?

    (Sorry about the length)

    Thanks!
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter honEbee's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have everything you need to have a healthy baby. I can't think of anything that you've left out.

    On the non-physical side, you might want to start putting savings away for the baby every week. Babies are quite expensive when you factor in the medical care (if you don't have insurance), diapers, toys, clothes, food, car seat, lotions, crib, bottles, etc. etc.)

    Good luck.
     

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    #3
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Oooh, savings :P

    I actually have money stashed away in a managed fund at the moment, which will certainly cover the first couple of years. I'm in Australia, so most medical care is free or close to it, although I'd have to hire a midwife privately.

    If nothing else though, I guess I should start putting aside savings to practice for the skint-ness of having a baby to support on my income :P

    Thanks Am I over-thinking this?
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter honEbee's Avatar
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    No, you're just excited. Nothing wrong with planning for things (as long as you realize that even the best laid plans can have glitches from time to time).

    I wish more people would plan out and be prepared for having their children. Then this world would be a better place.
    Last edited by honEbee; 14-07-2004 at 18:42.
     

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    #5
    Wow that sounds like an awesome plan
     

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    #6
    Bluelighter Bi KaNd*E* RaVeR's Avatar
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    Don't forget genetics testing if you can... since you are planning so far ahead it'd be fabulous to be sure that you and your partners genes are going to mesh nicely.. or if there are any precautions you should take.
     

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    #7
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Partner? Uh... sperm donation may become an option. I'm not prepared to wait around for the "right man" to have children- I've got a damn strong support network, people to live with, help take care of each other...

    I don't wanna wait around until 35 to find the right man and then realise my fertility has gone to hell.

    And hey, I know the best laid plans can fall apart- I got pregnant at 17 while on the pill *and* using condoms, then miscarried 6 weeks later. I'm just hoping my body's incredibly determined fertility will hold up when I'm actually trying.

    ...can anyone see problems with me stockpiling baby basics over the next couple of years- nappies, basic clothes (vests, singlets, jumpsuits etc.), stuff that's easy to move from house to house? Saves doing the big shop when I'm already pregnant.
     

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    #8
    Bluelighter honEbee's Avatar
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    Well with the stockpiling for nappies and clothes it would be hard to know what sizes to get. Babies vary a lot in size and you have to have the correct size for these items (unless you're ok with wasting them or could possibly donate them to a local hospital).

    I think it would be better to stockpile your money and then buy the items after the baby is born so you get stuff that will fit.
     

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    #9
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    I saw this article on MSN today and it might be helpful to you. MSN Article

    Good luck with your program though.
     

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    #10
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    Originally posted by honEbee
    No, you're just excited. Nothing wrong with planning for things (as long as you realize that even the best laid plans can have glitches from time to time).

    I wish more people would plan out and be prepared for having their children. Then this world would be a better place.
    I cannot tell you the number of peers i've seen get pregnant and not follow this line of thinking. Great advice by the way
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    I was just looking at buying in bulk lotsa secondhand basics- can get a few nice things once baby is born or whatever, but just to have a large enough stockpile that anything else that needs buying is luxury rather than neccessity.

    Lots of parents have bags full of baby clothes for about $5, which is way way under the cost of buying even a couple of items new. I figure I can afford to have some items go unused. I figure that now I have time and energy to get bargains, which are things I may be somewhat lacking in post-baby :P

    Thanks!
     

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    #12
    Ex-Bluelighter Geez-A's Avatar
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    folate, a pre natal check with your GP, pap smear, save lots of movey so you can take time off work. I am in planning stage too so am interested in how you go.
     

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    #13
    Ex-Bluelighter linusSL's Avatar
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    ^ i still can't believe it. Good luck but.
     

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    #14
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Spbleh. I currently have the option of going onto lithium or valproate, both of which have hideous teratogenic effects. Dunno if going off them for the pregnancy would be a wise idea, though

    Still, I survived lithium before I was born, so :P

    Potentially, I could maybe go on a teensy tiny dose of olanzapine since it seems to work as a mood stabiliser, and doesn't yet have as high a nasty warning against pregnancy.

    this sucks.
     

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    #15
    Bluelighter honEbee's Avatar
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    Btw, what is TTC (from your initial post)?
     

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    #16
    Bluelighter wanderlust's Avatar
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    iron is very important, look into supplementing. it takes a few weeks before your levels will even increase
     

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    #17
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Sorry. TTC is trying to conceive- hang around fertility boards too much, the acronyms used there are different. I'm currently taking iron- both in the form of a massively powerful prescription-only form and with my multivitamin. I've been supplementing for a while now, and my levels are slowly raising, they're in normal range now although low. They were shockingly low before.
     

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    #18
    Bluelighter wanderlust's Avatar
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    oh yeah you can use pre-natal vitamins when planning on getting preggo too, then during also. i believe the regeime is started six months before
     

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    #19
    Bluelighter fairnymph's Avatar
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    Are you currently unmedicated for BP? It sounds to me like you have your life pretty well managed, and so 9 months off medication might be bearable for you. Especially if you have a good support group of friends and family.

    I'm in a similar boat, in that I'd like to have kids in a few years but I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which I take medication for. But I'm just gonna try and hold out for 9 months when I decide to have kids.

    Best of luck!

    And if you need any reading material, check out my mom's books at www.elizabethnoble.com .
     

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    #20
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Nah, I have an idea how to manage my illness and my life, but I'm really struggling with the diagnosis of bipolar right now (witness posts in the dark side etc.) I'm pretty sure I could handle 12months or so off the lithium, although it may become wise to take a miniscule dose of olanzapine or something during that time. Maybe.

    I'm partly sad that I probably won't get to breastfeed my baby for any length of time
     

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    #21
    I have heard that the most effective portions of breastfeeding (for the baby's pov) come in the first few days, as far as immunity and stuff. I would think anything would help
     

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    #22
    Bluelight Crew anna!'s Avatar
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    Firstly, your plan sounds fabulous. Very thorough

    Secondly, I was taking anti-psychotic (for OCD and PTSD) medication before I conceived my daughter, so if you want to have a chat about it, please do! It wasn't especially easy to come off the meds, but my personal experience was that pregnancy really levelled my hormones and I was way more adjusted then than at any other time in my life. I haven't gone back on the meds since either (my daughter is 14 months old).

    I think my MSN address is in my profile, or feel free to PM me. We're TTCing at the moment.
     

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    #23
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    I'm considering talking to my doc about it, and maybe staying off the lithium for an extra couple of weeks after, depending on what my mood is like.

    My sister had a really good response to olanzapine, so that may be an option. Possibly even in absolutely tiny doses. Or apparently you can breastfeed with valproate, although it's not as good as lithium for preventing depression.

    We shall see. I just want to make sure that I and my baby have the best possible outcome that we can achieve.
     

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    #24
    good plan! my only "plan" was that i wanted to be drug-free for a year so that my body had time to cleanse itself before harboring a baby. well, in addition to the mental preparation and some financial planning.

    good luck!
     

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    #25
    Bluelighter nephron's Avatar
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    Hell, being drug free for a year is a damn good start

    I just remember so many girls from my school deliberately getting pregnant when they were 16 or 17 without any thought to the potential damage they were doing through drug use, crash dieting etc.
     

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