Antenatal care

When planning a pregnancy:

  • Take extra folic acid to reduce your risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. It’s recommended to have 500mcg a day in the 12 weeks before and after getting pregnant
  • If you smoke or drink alcohol, give these up before you try to get pregnant.

During pregnancy:

  • Make an appointment with your GP within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy if possible
  • Take extra iodine during pregnancy (150mg per day) and while breast feeding to help your baby’s brain and nervous system development
  • Go to antenatal classes to prepare you for labour, birth, breastfeeding and parenting
  • Sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy. Studies show this can halve your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back. If you wake up on your back, don’t worry, just roll over on your side.

More information on what to expect when having a baby is available from the NSW Health or Pregnancy, Birth and Baby websites.