Your Health

1. Talk to your GP and ask him / her to recommend a full set of blood tests and do a general assessment of your health. Get a complete physical.

2. If you are currently on any medications, discuss how compatible they are with pregnancy and if necessary change to another care solution.

3. Review your work environment and assess how things like poor air quality, exposure to chemicals, heavy lifting or stress might affect a developing fetus.

4. Start taking prenatal vitams (which should include folic acid) at least 3 months before you plan to conceive.

5. Assess your diet (food and alcohol intake). Try keeping a food diary so that you can et an accurate picture of what areas you might need to improve.

6. Start incorporating organic fresh fruit and veg wherever possible. Make a concerted effort to cut down on fat and sugar.

7. Make sure you incorporate 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods (milk, cheese, yoghurt, almonds); 7 servings of fruits and vegetables; 2 servings of lean, high-protein foods like beef, fish, or white-meat poultry; and 6 servings of grains, preferably whole-grain breads, cereals, or brown rice.

8. Drink lots of liquids; at least 8 glasses a day of water, juice, and/or milk.

9. Cut back on caffeinated beverages. Aim for not more than 1 coffee a day and a couple of cups of tea.

10. If you currently have an exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure it's safe to continue during pregnancy. If not, make modifications as necessary.

11. If you don't currently exercise, ask your doctor whether it's safe to start. Try low-impact activities like swimming or walking. Yoga is also amazing for mind and body when you are trying to get pregnant.

Your Finances

12. If you have private health care, find out how much they will cover for prenatal care/delivery.

13. See an accountant or financial planner to discuss savings plans, both for baby's college and for other big-ticket items like nannies, day care, private preschools, and unfunded maternity or paternity leave.

14. Determine whether you need two incomes to get by. If one of you wants to scale back to part-time, or quit working altogether to stay with the baby, start planning now.

15. If you plan to keep working, find out about your company's maternity leave, working from home, and flexitime policies.

16. Start researching life insurance. You'll both need coverage once you have a child.

Lifestyle and Relationship Issues

17. Say good-bye to alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. If you can't kick the habit alone, get help from your doctor, or support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

18. Get some sleep. All-nighters can wreak havoc on your health -- and possibly, your fertility.

19. Minimise stress. If possible, postpone stressful situations such as moving or changing jobs.

20. Think about having some therapy! Confront your demons. Childhood traumas, like losing a parent or being emotionally or physically abused, can profoundly impact your ability to parent. Unpack your emotional baggage now -- preferably with the help of a therapist, or other professional -- to avoid passing it on to your kids.

21. Address issues in your relationship. While babies can make a happy marriage even happier, they don't cure unhappy ones. If you're dissatisfied with your relationship, get help now.

22. Discuss expectations with your partner and other family members. Expecting your mum to take care of the baby while you go back to work? Make sure she knows it. Similarly, talk with your partner about splitting child-care and household responsibilities after the baby comes.

Are you thinking of getting pregnant? Let us know if you have any questions!