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Prenatal Advice

Three months prior to attempting to become pregnant the female should begin to take prenatal vitamins and folic acid (1 mg). Materna Prenatal/Postpartum vitamins are excellent and contain 1 mg of folic acid, it is highly recommended that infertility and recurrent miscarriage patients take this additional 1 mg of folic acid. Folic acid is extremely important to help to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus that can lead to spina bifida among other problems. The Materna and folic acid should be continued through 12 weeks of pregnancy at which time folic acid may be discontinued but the Materna should be continued throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Following your infertility procedure, at least 5 days of complete bed rest is highly recommended for the female. She should think of herself as "pregnant until further notice." Gravity is her enemy. In addition, the female should avoid certain food additives which have been found to be harmful to the fetus. These include caffeine, aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal, all diet sodas and "sugar free" products), nitrates (found in processed meats, hot dogs, and dried fruit such as prunes, raisins and dried apricots), and MSG (monosodium glutamate) found in Chinese food and other products. Caffeine is linked to low birth weights, aspartame to a slew of problems which include hyperactivity and neurological problems, nitrates have been linked to brain tumors in children, and MSG is suspected of causing physical problems for the mother during pregnancy.

Also, please avoid all excessive heat sources. Embryos do not like temperatures above 100 degrees. Following the infertility procedure, the female should avoid hot baths, hot tubs, electric blankets, heating pads, saunas and taking sun. If the female’s body temperature rises above 99 degrees (as with a fever), she should telephone her doctor and take a Tylenol (without codeine) immediately. Heat kills embryos.

If you are trying to become pregnant or have become pregnant you must avoid alcoholic beverages and all "recreational drugs" (including but not limited to cocaine, marijuana, and codeine). You should not consume over the counter medications (including but not limited to cold medicines) without a doctor’s permission. Remember, no smoking!

Most fertility centres will have the female do a blood test approximately 14 days after either ovulation or her ovum retrieval to determine whether or not she is pregnant. This test is called a Quantitative Beta-HCG. It is highly recommended that this test be accompanied by a test for progesterone level. It is also highly recommended that these two blood tests be repeated two days later in order to determine whether the pregnancy is proceeding normally. Normally the Beta-HCG level should be approximately 100 on the 14th day following ovulation or ovum retrieval and then at least double every two days for the first couple of months. The progesterone level should be at approximately 100 and stay there. Inadequate levels can be caused by a variety of medical conditions including but not limited to ectopic pregnancy and imminent miscarriage. That is why these blood tests need to be done ASAP with the results on the same or the next day.

Warning: If the blood and/or urine test for Beta-HCG is done within 10 days of the Profasi injection, the result may be a false positive. It is wise to test again two days later to be sure.

After the 7th week of pregnancy it is possible to see the baby’s heartbeat upon ultrasound examination. If a heartbeat can be seen, there is a 90% probability that the pregnancy will go to term.

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© 2002-2019 Lenore Goldfarb, PhD, CCC, IBCLC, ALC and contributing authors to All rights reserved.

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