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The Dr Appointment
So, Dr, we're thinking of TTC...


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#1 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

This afternoon I am headed to our GP to tell him, yep, we're keen to TTC and find out exactly what needs to be done between now and TTC. A bit of background:  i'm terrified of needles & blood tests & medication (so, pregnancy dr appointments are going to be an amusement park load of fun for me unless i hurry up and grow a pair about it all).  I really dont do well with tablets (pills are okay... if i HAVE to) and have never taken vitamins for this reason even though everyone recommends i do cos i'm always catching bugs off the kids at work.  I pretty much tend to avoid all medication at all costs and have been this way for several years (As a child, my mum was a bit of a hyperchondriac and i was always on antibiotics for a simple common cold... i swear, the year when i was 7 is just a blur of  being on medicine that came with cute bug stickers OVER and OVER again)

I suspect he'll suggest I do something about my low calcium ?  (I can't drink milk and flat out don't like/tolerate the alternatives so i get all my calcium from cheese and um.. chocolate?)

I have had bouts of low iron over the years but pretty sure I've got that under control now (i do love my red meat!) as I don't feel as yuck as I did when it was really badly low.  

I have no idea what immunisations i need to update... help?!  I always thought that MMR was done as a child and that was it but lately i've heard otherwise and that you're meant to boost it as an adult?!  True?!

I should probably give up drinking.  I don't smoke; never have.  

Andd i'm only about 5kg underweight now so nearly there.  Never had an eating disorder or anything just struggle to put on weight and have always been this way.

#2 Leggy

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Good luck MiaMoo! You're being very responsible by going to the dr to find out what to do before TTC - a surprising number of people don't really think of it.

I'm afraid there are a few immunisations you should have boosters for. Perhaps you can schedule them all for one day and have it over with? Can't help you with the repeated blood tests, though. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a counsellor who can help you with coping strategies, however.

#3 PatG

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

The doctor will probably recommend you have a blood test to check for things like iron levels and immunities and I think some STDs too.  You may or may not need MMR booster but you should be considering a whooping cough vaccination if you haven't had that done recently.  I'm pretty sure you can get chewable vitamin tablets that contain folate.  Take it one step at a time, get through having blood taken and go from there.  The pathology clinics are usually pretty good because the phlebotomists are experts, let them know you are not good with needles, they see people just like you all the time and will have ways of helping you cope.

The doctor will probably recommend you have a blood test to check for things like iron levels and immunities and I think some STDs too.  You may or may not need MMR booster but you should be considering a whooping cough vaccination if you haven't had that done recently.  I'm pretty sure you can get chewable vitamin tablets that contain folate.  Take it one step at a time, get through having blood taken and go from there.  The pathology clinics are usually pretty good because the phlebotomists are experts, let them know you are not good with needles, they see people just like you all the time and will have ways of helping you cope.

#4 FaithHopeLove

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

Hope your appt goes well. there will likely be blood tests - checking for stds and also that those immunisations you had as a child still have enough antibodies left. as for pregnancy vitamins many doctor just recommend folate (which you also get through dark green leafy veg and other natural sources - just google. i think i also saw one of the pregnancy/conceive vitamins in powder form so you might want to look into that. it is recommended to start those extra vitamins like folate at least a month before ttc.

No advice on your needle aversion but you shouldnt need too many!

Best of luck on your journey.

#5 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

Thanks original.gif

QUOTE (PatG @ 07/01/2013, 03:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The pathology clinics are usually pretty good because the phlebotomists are experts, let them know you are not good with needles, they see people just like you all the time and will have ways of helping you cope.


Haha yeah they're pretty good hey.  When I go in they're like, "please sit down" and I always respond with something along the lines of, "oh no, I think i'll just set myself up over here" and lie down on the bed.  I know I can't hack it, why waste their time?!  Then there's all the distraction techniques which are so blatantly obvious but they kind of work.  I take my hat off to them. I could not do their job.  *shudders*

#6 Mumma_G

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

My doctor ran bloods to see what boosters i needed, fortunately for me none. My Vit D and calcium were ridiculously low but that goes hand in hand apparently.

#7 becstarr79

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

I was absolutely phobic of having my heart monitored and blood pressure taken and I've got through two pregnancies unscathed so you'll be fine - doctors and nurses come across a variety of situations all the time and know how to handle things, you might find that after a while your anxieties will have lessened as well like mine have!

#8 ubermum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:24 PM

....and you will be told to start taking folate (folic acid) to guard against neural tube defects. I wouldn't worry about not being a huge dairy food addict. Many people around the world don't eat much dairy. How many cows do you think the nomadic Australian indigenous people were milking? Plenty of lean meats, fish (particularly oily fish with bones) nuts, fruit and vegetables should give you all you need. The dairy industry has succeeded really well in convincing us we need milk intended for a baby cow to be healthy. You may need a vitamin D supplement too.

#9 Corella

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

How much prenatal and antenatal care you get is up to you. Lots of pregnancies aren't planned in that no prenatal care is done and it's not ideal but does happen.
I'd get folate and vitamin D checked as these can impact on baby's health. See how much one test can cover?

#10 kez71

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

I used to be scared of needles and pills too..but after 7 years TTC and 3 rounds of IVF Ive had so many needles and taken so many pills that im over it. Im currently 27 weeks preg and have been having daily injections throughout my pregnancy and that will continue for 6 weeks after birth. My advice is this:

for pills..i could never swallow them and would gag every time..my trick is to take them with food in your mouth.  first chew the food then just before swallowing, stick the pill in and mush it into the food. then swallow. it tricks your mind into thinking its just food. gradually i changed to taking them with orange juice, though there are still some i use the food technique with. It helped me, so I hope it helps you!

for the needles..for starters don't look. I use a distraction technique for myself where I will stab my thumb with my nail (on the opposite hand to where the blood is being drawn) and also wiggle my toes. concentrating on these things distracts from the sting of the needle. Most pathology people are good at taking blood so you don't feel anything, but every now and then you do feel it. If you do, just remind yourself that its just a bit of pain and you won't die from it. it tends to be over with pretty fast.

I also recommend that you drink a lot of water before you go so your blood will be easier to get if its a blood test.

One of my friends still got given a numbing cream until recently. She's also pregnant and the nurse said that she couldn't have it as she needs to harden up if shes going to have a baby!  good luck..you can do it!!



#11 Mousky

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

My doc ran bloods testing for vit d, b and calcium. Tested immunity to measils and chicken pox and tested for various STD'S.

I needed another MMR shot, chicken pox was fine and he gave me a flu vax (very grateful for this as I ended up getting the flu a few months later and would have been VERY sick if I hadn't had the jab).

The only thing that I wish I had had was whooping cough vaccine, I think that was a bad oversight by gp.

MMR, and chicken pox vax cannot be given during pregnancy or 2 months (some say 3) before falling pregnant.  Whooping cough is not recommended during pregnancy, but can be given in certain circumstances, so def make sure these are up to date.

Numbing cream is great. You buy a sachet from the pharmacy ($20) and it can be used before a blood test as well as injections.

Oh and you will need your blood type and rhesus factor/ anti D levels checked.

Edited by Mousky, 07 January 2013 - 04:18 PM.


#12 Hoping2BaMummy

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

Thanks Kez for the tip on the pills! I will def be trying that one!!
I'm also no good with needles and tell them straight up. I'm fine once it's in and have never fainted tho, it's just the initial going in part. I do find most nurses etc are pretty good these days and are used to dealing with fears.
I only had one blood test and my GP got my immunisations, relevant vitamins, and also a cycle day 21 blood test to check I was ovulating.

#13 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

Well, the appointment went well.  He's referred me on to get a blood test that covers a multitude of things.  I asked him straight out to "test for everything i should know about before getting pregnant all in one hit cos you know i hate needles!"  so he's testing for everything from my blood type (cos i have no idea) to my immunity to various things to my iron levels, etc.  

Get this though, he reckons that if i have to get an MMR booster shot i'll have to avoid pregnancy for SIX MONTHS.  I thought it was only for a month or two; not SIX?!  I don't mind as we're not looking at TTC till later this year and we're just getting prepared nice and early but... SIX MONTHS.  WOW!!  


#14 PatG

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:45 PM

Not sure where the doctor got 6 months from!

Use in pregnancy
MMR vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy due to the theoretical risk of transmission of the rubella component of the vaccine to a susceptible fetus (see Chapter 3.19, Rubella). Pregnancy should be avoided for 28 days after vaccination.16 Data on the use of MMRV vaccines in individuals >12 years of age are not available.


From: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise.../Handbook-mumps

If you need both shots rather than the booster then there is a minimum of 4 weeks between them.  That takes it to two months, plus a bit of time to do the blood test and get results then the shots.

Edited by PatG, 07 January 2013 - 07:47 PM.


#15 libbylu

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

Good on you for being responsible! I totall understand where you are coming from. I also hate taking tablets and used to faint at blood tests, but IVF cured me of that!

There are really only 3 blood tests usually done during pregnancy, the first of which can be done beforehand.

1. Prepregnancy/early pregnancy full blood examination - checks your immunity to MMR, chickenpox, your HIV Hep A/B status, calcium, often iron, vit D levels etc.  Pretty sure most hospitals you deliver in will insist that you have this done before they accept you and there's probably no getting around it.

2. 12 week combined screen for chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome. This is optional. You can just have the ultrasound screen without the blood test or have neither. Especially if you are under 30 you might not want to bother.

3. At 26 weeks there is a check for gestational diabetes. It involves drinking a sweet drink then having a blood test after a short time (1 or 2 hours).  Again, if you are under 30 and have no risk factors (family history of diabetes, being Asian of certain other ethnicities) you might be able to avoid this depending on the hospital, but it's really worth doing if you can hack it as the health implications for the baby of untreated gestational diabetes are not good.

As for vitamins - folate is a must in the first three months and in the time you are TTC.  If you have a really healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg, and enough red meat for iron and oily fish for omega 3s you may not need to bother with a multivitamin.  I only take mine sporadically.

#16 foom

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

QUOTE (kez71 @ 07/01/2013, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also recommend that you drink a lot of water before you go so your blood will be easier to get if its a blood test.


I like this tip. When I was having lots of blood tests (IVF!) the nurses could often spot when I hadn't been drinking enough water the previous day. I found making sure I had two glasses of water the afternoon/night before made the blood test easier.

#17 MrsShine

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

Most people have already given my tips but 2 quick things - if your iron is still low, have you tried floradix? It's a health tonic you can get in health stores and some pharmacies that is brilliant for increasing iron levels. You an drink on its own or mix with juice, quite tasty!

And on juice, it's a bad idea to take most medication with anything but water. I think iron is the one exception as OJ can help you absorb the iron but in general juice can strip pills of their properties or decrease their strength or create a dangerous cocktail.

Just a thought!

#18 Preg_in_RSA

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:19 PM

I've noticed that there are now gummy type vitamins for adults. There is even a pregnancy one which should cover your folic acid. Start on them now.

#19 MissingInAction

Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

Having the blood test tomorrow; drinking lots of water tonight! original.gif

#20 MissingInAction

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

Blood test done; waiting on results; hopefully will know the situation by this time next week.


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