Family Planning

Rob Heaton

What are the benefits of family planning?

A healthy pregnancy for mom and baby. Getting your body ready for pregnancy can take a few months.
Preconception care also involves having conversations with your healthcare team, who can anticipate health risks during and after pregnancy.

Some supplements, such as folic acid,  should be started at least a month before conception. Prenatal supplements are available at your pharmacy and can be started as soon as you start thinking of having a baby.

Not ready? Want to have a bit of time for more planning?

Ask your doctor for a review of your health and how to plan for pregnancy. It’s better to have a full check-up, get your vaccinations up to date and be in the best shape you can be.

Using effective contraception until you are ready is part of family planning. Your pharmacist is available for questions about contraceptive methods, and what to do when you are ready to stop contraception.

Trouble conceiving?

Your pharmacist can help with ovulation prediction methods, and discuss practices to increase chances of conception. If you have tried to conceive unsuccessfully for a year, or are greater than 35 years old, seek your doctor’s assistance.

Pregnancy during COVID-19 a concern?

Planning will reduce and prevent problems. We know a great deal now than we did just a few months ago. Get your COVID vaccinations, including boosters on schedule. We have many more layers of security and detection.

Keep your social bubble small, use N95 masks when out in public, perform a rapid self-test once or twice a week. Always seek medical advice as soon as you experience any flu or COVID-like symptoms. It’s ok and smart to insist that visitors do a rapid self-test prior to the meeting – use all the tools you can to ensure you and your baby are kept safe.

And if you find you are COVID positive?

Although the risk during pregnancy is low, seek prompt medical advice, don’t wait for symptoms to start or worsen.

Pregnancy detection shortly after conception is vital to kickstart needed supplements that may not be part of your normal diet. Your needs change as pregnancy progresses. Knowing when a baby is conceived aids in planning for dietary changes and monitoring for the healthy progression of pregnancy.

Early detection of problems saves lives and increases the health outcomes of both infant and mother. Your pharmacist can help you select a pregnancy kit and discuss nutrition and supplements during your pregnancy. Anticipating treatments for minor ailments during pregnancy is also an area your pharmacist can help with.

A pharmacy care kit for pregnancy and postnatal care will reduce anxiety. Be prepared for minor ailments such as headache, heartburn, indigestion, or constipation. Prepare a kit that is safe to use in pregnancy – your pharmacist can help.

Family Planning Essentials at Your Local Pharmacy

Rob Heaton
Cambrian Pharmacy PharmaChoice
Calgary, AB