@andieta thank you for linking the thread!
I appreciate the kinds words, I just want to make sure I am as healthy as I can be especially making sure the prescription medicine is out of my system since it can cause birth defects. Prep work is definitely a plus to ensure we have a healthy baby.
What brand of folic acid do you suggest?
No problem! Um, I don't think it really matters which brand of prenatal vitamin or folic acid you take. You could try talking to your local pharmacist if you have questions.
I also recommend the book Taking Charge of your Fertility. This explains your cycle really well with tips for people TTC (or for natural birth control methods). You are only fertile for a few days each cycle and the book helps you recognize your fertility signs so you know when each month you are most likely able to conceive. It's pretty fascinating stuff. I also recommend talking with your doctor.
@Scarlett - I started doing lots in preparation for TTC. First, I went off the pill in January (as I said earlier) and I stopped taking another medication at the same time (check with your doctor before going off any other medications). I started eating a more healthy and natural diet focusing on fresh organic foods and full-fat dairy products. I've found the website www.modernalternativepregnancy.com to be a great resource (although it's very "earth mother" type, so I don't take on board everything they promote, but they do have some good ideas). I've cut out all alcohol, caffeine and medications (like headache pills) when TTC, but let myself have a glass of wine or two end of last month when I got my period. I started taking Elevit (pre-pregnancy supplement) back in January. I'm in Australia; I don't know if you have the same supplements wherever you are. I think it's important to take a supplement at least a month before you start TTC (especially folic acid), but even earlier if possible, and then throughout your pregnancy. I looked for organic supplements, but found them impossible to come by! If you're in America, you might have more luck. I've heard the brand Rainbow Light is highly recommended. My husband has been taking zinc supplements as well. Of course, many women don't prepare for pregnancy to this degree and perfectly healthy babies, but I think it's best to be prepared and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! I hope this information is helpful and good luck to you!
You can start trying right away. There is usually a 'washout period' after stopping hormonal birth control when you're infertile, or subfertile, but there is no contraindication to trying to get pregnant immediately.
Depending on what your prescription medication is, however-- you mentioned it's well-known to cause birth defects-- I would *not* stop taking birth control until you have a plan in place with whomever is prescribing your medication to transition you to something else. Do **not** try to get pregnant while taking something that is a known teratogen (causes birth defects).
Buy a standard, cheap, generic prenatal vitamin. Do not spend a lot of money or anxiety on it. Pregnant women need extra iron, folic acid and calcium-- that's it. The PNV packages this all into one. The standard pregnant woman who is at no increased risk for neural tube defects (spina bifida, mainly) needs only 400ug/day; if you are at an increased risk-- again, this depends on your prescription medication-- needs 4mg/day, or 10x as much.