So, finally being a mom sounds great and you are ready to go ahead! What is next? Preparing for pregnancy. Once you and your partner have decided to have a baby, you have better spare a time of about three to six months before conception for preparing for pregnancy. You can spend this period to get healthier and to learn more about getting pregnant, being pregnant. During pregnancy you will have time to learn more about giving birth and being parent. Go easy on yourself. For now preparing for pregnancy is the best thing to do.
Disregarding if you have got pregnant before or not, you may start with a pre-conception check-up. This test will let you know if your body is ready for carrying a baby or not. Especially those who take medication regularly or have chronic illnesses can maximize the chance of having a healthy and happy pregnancy. Your doctor can advise you how long you should wait before getting pregnant, what to do with your regular medications, just how to increase you chance for the ideal pregnancy or in general what to do while preparing for pregnancy.
The period of preparing for pregnancy is a good time to have parenting talk, as well. You and your partner may have different priorities, expectations, dreams and fears for being parents. Talking about them all before getting pregnant is the best step to take not only for being happy parents but also for strengthening your own relationship.
Stop Birth Control
Once you are sure you want to be a mother, be sure to stop your birth control one or two months before starting to try. During these months of preparing for pregnancy, you can figure out the facts about your menstrual cycles. When you know the time you are ovulating you may discover the period when you are most fertile.
What is important about cutting birth control pills is the fact that you can get pregnant anytime right away after cutting them. Many women get their first period within two weeks. On the other hand, it may take months before your hormones get back to normal, which means ovulating. In case when you have stopped pills and you are still not ovulating in three months, see doctor and check what is going on with your body while preparing for pregnancy.
Other methods such as the condom or diaphragm and spermicides are medically safe; and instantly reversible which makes them ideal for use during the pre-conception stage.
Smoothly Change Your Lifestyle
Even before getting pregnant, having a healthy body is usually important for everybody. When it comes to share your body with your baby-to-be, health becomes non-expendable during preparing for pregnancy. This is why you have better stop drinking alcoholic and caffeinated drinks and smoking before conceiving a baby.
Alcohol affects also the production of healthy sperm, which means changing lifestyle while preparing for pregnancy is not all about women.
OK, you have probably heard of this millions of times before reading this post; however, it is not a cliché, but vital. Here is why: if you keep smoking and taking drugs etc., your chance of having miscarriage, premature birth and low-birth-weight babies radically increases. Also, tobacco use may affect your (not only mother-to-be’s but also father-to-be’s by decreasing sperm count) fertility while preparing for pregnancy.
I do not even mention drugs. They are very dangerous not only for fertility, but also the development of unborn baby.
The healthier your body is, the more comfortable and happier pregnancy awaits you. Upon your decision on being a mother which is the start date of preparing for pregnancy, do not wait too long to throw out unhealthy food from your home. Both you and your partner’s fertility will increase when you are healthy. Eliminating junk food can be the very first step. To avoid ant nutritional deficiency eat a balanced diet, which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, fish and whole grains. Water is always one of the keywords in the subject of healthy life. Drink around 8 glasses of water every day while preparing for pregnancy.
Prenatal Supplement and Doctor Visits
There are various multivitamin and mineral supplement prepared for pregnancy. People planning to get pregnant are advised to take a folic acid of 400 micrograms a day as supplement for around a month before conceive. Taking folic acid supports you in fighting against neural-tube defects and other birth defects as well. Getting enough of this B vitamin before and early on in pregnancy can reduce brain and spine birth defects by up to 70 percent.
When it comes to prenatal, ask your doctor’s advise before starting to take one. Experts usually recommend a pre-pregnancy check-up around three months before you plan trying to get pregnant. You may be interested in check-up to make sure you are up-to-date on vaccinations, checked for STDs, tested for heart-health issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and to check risks of any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or thyroid problems. Considering your ethnic background, your doctor may also recommend genetic testing.
This visit is a good opportunity to make sure any medications you take are safe to use while trying to conceive, and to ask your doctor anything on your mind about getting pregnant or pregnancy. Especially if you are over 40 years old, you may need more detailed tests and advices because the risk of complications during a pregnancy rises dramatically after the age 40.
Find Your Healthy Weight
Fertility is highly affected by your weight and I advise you to find your healthy weight. Being under or over weight can decrease your fertility level and can cause complications in pregnancy. Underweight people have higher possibility of smaller-than-expected babies. They also may experience labor problems. On the other hand those who are overweight are more likely to develop diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Regular exercise such as brisk walking or swimming, carried out for 20 minutes three times a week, will get you fit before conception; and help your body cope better with the demands of pregnancy. If you really do not move at all, start with 10 to 15 minutes of walks and try to increase the time week by week.
Yoga is very beneficial for increasing fertility and also for dealing with your emotions and anxiety related to conception process. You can also strengthen and stretch your body in preparation for pregnancy.
Consider Your Mental Health
Depression is one of the most common mental problems due to many reasons including modern life itself. Women suffering from depression are more likely to have fertility issues than those who are mentally healthy. Also depressed people may have difficulty taking care of themselves and the baby. This is why considering mental health while preparing for pregnancy deserves great importance.
Depression reveals itself with loss of interest and pleasure in things you used to enjoy. It requires a referral to a therapist or psychiatrist.
In some cases you may need to take antidepressants, which opens up another subject: taking medicine while pregnant. While preparing for pregnancy checking up your mental health and talking to your doctor about that is the best thing you can do for a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Visit Your Dentist
While pregnant taking good care of your teeth and gums is vital as pregnancy increases the risk of developing gum disease, also known periodontal disease.
Because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, your immune system becomes hypersensitive to the bacteria in dental plaque. The bacteria can be transmitted into your amniotic fluid and placenta. That may cause a low birth weight for the baby.
This is why specialists recommend women planning to be a mother to make a dental appointment as a part of preparing for pregnancy. Dentist can clean your teeth for providing oral health or advise you how to take care of them.
Learn About Conception
There are various pregnancy classes to take online or offline, as we mentioned in our previous post. The more you know about getting pregnant, the better you feel about it by lessening your anxiety. Conception occurs around the time of ovulation, which means releasing egg into Fallopian tube. The average period of ovulation is between 12 – 14 days before the beginning of your period.
Let’s say you have a regular 28-day menstrual cycle. In this case, the most fertile time in a month is around day 14. Be sure you have sex on that day while preparing for pregnancy.
Irregular menstruation cycles may result in difficulty to calculate when you are ovulating. In this case, you may not make plans for the time to conceiving a baby; and all you can do is to leave up to chance. On the other hand more information about your menstrual cycles help you with preparing for pregnancy. If you cannot be sure when you are ovulating, try to track your vaginal discharge. When it is thinner and stretchier, your possibility to ovulate is higher.
Preparing for pregnancy requires two people, one of which must produce sperm. Why do we reminding this well-known information? Because your partner also must pay attention to their body while preparing for pregnancy. Ideal temperature for sperm development is 2-3° lower than the rest of the body. Your partner must avoid wearing clothes that causes testes to be overheated.
Final in preparing for pregnancy
One of the most common questions is about the frequency of having sex. Long story short: try as many times as you can. This may sound very technical but there are really few days for a sperm to fertilize an egg. Or you may think that cutting down on sex to save your partner’s sperm will make getting pregnant easier. Here is is the fact: You must promote the sperm and egg to meet if you want to be parents. For more information about preparing for pregnancy you may have a look at our free pre-pregnancy course.