If you and your partner have decided that the time is right, and you would like to start trying for a baby, this is the right read for you.
There are several ways that both you and your partner can optimize your health and lifestyle to improve the chances of conceiving and to ensure you have the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy!
Here are 10 Tips to prepare yourself before you start trying:
1. Cut Down Alcohol
You don’t have to completely abstain from all alcoholic drinks while trying to conceive, but cutting down on binge drinking or daily consumption of too much alcohol can help.
Alcoholic drinks such as hard liquor should be avoided if possible.
Aim to cut down to 1-2 drinks once or twice a week, less if possible.
This can go a long way in improving your chances of conceiving and your overall health.
2. Stop Smoking
I’m pretty sure most women know this themselves.
Smoking is a well-known cause of reducing a woman’s egg reserves and fertility.
On top of that, smoking while pregnant is absolutely not advisable.
So why not quit as early as possible?
3. Take Folic Acid
Folic acid is the single most important supplement that women need to take while trying to conceive as well as in the first trimester of their pregnancy.
Folic acid plays an important role in the development of the baby’s brain and spine, and inadequate folic acid can lead to neural tube defects.
You should ideally start taking folic acid 3 months before trying to conceive.
4. Reduce Consumption Of Processed, Deep Fried And Fast Food
These types of food are high in saturated fat content which is not only bad for your arteries, it can cause significant weight gain as well.
An unhealthy diet on top of weight gain can lead to more problems conceiving.
5. Eat A Well Balanced Diet
By eating well, I mean eat a well balanced diet that contains a good amount of nutrients and vitamins from grains, fruits and vegetables.
Eating well also means eating an appropriate portion of food, do not binge-eat and do not starve yourself or go on crash diets.
A healthier body can improve your chances of conceiving.
6. Exercise Regularly
Women who are physically fit tend to have an easier time conceiving as better physical health can improve your chances of ovulation and menstrual regulation.
Additional, a healthy and fit woman will be able to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth better.
You don’t have to run a marathon, or become a triathlete. But getting active with 30 minutes of moderate exercise about 3 times a week should be what you aim for.
Activities can include a mix of brisk walking, jogging, swimming or exercise classes.
Of course, overdoing it by exercising excessively can cause the reverse and lead to menstrual issues and trouble conceiving.
7. Get Enough Sleep At Night
We should all be getting about 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
Being well rested with adequate sleep at night can aid in improving a woman’s overall well-being and health.
Adequate rest is also important to help one cope with stress and provide a more conducive situation for a couple to try to conceive.
8. Minimize Unnecessary Stress
With our hectic work schedules, stress is hard to avoid in most of our lives.
Learning to cope with stress in a healthy manner and minimizing unnecessary stress can improve your chances of conceiving.
Being overly stressed can lead to unwanted hormonal or menstrual problems, stress eating and unwanted weight gain and ovulation problems. Stress can also affect one’s libido.
Eating well and exercising regularly is a good way to cope with stress.
9. Lose Weight
Being overweight and obese not only significantly reduces your chances of getting pregnant, it also predisposes you to several problems during your pregnancy.
Obesity is commonly associated with gestational diabetes, blood pressure issues during pregnancy and other complications.
Overweight people also tend to have problems with their menstrual cycle and ovulation.
10. Go For Preconception Screening
Going for preconception screening before trying to conceive can be very useful in identifying potential problems early.
This can allow a couple adequate time to seek treatment if required before it is too late.
Preconception screening usually includes blood tests which screen for infections, blood disorders such as Thalassemia and the general feminine health of the woman.