12 Things to do when trying to get pregnant
It is never too early to start adopting a lifestyle that enhances your chances of a healthy pregnancy. For some it may be at the drop of a hat, or a condom in this case and for some it may take a little longer. Women trying to conceive must take care of a few things – be it their first planned pregnancy or last – here are a few tips that must be considered while trying to conceive.
1. Track your Menstrual Cycle
Knowing your cycle helps you determine the time of ovulation. In order to optimize your pregnancy, you must track your periods a few months prior to getting pregnant. This helps to determine the most fertile period. Women with regular periods find it easier to determine the ovulation period, others can rely on fertility tracking apps. Missing your period can be an early sign of pregnancy
2. Know when you ovulate
One approach would be using a home ovulation kit which alerts you of ovulation by detecting an increase in the luteinizing hormone present in the urine. Another sign of ovulation is the change of chloride in skin and saliva. As per the American Pregnancy Association, 2-3 post a positive result are ideal for increasing the chances of getting pregnant. Another approach would be tracking the changes in the cervical mucus present in the vagina. Doing this over a period gives you a better idea of when you are ovulating A thinner, clear and slippery texture indicates that a woman is more fertile. Go through our detailed article on the different ways you can track your ovulation period.
3. Consume Folic Acid – Prenatal Vitamins
The CDC advises women trying to conceive to take 400 MCG of folic acid everyday at least a month prior to their conception. This prevents defects in the baby’s spine and brain. Folic Acid is a Vitamin B and is present in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins however, one must check the labels to ensure the right amount is present.
4. Schedule a doctor’s visit
A doctor’s visit is a must prior to planning a pregnancy. This is to review any existing health conditions, family medical history or past pregnancy issues that could impact the pregnancy. They will asses your general well being ranging from diet, ideal body weight and healthy habits to adopt. Certain medications tend to make the pregnancy harder – the doctor will discuss the same along with the course forward – vaccinations to take, ideal medicines to switch to, multi vitamins to adopt and general steps to take to prevent any defects at birth.
“If trying to fall pregnant, you must visit the doctor to review your health, should track your ovulation cycle, consume folic acid, maintain a healthy weight, exercise and eat well.”
5. Maintain a healthy weight
It is of utmost importance to maintain an ideal weight to prevent complications in the pregnancy. Overweight people are advised not go on fad diets as this deprives them of nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Instead of short term dietary changes a healthy lifestyle that includes optimal sleep, physical activities and daily intake of rich nutrients is advised. Women with a low BMI are unable to gain weight during the pregnancy making it difficult and resulting in underweight children at birth. It is advised to go to a nutritionist to achieve the optimal healthy weight by both underweight and obese women
6. Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Consumption of alcohol is considered problematic for any pregnancy. There is no optimal amount of alcohol that is recommended for pregnant mothers or women trying to get pregnant. The potential harm done is unknown hence, even beer and wine is to be avoided altogether to reduce complications in pregnancies. It is difficult for some to give up this habit and there is no shame in seeking professional help for the same.
7. Quit Smoking
Many studies show that smoking and consumption of drugs often leads to miscarriages, birth defects and premature babies. In men, it lowers the sperm count thereby leading to reduction in fertility. Women trying to conceive are advised to stay away from second hand smoke as well. The traces of these substances tend to stay in the body long after the affects have worn out. Nicotine and carbon monoxide that are present in the cigarette smoke have detrimental effects and should be avoided altogether.
8. Eat Nutritious and Healthy Food
There is no food type that increases the chances of fertility however to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby a well-balanced and diet full of nutrients is advised. This should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, food that are high in calcium and protein. Women suffering from medical conditions like diabetes should consult their doctors regarding nutritional requirements. It is advised to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day. It is further advised to avoid fish high in mercury content.
9. Mental Well Being
Planning a pregnancy can be extremely stressful and can often cause anxiety amongst couples. This stress is ok from time to time however, long spells of anxiety and depression can decrease the chances of pregnancy. Stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, a soothing massage and just deep breathing exercise can help you wind down and relax. However, if the above techniques fail to calm you down professional help must be sought from a psychiatrist, who may prescribe anti depressants that are ok to be consumed during pregnancies.
10. Moderate Exercise Regiment
Too much or no exercise isn’t ideal for a woman who is looking to get pregnant. Strenuous exercises lead to menstrual disturbances that interfere with ovulation. However, staying active and being fit prepares you for labour and a demanding pregnancy. It is advised to start and stick to a fitness plan involving moderate exercise like walking, light weight training or cycling for about 30 minutes a day. To enhance flexibility one may do yoga and stretching exercises.
11. Conception Moon
Take a holiday with your significant other to de stress and get in the mood. Rather than treating sex as a chore and limiting it to getting it right during fertile windows, a little time off or a procreation vacation could be the answer that you were looking for all along.
12. Positive thinking and a fertile mind
Having a positive attitude is extremely important for your emotional well being, keeps you motivated and keeps the stress hormones low. Rather than feeling like you have no control over the situation – educate yourself and arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Seek professional help where required and tackle the situation rather than giving in. Allow yourself these emotions (anger, frustration, sadness) from time to time but don’t let them become a permanent downward spiral.
A practice that has been followed over generation is Swaddling. This involves wrapping your baby in a blanket to keep them secure. The infant’s arms and legs are ticked in tightly and the blanket envelopes them neck down. When you swaddle your baby, you are essentially giving the position of the womb to your infant.
Swaddling prevents the baby from getting startled from sounds or even no reason at all. This reflex last for about 3-6 months but can tend to prevent the baby from sleeping. Swaddling enables the baby to sleep soundly and sleep longer, giving you some extra time as well.