Well before the challenging time or being a new parent to a little newborn, before the painful-yet-magical experience of childbirth and before still, the roller-coaster ride pregnancy, there first comes the hardest and most draining part of all: trying to conceive or TTC for short.
Yes, it is true there are so many women who have unplanned pregnancies where they were not trying to conceive. But for some, a lot of thought goes into the TTC process. Not only do you have to make sure you and your partner are emotionally and mentally ready for the life-changing decision of parenthood but you need to be physically ready too.
There is no way to plan perfectly when you will conceive and unfortunately some people find that nothing works but for some these small things you can do will increase your chances of getting pregnant and eventually a child will be conceived.
Currently trying to conceive? Want to know what to do to increase your fertility and get your body ready for a baby? Or maybe you're just plain-old curious? Read on and all these wants will be satisfied. Here are 20 Ways To Physically Prepare For A Baby Before A Woman Is Even Carrying.
20 Putting Folic Acid First
Let's start with the obvious, shall we -- folic acid. Any woman who has ever Googled 'trying to conceive', spoke to a friend about it or consulted a professional, has probably heard about folic acid.
According to Very Well Family, "Folic acid is an important vitamin for both men and women. Getting enough folic acid can help decrease the risk of birth defects, and it may improve sperm count in men."
It is recommended that women who are TTC take 400 mcg per day of folic acid from at least 30 days before they start trying until the 12th week of pregnancy. If you want to get pregnant and have not started taking folic acid, you better start now!
19 Eating This Thing Called Maca Powder
"It is thought that Maca's benefit to female fertility comes from its ability to restore hormonal balance. In particular, it is believed that Maca may help suppress estrogen dominance, and encourage a favorable estrogen/progesterone balance conducive to achieving pregnancy," states Fair Haven Health.
Maca powder can be purchased from all good health stores as well as online and although many don't like its strong taste, when mixed in juice or a smoothie it can be delightful and of course the biggest benefit of all, it increases your chances of getting pregnant. Many women swear by Maca powder and thank this product in particular for their pregnancies.
18 Understanding how eating affects a woman's cycle
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is important at every stage of life for every human being but it is especially important when trying to conceive and through pregnancy.
Showing that making sure you are eating right and looking after your body is one of the most important factors when it comes to making a baby.
BabyCenter informs us that, "Not getting enough nutrients can affect your periods, making it difficult to predict when you ovulate. And you may not ovulate at all if you're significantly underweight or obese. Your partner should also pay attention to his diet since certain vitamins and nutrients are important for making healthy sperm."
17 Saying Goodbye to Cosmos & Martinis
Time to ban the booze because these toxic drinks are no good when it comes to trying to get conceive and let’s face it, you might as well kick them out now because once there is a bun in the oven they will definitely have to be struck off; no questions asked.
An occasional drink is justifiable but if you or your partner are the types of person to drink on a daily or weekly basis then now is the time to change your ways. Alcohol in many cases is linked to fertility problems not to mention health problems. You will thank yourself once you have that positive pregnancy test.
16 Cutting Out That Daily Trip To Starbucks
Now I am not saying you cannot have your cup of coffee to wake you up in the morning but vast amounts of caffeine can and will affect not only your chances of getting pregnant but likely your partner's sperm count.
Having too much caffeine, whether it be in the form of coffee, tea or energy juice will affect your fertility. So, cutting down on this and sticking to the safe amount off 200-300 mg per day max is your best bet when it comes to creating a new life in your body.
You also don’t want the baby to be born addicted to the stuff so make sure to keep intake low during pregnancy too.
15 And Especially, No Cancer Sticks
Arguably, smoking is even worse than alcohol and caffeine combined. Any amount of this bad habit is hazardous for your health and may potentially cause cancer. Not to say that it is easy to stop but this addiction will, without a doubt, affect you and your partner when trying to conceive a little one. It also goes without saying that it can affect the child's health negatively when he or she comes into the world.
So, get a patch, speak to a counselor, get more fresh air -- do whatever helps you kick this awful and unhealthy habit and do it now. Yourself and your soon to be conceived child will thank you later.
14 Stop Sitting On Your Tushie
Another important aspect of well-being that will aid you in conceiving a child and having a healthy pregnancy is exercise. Nowadays, nearly everyone is lacking in exercise.
Whether this is because of how busy most people are in today's society or pure laziness is up for debate but what everyone does know is that exercise makes you healthier and fitter, thereby increasing your fertility as well. The same goes for men too although you may want to keep him away from riding a bike for a while as that may have the opposite effect.
So, whether yoga is your thing or you would prefer to run, make sure you are giving yourself a good amount of physical activity per day.
13 Learning how to deal with stress
Stress can occur at any time in a person’s life for a variety of different reasons. When trying to conceive, if things don't go the way you had hoped them to, things can get very stressful and overwhelming.
However, you must remember that no matter how long it is taking to get pregnant or what fertility challenges you and your partner may face, stress will only make the situation worse as it can physically affect you.
So, try to keep stress levels low through meditation, a massage or just a chat with a friend. The less you worry, the better for you, your partner, and your child when he or she is conceived.
12 Bye Bye, Fishy
Well, maybe not no fish but cutting down on fish and boycotting certain types of sea-food while trying to conceive (and through pregnancy) is recommended by healthcare professionals.
"Swordfish, shark, orange roughy, king mackerel, marlin, grouper and tilefish are all high in mercury, a neurotoxin that can harm a fetus’s developing brain and nervous system. Mercury can linger in your body for a year or more, so you should eliminate those fish from your diet when you’re TTC (or, ideally, a year before you start)," this being the advice given on thebump.com.
Sounds to me that this should be high on the list when TTC.
11 Delegating Those Dangerous Chores
Now you may look at this picture of a sweet little kitten and think what could a cat possibly have to do with trying to conceive a child? Well, their faces can be harmful to you and your yet to be conceived child.
Changing cat litter, cleaning with strong chemicals, using paints, solvents, or pesticides, handling rodents -- these are all chores that should be delegated to the man of the house (or anyone who isn't the one getting pregnant.)
All of these daily tasks can affect you getting pregnant and/or harm a pregnant woman and fetus so it is best to steer clear of these.
10 Buying Him Boxers Not Briefs
Speaking of the man of the house, this one is for them!
Now it is none of my business what underwear anyone likes to wear, it is down to personal preference but when it comes to trying to get pregnant then fellas, boxers not briefs is the way to go.
According to Fit Pregnancy, "Men who wear boxers have a lower scrotal temperature (and hence a more sperm-friendly environment) than those who wear briefs."
Clearly, this is an important step when it comes to trying to conceive a child, so men if you don't mind, please stick to this golden rule.
9 Going To All Those Check-Ups
It is common for people to avoid getting checked for anything by a doctor. This may be because of a bad experience, an irrational fear or just forgetfulness but when it comes to getting your body prepared for a baby, getting the once-over by your doctor is a very good idea.
These pre-conception check-ups can be vital to successfully getting pregnant. Making sure you and your partner are both fit and healthy and up to date with any vaccinations should be one of the top things on the checklist. And if you do run into any problems, there will be a medical professional at hand to give you the best advice possible.
8 Managing Inconvenient Health Conditions
Leading on from the last entry, if before your pre-conception health check, you know of previous conditions, illnesses or concerns that need to be addressed, now if the time to do so.
Any condition, whether it be mental or physical, should be dealt with or at least on the pathway to being dealt with before a baby is conceived, for both the health and safety of Mum, Dad and future little one.
Get all your medication in order and make sure to speak to your doctor. You want to be as healthy as you can be while carrying a child. This goes for the man too; his health is just as important. It is a team effort.
7 Taking Oral Health Seriously
Another aspect of your health you and your partner will want to manage before trying to conceive is your dental health.
The dentist is a massive phobia for some people and often people avoid going to the dentist for months if not years instead of attending their regular check-up and receiving much needed dental work. If you are trying for a baby, it is best that you and your partner get a full dental check to make sure your oral health is up to scratch.
Conditions such as gum disease can be a cause of miscarriage, which is the worst possible outcome. So be safe and get your dental work done pre-conception.
6 Talking To Your Partner About It First
Sometimes, if things aren't working physically, it is because one of you is holding something back or has reservations about starting a family. Your emotional state can really affect your physical health and therefore stop you from creating a new life.
To stop this from happening, make sure you and your partner have a good, long chat about what you both want. Listen to each other and make sure to consider one another's opinions. At the end of the day, the two of you are going to have to work as a team so you will want to make sure you are on the same page from the very start.
5 Getting to the fun part
Many studies have shown that regular intercourse is good for your health, especially if it is with someone you love. Regular intercourse can make women more fertile and men have healthier sperm (this is not in all cases but many).
This does not mean you must make love every single day --although some people swear that is the best way-- but making love every few days or every week, increasing to daily when you are ovulating.
Obviously, never force yourself to have intercourse if you are not feeling it and never force your partner to but if you really want to conceive and you are both willing, this may be the way to go.
4 Stopping Chemical Contraception
There are many types of contraception, from condoms to the pill and more. Some of these methods of contraception affect a woman's body, changing natural hormones and affecting your cycle.
Sometimes after the contraception has stopped it can take a few weeks or even a few months for fertility to return so if you are looking to get pregnant soon you may want to stop chemical contraception and use condoms until you are ready to start trying. Allow your body to return to normality.
Many women go on to have healthy pregnancies and children after using chemical contraception so don’t worry about it stopping your fertility, your body will go back to normal.
3 Assessing possible Risk Factors
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of TTC and imagining how amazing it will be to carry a child but you do also have to consider the risks, especially when it comes to your health.
Financially, are you ready? Emotionally, are you ready? Are there any physical problems that may put you and baby at risk? Have you experienced problems with pregnancy before? Could you pass a disease onto a child? Is there any problem they may inherit from family?
These are all questions you should ask yourself. Not to say you can’t or shouldn't have children, they are just points to consider and check up on.
2 Tracking Regular Cycles
As disappointed as you feel when you get your period when you are TTC because that means you are obviously not pregnant, they are actually a very important part of it and you could switch it around and view them positively.
Regular cycles and ovulation are the keys to good fertility and therefore, creating a baby. So although you may not be happy when you get your period and as all women know, they are inconvenient and uncomfortable, try to view it as a positive. Keep track of when you get your period every month and get to know your cycle well.
1 And Tracking Ovulation
Going hand in hand with regular menstruation is ovulation tracking. This is crucial to getting pregnant.
BabyCenter states that "Ovulation is when one or more eggs are released from one of your ovaries. This happens towards the end of the time you're fertile between periods."
This means that one day per month you have the best chances of getting pregnant. Knowing when your most fertile week is and the day of your ovulation gives you the best chance of conceiving.
Buy ovulation tests, track your temperature, look out for signs your body will give you that you are ovulating, ovulation apps are just some of the things you can do to help you catch ovulation.
References: Babycenter.com, fitpregnancy.com, thebump.com, fairhavenhealth.com, and verywellfamily.com.