When most people think about getting pregnant, they think it happens almost instantly. Women decide they want a baby, and just like that they’re pregnant as soon they decide they want to be.
The truth is the pregnancy is a lot more complicated than people think it is.
This may come as a surprise, but only 30% of all couples get pregnant in about one month after trying. In fact, it can take most people 6 months to 1 year to conceive.
This may seem like bad news, but it’s actually great news for aspiring mothers. This means that you have plenty of time to prepare for pregnancy.
Preparing for pregnancy is much more than just getting some diapers and deciding on a nursery color. There are plenty of things you could be doing to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Do you want to start pregnancy planning the right way? Read on to learn our must follow tips for soon to be expecting mothers.
11 Tips For Preparing for Pregnancy
Preparing your body for pregnancy can be like preparing for a big test. As long as you do your homework and treat your body right, you can expect success.
Every woman, regardless of if they’re adding a baby to their own family or plan on becoming a surrogate (if you’re curious about surrogacy, learn more here), needs to make changes to their everyday routine.
Getting ready to have a baby can be a lot of hard work, but it’ll be worth it in the end. If you’re ready to conceive and start planning for a new addition to your family, make sure you follow these tips.
Stop Your Birth Control
Some people think that stopping birth control means that you can instantly get pregnant. They may not be aware that it can take time to conceive after you stop using certain methods of birth control.
If you’re using a barrier method like condoms and diaphragms, your chances of becoming pregnant will greatly increase as soon as you stop using them.
The tricky part comes when you’re using a hormonal birth control method.
For some women on the pill, it can take a month or two for their ovulation cycle to stabilize. If you’re on the shot, it could take a full 12 weeks for things to go back to normal.
This is why it’s important to stop using birth control when you’re sure you want to conceive. You never know how long it’ll take for your body to return to normal.
See Your Doctor
This rule applies to both future moms and dads. It’s important for couples that want to conceive to see their doctors before they begin.
Doctors can analyze your personal medical histories and see if there are any future complications you should be concerned about. They can dive into your vaccine history and see if there are any additional shots you need.
It’s also very important to talk about any chronic medical conditions you have, especially if they require you to take medication.
Your doctor can advise you to try different treatment methods or medications if they think it could harm your pregnancy or chances of getting pregnant.
You don’t need to be able to run a full marathon if you want to have a baby, but being in the best physical shape possible can only benefit expectant moms.
Being fit can give you more stamina for labor and delivery, and establishing a routine can help you shed the baby weight after you deliver.
In some cases, exercise may even improve your fertility if you have a condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or are overweight or obese.
If you already have a solid routine, talk to your doctor about it. See if they have any recommendations they can add, or if they’d prefer that you switch exercise methods.
Chart Your Ovulation
Having a lot of sex may be fun, but it won’t guarantee that you’re going to get pregnant. Timing your sex along with your ovulation cycle make it much easier for you to conceive.
Tracking ovulation is easy when you know what to look for.
Don’t just go by your period. Check things like your body temperature and hormone fluctuations.
Change Your Diet
Some people may think that pregnancy is a ticket to eat whatever they want. But if anything, sticking to a strict diet is even more important for women that are trying to conceive.
On average, pregnant women only need about 300 extra calories to maintain a healthy weight and pregnancy. You want to make sure that you make those extra 300 calories count.
Cut out the junk food from your diet and focus on filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods. Choose protein and vitamins over carbs and sugar.
It’s also important to avoid eating raw eggs or undercooked meat. You don’t want to get salmonella or a different illness associated with raw food.
It’s best to get to a healthy BMI range of 19 to 25. If you’re overweight or underweight conception can be a bit more difficult.
Give Up Your Vices
Drinking, smoking, and drug use is harmful to both you and your future son or daughter.
Smoking can expose your body to a litany of toxins and can reduce your blood flow. It can have a damaging effect on fertility and could cause miscarriage, premature births, and even stillbirth.
Alcohol can lead to long-term problems and developmental issues in the baby, and also puts your baby at the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Using illegal drugs can lead to miscarriage, and could cause you to have a drug-dependent baby.
It’s also important to ask your partner to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and smoking along with you. All of those activities could lower his sperm count.
It’s recommended that you cut down on your caffeine intake. Try to limit your consumption to about 350 ml of caffeine each day.
Get Your Partner Involved
Conceiving isn’t just all on the person trying to get pregnant. Your partner should be actively preparing to conceive along with you.
Just having them following the same routine as you can help make things easier on your end. Having someone eating and exercising the same way you do gives you extra support.
Also, let them know what you’re doing to conceive. They should be in the loop about any changes in your routine so they can make it as easy as possible for you to follow it.
Start Your Supplements
We talked about the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods to improve your chances of carrying a healthy pregnancy. Having a balanced diet can be helpful, and adding multivitamins to it makes it even more powerful.
Don’t just stick to your regular vitamins, it’s time to start taking prenatal vitamins. They can help get rid of any nutritional deficiency that you could have right before getting pregnant.
It’s also important to get plenty of folic acids. Folic acid can help prevent the possibility of neural tube defects during pregnancy. It’s recommended that you get 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid each day.
Telling someone to just relax when they’re trying to do something important can have the opposite effect. But if you want to improve your chances of getting pregnant, you’re going to want to decrease your stress levels as much as possible.
Stress can elevate your cortisol levels. Having a high level of cortisol can prevent ovulation and lower your sex drive.
Take a little time to think about the ways you like to relax. Doing yoga, meditating, or doing something you love to put you in higher spirits can do a lot to help your levels of stress.
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
How much sleep do you get each night? If you aren’t getting 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, you need to start adjusting your sleep cycle.
A good night’s rest every day can do wonders for your body, A lack of sleep can cause stress, lower your sex drive, and just make you more tired overall.
Make it a goal to get enough sleep every night. Consider making a bedtime routine so you can get into the habit of getting into the right mindset for sleep.
Visit Your Dentist
When you’re trying to get pregnant, a visit to your dentist can be just as important as a visit to your doctor.
This may come as a surprise, but your dental health can affect your pregnancy.
The American Dental Association says that gum disease and gingivitis can be more common in pregnancy because of hormonal changes that occur in the body.
Untreated gum disease during pregnancy also has its own unique risks. Gum disease has been shown to increase the risk of complications like preterm birth and preeclampsia.
Get a dental check-up and talk to your dentist about the best way to care for your teeth and gums during pregnancy.
Growing Your Family The Right Way
Preparing for pregnancy the right way can increase your chances of having a great pregnancy and delivery. Following the tips in this post can help get you on the right track to having a happy and healthy family.
We covered pre-pregnancy tips in this article, but what can mothers do to protect themselves and their baby during pregnancy?
If you want to learn about caring for yourself while pregnant, check out our post on antenatal care.