Preparing to become a parent is a big undertaking, and pregnancy plays a huge role for many people. When it comes to conceiving, there are a few things to do before you start trying. Check out these 15 things to do beforetry to get pregnant.
Talk to parents before pregnancy
Experts and real-world parents agree: When you're in a partnership, it's important to talk to your future co-parent about some of the biggest parenting questions: how do you divide responsibilities with the kids, how do you plan to raise your kids, work or work at home and religious traditions before trying to conceive.
"But before freaking out over differing opinions about circumcision, public or private schools, or anything else that comes our way, remember that you can change your mind on many of these issues over time," says Rebecca. Odes and Ceridwen Morris, authors ofFrom the Hips: A Complete, Open-Minded, Uncensored, and Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting.
"The most important thing is that couples talk about their priorities, expectations and fears throughout the process, especially before becoming pregnant."
10 Struggles Every Couple Faces When Trying to Conceive
stop your birth control
If you are using hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, patch, ring, implant, shot, or IUD (or a long-acting non-hormonal reversible contraceptive, such as the Paraguard IUD), plan to stop before you start trying. . When to stop depends on the type of birth control you use and you should consult your doctor.
With hormonal birth control pills, you should stop taking them a few months before trying to have a baby, says Robert A. Greene, M.D., co-author ofPerfect hormonal balance for fertility.. This time gives you some time to assess your natural menstrual cycle and find out when you ovulate, which is the time of the month when you are most fertile.
If you've been on the pill for a while, your cycle may be different than the one you started with. Also, it may take a while for your hormone levels to return to normal after you stop taking the pill, but if your period is still MIA after three months, you should see your doctor.
What you need to know about stopping birth control to get pregnant
Reduce overall substance use
Drinking, smoking and using recreational drugs while pregnant? we don't have to tell youare important prohibitions. If you're indulging before pregnancy, start cutting now before you start trying, she says.Dra. Jennifer Wider, author ofThe Survival Guide for the New Momand medical advisor to the Society for Women's Health Research in Washington, D.C.
"If you're a moderate drinker, having a few drinks on a Thursday night or the weekend, you probably don't need to change anything as long as you're sure you're not pregnant," he says. doctor Contrary. “But drinking most nights of the week or having five cocktails at once could be a bigger problem.” The same can be said for your partner. Excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to affect fertility andit can also lower sperm count.
smoking cigarettes, even casually or socially, can also affect egg and sperm quality, not to mention increased risk of congenital disorders, miscarriage, preterm labor, and other post-pregnancy conditions.
In fact, it is estimated that up to 13% of fertility problems can be caused by tobacco use.american society for reproductive medicine(ASRM), and no level of smoking or smoking is safe. Research shows that even people exposed to secondhand smoke have more trouble conceiving than those who aren't. Bottom line: There's never been a better time to break the habit and insist your partner do the same.
Also, quitting smoking or drinking cold turkey after becoming pregnant can take a toll on your system, say authors Odes and Morris. "Psychologically, if you feel like pregnancy made you 'give up' on all the things you loved, you might start to build up some resentment right away," they say. "Quitting smoking or getting into the habit of multiple margaritas is a huge achievement, so start now and let it be something you're proud of, rather than forced."
If the Starbucks barista knows your order as soon as you step up to the counter, or if you can't get through your workday without four cups of French roast, "do yourself a favor and cut back on caffeine now," says Dr. wider. "Not just because studies show that too much caffeine can cause miscarriage, but because you want to avoid withdrawal after pregnancy."
FYI: Doctors disagree on how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy. most sayYou can safely consume up to 200 milligrams a day, but some recommend avoiding it altogether, especially in the first trimester.
And don't forget to factor in other common sources of caffeine, such as sodas, teas, energy drinks, and even some pain relievers. A 12-ounce can of soda or an 8-ounce cup of green or black tea can contain between 30 and 60 milligrams of caffeine. Two pills of Extra Strength Excedrin (which is the trade name for the over-the-counter combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine) are 130 milligrams.
Best Practice: Start reading labels now to see how much caffeine is in yourdiet before pregnancy.
Can you drink coffee during pregnancy?
Find your healthiest weight
If you and your doctor feel that doing so would benefit your health and your chances of losing or gaining weight, now is the time to do so.
Weight loss can not only help obese people conceive, "it will also help them have a healthier pregnancy and a birth with fewer risks and complications," says Dr. Greene. Similar,are significantly underweightmay affect your fertility and risk of complications during pregnancy.
Regardless of your height, it's good for your health and makes it more likely that you'll incorporate an exercise program into your routine now, for example. For example, go for a walk or take a pilates class a few times a week.You will keep it during and after your pregnancy..
Soon you'll start pocketing money for college, diapers, and all that baby stuff. "But even pregnancy itself can be more expensive than you think," says Katina Z. Jones, author ofThe book "Everything is ready for the baby".. Think: medical copays, maternity clothes, prenatal vitamins, etc.
"Even if you're making a little bit at a time — just $20 a paycheck — you'll feel better knowing you've established some sort of savings before trying to conceive. And if you have extra money, you can always spend it on furniture in the bedroom. nursery or other baby expenses.
What the baby should have (and not do) for his registration
Take a Pregnancy Supplement
"Any woman looking to get pregnant in the next three to six months should start taking a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid," says Dr. Contrary. According to the March of Dimes, adequate intake of this B vitamin may be possible during pre and early pregnancy.Reduces brain and spinal birth defects by up to 70%.
The multivitamin itself is packed with other nutrients crucial for a healthy pregnancy, such as iron to prevent anemia and calcium for strong teeth and bones. Take the pill in the morning after brushing your teeth, or keep a bottle at work and set a reminder to take it. If you hate swallowing pills, they also come in chewable form. Starting the habit now will make it easier for you to remember when you're pregnant.
The best prenatal vitamins.
fuel in the dream
Get those zzz's now, recommends Jackie Rose, coauthor ofThe Pregnancy Guide for Girls Who Haven't Been Drinking Recently. "Sleep with your [partner] on the weekends and take naps whenever you can," says Rose.
Most of us expect sleepless nights after the baby is born, but getting a good night's sleep can be difficult too.things like heartburnGetting up to urinate and getting used to naps can get some pregnant people moving.
Getting enough sleep can even help you get pregnant faster; People who don't get enough sleep tend to have more trouble ovulating regularly than those who don't.studies show.
check your stress
Although the link is not conclusive,some researchshows that incredibly high levels of stress can delay your ability to conceive (by stopping ovulation or interfering with the embryo's ability to implant in the uterus). And if you have a type-A personality, your stress can rise even further.once you are pregnantand get ready for the baby.
"Now do an emotional review, make sure you feel calm and ready for the next phase of your life, and find what works best to help you relax," says Dr. Contrary. "Maybe it's drinking tea and watching old episodes ofsex and the City, go for a 3-mile run, or just unload your best friend. Whatever it is, if it works for you now, it will help when you're pregnant or new to mum."
Don't have a suitable tranquilizer? dr. Greene recommends keeping a journal on your nightstand and jotting down your thoughts 15 minutes before bed.studies showthat you regularly write in a journal or use otherrelaxation techniques and mindfulnessit can help you feel more optimistic and less worried.
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Discover your living situation
Do you need to move for more space, a better location or for other reasons? If yes, we recommend that you do so soon. Once you've settled down, ideally somewhere you plan to stay for at least a few years, and feel comfortable in your home, you can feel more prepared for pregnancy. When you're pregnant, you certainly don't want to deal with packing, moving, renovations, lawyers, landlords, or closing if you can help it.
On the other hand, if you're happy where you live, it doesn't seem like you are.terchanging now that you are planning a family; You don't need a big multi-bedroom house in the suburbs to raise a baby. Remember ifMany young children sleep in their parents' bedroom.during the first few months, and a baby won't be any happier just because they have their own nursery and playroom. You'll have plenty of time later to make the big move if you need or want more space in the future.
rate your work
While there's no law that says you can't look for a job while you're pregnant (and, in fact, it's illegal not to hire someone just because you're pregnant), now is a better time to change jobs if you're pregnant and unhappy. .
For one, you must have worked somewhere for at least 12 months to qualify for the license.Medical and Family Leave Act (FMG), federal law requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave.
But beyond that, it's important to take a look at your 10,000-foot run, says Cathy Stahl, coauthor ofdouble set, and ask yourself the following questions: Is your work schedule okay? Is there enough flexibility to take care of the children after the baby is born? Can you handle the commute to work? Do other new parents seem happy to work at your company?
If you answered no to any of these questions, consider looking for a new job or seeing if your boss is willing to work with you to improve your job description, work location, hours, or benefits. Maybe you could hire smaller clients to cut your hours, or check in from home a few days a week if you have a particularly cruel commute.
Here are the maternity leave benefits for each state
Ask your family members about your pregnancy.
If you can, ask your mother, sisters, aunts and grandparents about the pregnancy. How long did it take to get pregnant? Were there any complications, such as preterm labor or breech presentation? Certain health problems tend to run in families, and it's a good idea to review your medical history and share any relevant information with your doctor.
But don't worry too much. Having a family member struggling with their fertility doesn't necessarily mean you'll have problems too (especially sinceFertility problems affect male partners, for). Many common female fertility problems, such as age-related poor egg quality or blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, are not hereditary. But some, like fibroids, ovarian cysts, or bleeding disorders, can run in families.
Your doctor can help you understand what issues may be affecting your fertility or pregnancy so that you can be better prepared if needed.
visit your doctor
Many experts recommendbook onePre-pregnancy checkupat least three months before trying for a baby, says Dr. Greene, especially if you don't see your doctor regularly. Your healthcare provider shouldMake sure your vaccinations are up to date., check for sexually transmitted infections (STDs), get tested for heart health issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and manage any chronic conditions (like diabetes, asthma or thyroid problems).
During your visit, discuss any pregnancy-related issues and make sure you are not taking any medications that could affect fertility or are unsafe during pregnancy.
Use this visit to assess your relationship with your doctor and make sure you want to continue to see your doctor after your pregnancy. (Also, check to see if they serve pregnant women; you might be surprised to learn that your gynecologist is not an obstetrician, for example.)
Do they take the time to answer your questions fully and carefully, or do they dismiss you with eye rolls or comments like "Don't you have to worry about that?" Remember that you may see this person frequently when you are pregnant and you should be able to rely on their advice at one of the most important times in your life.
Consider sending your partner, if you have one, to an internist as well. keep in mind thatMany men go to the doctor much less often.like women Regular screening tests can help determine if you have any chronic medical conditions, and your doctor can check to see if your medications may be affecting your sperm count or other fertility factors.
6 health checks you should take before becoming a parent
Don't forget the dentist
It might seem completely unrelated to fertility, but checking your teeth and gums before you get pregnant is another smart move, says Dr. Greene. More research links oral health to a healthy pregnancy;People with uncontrolled gum diseasethey are more prone to miscarriage, premature labor and pre-eclampsia.
"In fact, regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist can reduce the risk of miscarriage by up to 70%," she says. Checking your teeth now will give you time to check for gingivitis (gum disease) and get x-rays (which should be avoided during pregnancy) if you need to.
If your oral health isn't at its best, your dentist may recommend that you have a cleaning every few months.
go back to your roots
If you've dyed your hair, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to handle color while pregnant. "During pregnancy, you shouldn't have touch-ups every few weeks," says Dr. Contrary.
While there is no conclusive research showing that dyeing your hair during pregnancy is unsafe, most experts recommend minimizing exposure to chemicals, especially during the first trimester, when your major organs are growing. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor.
You can also ask your colorist how to get it back; Perhaps you could move on to lights, which generally require less maintenance and may be safer, or dyes that use fewer chemicals.
What should I not do before getting pregnant? ›
- Lose or Gain a Lot of Weight. ...
- Overdo the Exercise. ...
- Put Off Starting a Family Too Long. ...
- Wait Until You Miss Your Period to Stop Drinking. ...
- Smoke. ...
- Double Up on Your Vitamins. ...
- Amp Up on Energy Drinks or Espresso Shots. ...
- Skimp on Sex.
- Check in on your fertility health. ...
- Get physically prepared for conception and pregnancy. ...
- Assess your living situation. ...
- Get your finances in order. ...
- Understand your benefits and health insurance coverage. ...
- Talk about your parenting styles and expectations.
Some experts do recommend staying in bed anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after intercourse to keep the sperm pooled at the top of the vagina. A woman can put her knees up to accentuate this position, or she can place her feet on the wall with her hips on a small pillow, which works even better.What days are you most fertile? ›
You're most fertile at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries), which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you're most likely to get pregnant.What is the best step to get pregnant? ›
Have sex regularly. The highest pregnancy rates occur in couples who have sex every day or every other day. Have sex near the time of ovulation. If having sex every day isn't possible — or enjoyable — have sex every 2 to 3 days a week starting soon after the end of your period.How do you know when a man is fertile? ›
A sperm analysis can be done to check a man's sperm count and the overall health of the sperm. Your doctor may refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist. That's a doctor who specializes in infertility. You will be asked questions about your infertility symptoms and medical history.How do you know if you have good fertility? ›
- You Have A Very Regular Cycle. ...
- You Feel Well In General. ...
- You've Never Had A Pelvic Infection. ...
- You Have Other Signs Of Regular Ovulation. ...
- You Don't Smoke Cigarettes. ...
- Your Periods Aren't Extremely Heavy. ...
- Your Periods Aren't Extremely Painful.
If your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and your period arrives like clockwork, it's likely that you'll ovulate on day 14. That's halfway through your cycle. Your fertile window begins on day 10. You're more likely to get pregnant if you have sex at least every other day between days 10 and 14 of a 28-day cycle.What is the best age for a couple to have a baby? ›
Your fertility naturally declines as you get older, which could make it harder for you to conceive. And starting a family later in life could pose greater risks for pregnancy complications. Experts say the best time to get pregnant is between your late 20s and early 30s.How soon should you have your first baby? ›
What's the best interval between pregnancies? To reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and other health problems, research suggests waiting 18 to 24 months but less than five years after a live birth before attempting your next pregnancy.
How much money should you have before having a baby? ›
Richardson believes that in 2022, hopeful parents should have at least six months of living costs saved up to “take the pressure off the increased costs and decreased income.” Richardson recommends reorganising your budgets as soon as you decide that you want children.What helps sperm to get into the uterus? ›
The protected sperm with the greatest motility travel through the layers of cervical mucus that guard the entrance to the uterus. During ovulation, this barrier becomes thinner and changes its acidity, creating a friendlier environment for the sperm. The cervical mucus acts as a reservoir for extended sperm survival.How do you push sperm in to get pregnant? ›
You can also get pregnant using different kinds of alternative insemination or in-vitro fertilization. During alternative insemination, semen is inserted into your vagina or uterus using a syringe or other device. You either put the semen in at home by yourself or with a partner, or with the help of a doctor.Is it normal for sperm to leak out the next day? ›
Loss of seminal fluid after intercourse is perfectly normal, and most women notice some discharge immediately after sex. Many infertile couples imagine that this is the cause of their problem.When is the least fertile time to get pregnant? ›
Continue counting each day of your cycle until your next cycle starts. On days 1-7, you're not considered to be fertile and can have unprotected sex, though you may have menstrual bleeding on those days. On days 8-19, you're considered to be fertile. Avoid unprotected sex or abstain from sex to avoid pregnancy.How long do you ovulate for? ›
While ovulation itself only lasts for 12 to 24 hours, you're most likely to get pregnant in the days before and after ovulation, a window of around six days. Read on to learn more about what exactly happens during this phase of the menstrual cycle, as well as reasons why ovulation can be delayed.Can you get pregnant that night if you ovulate in the morning? ›
Yes, you can get pregnant after ovulation, as long as you have sex within about 12 to 24 hours of when an egg was released.How long should I lay on my back when trying to conceive? ›
Lay down and relax for a few minutes after sex
Standing up or going to the bathroom after sex may pull sperm away from their destination. So, lying on your back for 15 minutes or so after sex may help keep sperm moving in the right direction.
Some fertility drugs work by stimulating a woman's ovaries, which can sometimes cause them to release more than one egg. If sperm fertilizes both of these eggs, this can result in twins. In vitro fertilization (IVF) can also increase the chance of conceiving twins.
- Age. The quality and quantity of a woman's eggs begin to decline with age. ...
- Smoking. Besides damaging your cervix and fallopian tubes, smoking increases your risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. ...
- Weight. Being overweight or significantly underweight may affect ovulation. ...
- Sexual history. ...
Where does a man go to check his fertility? ›
When picking a men's fertility doctor, try to see a urologist who has done specialty training in fertility. These are doctors who took one to two years after their urology training to learn specialized care of men with infertility.How can I tell if my wife is fertile? ›
- If your average menstrual cycle is 28 days, you ovulate around day 14, and your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14.
- If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21.
There's a very good chance if you are experiencing a regular monthly period, you are fertile. While it is true that women have a finite number of eggs, lack of conception is predominately due to other causes.Does female masturabation cause infertility? ›
Masturbating doesn't affect your fertility at all. There are many myths about infertility. Some people believe that masturbation can cause infertility. However, no matter your genitals, gender, or age, masturbation can't affect your ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term.How many babies can a woman have in her lifetime? ›
One study estimated a woman can have around 15-30 children in a lifetime, taking pregnancy and recovery time into account. Since men require less time and fewer resources to have kids, the most "prolific" fathers today can have up to about 200 children.What week is too early to have a baby? ›
Babies born before 37 weeks are premature. A premature birth is more likely to happen when a mother has a health problem — like diabetes — or does harmful things during her pregnancy, like smoke or drink. If she lives with a lot of stress, that also can make her baby be born too early.How many kids should one have? ›
Two children. Research suggests that having two children is still most people's idea of the 'ideal' family size.How much money do you need monthly for a baby? ›
Monthly, you could safely plan on spending between $250 (no child care) and $1500 (with child care) a month on your baby.How much money do you need a month for a newborn? ›
Bottom line: babies are expensive. Before you make that major life decision, take a careful look at your finances, since you'll need an average of $1,500 a month in your first year. Babies are life changing, and wonderful, and cute as can be, but for something so small, they sure cost a heck of a lot.How much should I save per month for my child? ›
Ideally, you should save at least $250 per month if you anticipate your child attending an in-state college (four years, public), $450 per month for an out-of-state public four-year college, and $550 per month for a private non-profit four-year college, from birth to college enrollment.
What attracts sperm to an egg? ›
“Human eggs release chemicals called chemoattractants that attract sperm to unfertilised eggs.What helps sperm survive in a woman? ›
Having a fertile cervical fluid will increase the survival rates of the sperm inside the vagina. The vaginal canal in women is acidic in nature and only the healthiest of sperm will survive the first 12 hours. Each time a man ejaculates, around 100 million sperm is released through his semen.Where does sperm need to touch to get pregnant? ›
The sperm enters the body through the vagina, then travels through the cervix and womb to the fallopian tubes, where the egg is usually fertilised (conception). The egg can be fertilised by sperm contained in semen or pre-ejaculate.Can she get pregnant if she's on top? ›
No matter whether you're doing it in the missionary position, woman-on-top, doggie style, spooning, or standing up, a woman has an equal chance of getting pregnant during unprotected sexual intercourse. The idea that woman-on-top leads to lower chances of conception is a misconception, a myth, and misinformation.Why does sperm come out when I sleep? ›
During ejaculation, semen (the fluid containing sperm) comes out of the penis and this is what you noticed on your underwear or pajama pants. Wet dreams usually happen during dreams that have sexual images. Sometimes guys wake up from a wet dream, but sometimes they sleep through it.Can a guy release sperm without feeling it? ›
Guys can leak a bit of sperm out of the penis before ejaculation. This is called pre-ejaculate ("pre-cum"). So even if a guy pulls out before he ejaculates, a girl can still become pregnant. Unlike during an orgasm, a guy can't tell exactly when the pre-ejaculate is released.How long does it take for sperm to come out of a woman? ›
Sperm travels rapidly through your reproductive tract, reaching your Fallopian tubes in as little as one minute. Some of this sperm will remain in the back of your vagina (in an area called the posterior fornix), falling out anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later.What does a woman need to do to get pregnant? ›
- have sex every 2 to 3 days without using contraception – make sure sperm enters the vagina.
- try to have sex around the time you are ovulating – this is usually 12 to 16 days before your period starts.
- Papaya – It tops the list for obvious reasons. ...
- Pineapple – These are also not recommended to the pregnant women as they contain certain enzymes that alters the texture of cervix which could induce premature contractions. ...
- Grapes –
Some women may begin noticing the first early signs of pregnancy a week or two after conception, while others will start to feel symptoms closer to four or five weeks after conception. Some women may not feel symptoms until their period is noticeably late, or even farther into pregnancy.