Thinking about getting pregnant? I’ve put together some great information on how to prepare yourself for pregnancy!
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At first thought, planning on getting pregnant seems pretty simple. Do the deed, take a test, bam, baby on the way. Not really the case. Well for some it is but it’s probably because they did it at the right time.
When you’re deciding to bring a precious little life into the world there are a lot of things to consider and a lot to prepare for. Other than buying a crib and clothes. Getting your body ready for pregnancy is really important.
The hubby and I decided together that it was time to start trying for little P before Geoff’s 30th birthday. We certainly thought it’d take longer than it did to conceive, but low and behold, one month later I was knocked up!
Now I’m not saying I can guarantee that you’ll have the same success.
Hopefully, you will!
But there are ways to get ready for getting pregnant. Let’s get into it!
1. Talk to your partner
Obviously, being on the same page as your partner is very important. That goes without saying. While this isn’t something to get your body ready, it’s important to know that both of you are mentally, and financially ready. This is a good time to figure out your views on how many kids each of you wants and talk about things like family medical history.
2. Check out maternity benefits
Does your work offer maternity leave? You should probably check to see if you’re eligible. If you don’t know where to find this information contact your human resources department. Some workplaces offer a maternity top up. What this means is that on top of your government maternity benefit, your work will top up to a certain percentage of your regular wage. Keep in mind, I was on maternity leave in Canada and the benefits are different from the United States and other countries.
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3. Get off of birth control
Probably an obvious suggestion but has to be said. While it’s great for preventing babies, it’s not great if you’re trying to make one. One good thing about birth control if you’ve been on it is that your cycle has probably been on clockwork. Typically it takes at least a month for the effects of birth control to leave your body. Depending on how long and what type you’re using it could be more. Consult your doctor. In the meantime, this article from Parents.com is a great resource to tell you all you need to know.
4. Get to know your cycle
There are so many ways you can do this. By using a calendar to track the beginning and end, or an app. Using an app is my personal way.
For years I’ve been using Clue to track my period, symptoms and otherwise. Clue is a free app that has the option to purchase more features. I haven’t needed to upgrade to the paid version.
Clue is easy to use, and the longer you use it for, the more accurate it is at dating your ovulation window. In other words, it tells you when the best time to get busy is if you’re trying to either make a baby or not.
You can find Clue in the app store, and also in play store for Android phones. Once you create your free account the app will follow you wherever you go phone-wise by using your chosen login. I hadn’t used the app during my pregnancy, obviously. But when I logged in, with a new phone, after Peyton was born, all of my data was there!
5. Take an ovulation test
Haven’t been tracking your period for very long? That’s okay. Pick Up some ovulation tests and start testing! Ovulation is the only time of the month you can conceive, and it’s a pretty short window. Three days! This step is crucial in pregnancy preparation so that you know the right times to try.
6. Begin taking prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are amazing for a woman’s body whether she is trying to get pregnant or not. As told to me by a nurse friend. Start taking these three months before you try to get pregnant.
The difference with prenatal vitamins compared to regular multivitamins is that they have folic acid, more iron and other vitamins crucial to supporting a healthy pregnancy. How much folic acid do you need? Look for prenatal vitamins containing 400-800 micrograms. For more information about how to choose the right prenatal vitamins check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.
7. Consult your doctor or midwife
Aside from knowing your period, talking to your doctor is another very important thing to do. Booking a preconception appointment is a common thing to do when thinking about becoming pregnant. For the most part, your doctor, or midwife will lead the way with a slew of questions. We experienced both the care of a doctor and a midwife in my first pregnancy, read more about that here.
Some of the things you should ask are:
- Should you change your eating habits or lose weight?
- Do you have any family medical history that is concerning to either you or your partner?
- Is genetic screening needed?
- Are you healthy enough for pregnancy?
- Are your eggs and his sperm in check? Now is the time to find out!
8. Cut back on alcohol
For some, maybe the hardest part. But, if you’re trying, you really should cut back. If you’re like me and get pregnant quicker than you expected, you want to be sure that little fetus has the cleanest and healthiest home possible.
9. Stay away from smoking/drugs
If you’re a smoker, you should consult your doctor about getting off of tobacco. While I’m not a smoker and can not speak to what that would entail, it’s best to speak with a pharmacist or your healthcare professional. If you don’t smoke but your partner or people around you smoke, you should avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous for you and your impending pregnancy.
10. Eat healthier
Having a healthy body mass index is a great way to make sure you’re good to go. Also, adopting the habit of eating better will make it easier to make healthy choices during your pregnancy and through your life really. Check your BMI here, it may surprise you. A healthy BMI is from 18.5-24.9. Not saying you need to be a rake, just keep in mind that a healthier body is a healthier home for a potential baby on the way.
11. Take care of yourself
Being stressed out and overtired are never good for your body or mental health. Get lots of rest, maybe take up meditation or yoga. Do things that make you happy, and things that make you feel pampered. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve had a facial or a massage. Do it! Just relax and let mother nature take over. When your body is ready, it will pay off in spades.
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12. Get frisky
Clearly, doing the deed is necessary. My biggest point of advice, enjoy your partner. Don’t make baby making a job. Nothing natural happens unnaturally, well for the most part. Plus, a healthy sex life is important for your relationship! Trying for a baby shouldn’t be stressful for either of you. Have fun, don’t be safe, if you know what I mean. Wink, wink. By the way, studies have shown that a healthy sex life primes your body for pregnancy! So, moral of this tip. Have lots and lots of sex.
All I can say about this incredible journey is keep that line of communication open between you and your partner. Having a united front is so important to establish. Your happiness, pregnancy, and relationship depend on it.
I truly wish you the best in your conception journey! I’m rooting for you, mama! Now go get prepping!
What helped you get pregnant? Share with other mamas in the comments below!
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