Deciding the right time in your life to get pregnant and starting the process of trying to conceive is an exciting and scary time! Pregnancy and motherhood is a beautiful thing and it also comes with many challenges. Some of those challenges start the moment you begin trying to conceive and don't really ever end! There is plenty of interesting information and important facts you should know about trying to get pregnant and beyond that are super beneficial. With that being said, here are some of them to consider when trying to conceive!
1. Start Your Prenatals before You Conceive
It's really important to begin your prenatal vitamins before trying to conceive because it prepares your body and future baby with the proper nutrients. There are certain nutrients that are essential for a developing fetus, especially in the first few weeks before you even know you're pregnant! DHA, folic acid and iron are the primary components to look for when choosing the right prenatal. Some don't have DHA which is vital for neural tube development so make sure the one you pick has it! Also keep in mind that you need to take it with food because a prenatal vitamin is dense and can cause an upset tummy!
2. Make Sure You're Eating Healthy and Exercising
If you want a smoother pregnancy, healthier baby and easier time during delivery and post-baby recovery, then you should make eating healthy and exercising a priority! Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, lean proteins and don't forget the calcium and magnesium. Limit carbs, processed sugars and fats as these can cause you to gain too much weight. Even if you have a naturally thin figure, you may experience that fat just melds onto your body while you're pregnant. This is because your body stores excess fat in order to prepare for breastfeeding which is actually pretty amazing! Exercise is also important to prevent excess weight gain and maintain muscle tone. This will help you tremendously during birth and after the baby arrives! Walking and yoga both are great ways to stay active while pregnant.
3. Expect a Delay in Fertility when Coming off the Pill
The birth control pill is an oral contraceptive that prevents ovulation from happening. Once you decide that you want to become pregnant, expect a few months to a year for your body to regulate itself again with the right balance of hormones to stimulate ovulation. It's easy to become discouraged if conception takes longer than expected, however everyone is different and think of it as your body's way of preparing itself perfectly for your little one! If you do suspect there is something wrong, make sure to talk to your doctor and get checked out.
4. Get Plenty of Rest!
Sleep is vital for health, it's just a fact. Sleep is when your body repairs and restores itself and enables it to fight off invaders. You'll want to be well rested and healthy when trying to conceive because if you're constantly sick and have a lowered immune system, it can actually impede your chances of getting pregnant. Plus, pregnancy and parenthood means you'll need extra sleep to fight off the exhaustion, so you might as well prepare now!
5. Timing is Everything
In reality, there is a small window that is optimal for conceiving and for a woman who has a regular cycle, generally that is 14 days after the start of her last period. An egg lasts 24-48 hours in the body which is when it would be fertilized. Sperm however can last from 3-7 days which is why it's ideal to have sex before you ovulate and on the day of. Given the timing of it all, it truly is a miracle when pregnancy does occur!
6. Track Your Cycle
Tracking your cycle many months in advance can prove to be very beneficial when trying to conceive. Again, this is mainly only effective for women who have cycles that are regular or close to regular every month. There are plenty of apps available that track your cycle and provide you with a way to see when you're ovulating, when your fertile window is, when your period should start, and they allow you to input any symptoms you may be experiencing. Find the one you like best and start tracking as soon as you can! It's even beneficial when you're not trying to conceive, just for your own knowledge about your cycle.
7. Get to Know Your Body
And finally, the last thing you should be mindful of when trying to get pregnant is being in tune with your body. There are many physical changes that go on during the time of ovulation, such as an increased sex drive, changes in vaginal discharge, bloating and often times cramping and increased base body temperature. If you know your body well, you can pinpoint when you're ovulating without spending money on ovulation tests. Of course, many women have irregular cycles so it's hard to know when exactly you're ovulating. A good rule of thumb is to simply have sex every 2-3 days and you'll hit the window of ovulation without a doubt!
One last tidbit, remember not to stress when trying to get pregnant! It's fun and exciting and will happen eventually so there's no need to rush or stress out about it. Are any of you ladies trying to conceive? Do you have any additional information to share?