I’m back with yet another family planning blog post. This is a follow up post of “How to plan a Baby After Marriage”
As I mentioned in my previous post that it’s quite important for a couple to get ready for the baby’s arrival; financially, physically, spiritually and mentally (long before you even conceive). There are things you need to take care of before you even start thinking of getting pregnant. Do you know that half of all pregnancies are unplanned. By planning your pregnancy, you get a jump start on a whole host of things. This includes a potentially shorter time to get pregnant, a healthier pregnancy, fewer complications, and painful symptoms, as well as time to think about what all of your options are for your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. So, it’s better to be well prepared and that’s why I made this post to share our experience with you. I have listed the things which has helped us to get pregnant. So, based on our own experiences below I have listed few things which you need to do or avoid to get pregnant quickly:
Things You should Do Now if You’re Thinking About Getting Pregnant:
Have a Healthy Lifestyle:
Eat a nutritionally-dense diet even before you conceive. Have your partner join you on a road to good health, including diet and exercise. When both of you will work towards a healthy lifestyle, it will make each of you more likely to succeed. So, eat smart, move right, and sleep well.
Go off the Pills or Stop using Contraception
Before you start actively trying to conceive, you’ll need to stop using birth control (almost 3 months before you plan to start trying). This will give you a bit of time to see what your natural menstrual cycle is like 27 days or 32 days so you can figure out when you’re ovulating (the time of the month when you’re most fertile). If you’ve been taking the pill for a while, your cycle could be different from what it was before you started. When you stop using hormonal contraception or the IUD, your body’s natural fertility returns. The sooner fertility returns, the sooner you can track your cycle, pinpoint ovulation and get pregnant. It can take a while for hormone levels to get back on track after you ditch the pill, but if your period’s still MIA after three months, you should see your doctor.
Stop Drinking and Smoking
Excess alcohol intake has been shown to interfere with your fertility and can also lower sperm count in men. Smoking cigarettes, even socially, can affect your egg quality and your hubby’s sperm. It might also increase your risk of birth defects, miscarriage, preterm labor, and other conditions after you become pregnant. It’s estimated that up to 13 percent of fertility problems may be caused by tobacco use. No level of smoking or exposure to smoke is safe. In fact, research shows that even women who are exposed to secondhand smoke have more problems getting pregnant than those who aren’t. Many people think that they will stop once pregnant, but the damage is done. This is true for both partners.
Start taking a Prenatal Vitamins:
Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. Prenatal vitamins can help reduce the likelihood of certain types of birth defects, called neural tube defects (NTD), like spina bifida and anencephaly etc.
Caffeine consumption is shown to decrease female fertility (however, one cup of coffee a day is just fine). Studies show that too much caffeine can trigger miscarriage. So start minimize your caffeine intake. And don’t forget to tally other common sources of caffeine like; soda, tea, energy drinks, and even certain pain medications just start reading labels to see how much caffeine is in your diet.
Stock up on Sleep
Bank those zzzzz’s now with your husband on the weekends (nap whenever you can). Most of us anticipate sleepless nights once baby arrives, but many women don’t realize that it can be tough to get a decent night’s rest during pregnancy (due to heartburn, frequent pee and adjusting to side-snoozing etc). It might even help you get pregnant faster. I have heard that women who get too little sleep tend to have more problems ovulating regularly than those who don’t. So, sleep right!
Manage Your Stress & Anxiety
Some research shows that having crazy-high stress levels can delay your ability to get pregnant by making ovulation wacky, or by interfering with an embryo’s ability to implant in the uterus. Take an emotional gut-check now, start doing Yoga and Meditation. Both of these will makes you feel calm and relaxed. It’s very important to feel calm and prepared for this next phase of your life. Figure out what helps you relax best(For me Pranayama, Meditation, Journaling, a simple walk and watching my favorite shows worked really well). So, whatever works for you now, will also help you when you’re pregnant or a new mom.
Minimize your Exposure to the Chemicals
Most experts recommend trying to minimize your exposure to the chemicals, especially in the first trimester when your baby’s major organ growth takes place. So, start avoiding chemicals few months before you start trying to conceive.
Have a preconception checkup:
We started thinking of getting pregnant after 4 years of our marriage. We both were super ready to start the new chapter of our life. So, the very first thing we did was to get our vitals and everything else checked(in October 2017). The preconception checkup helps you get any chronic conditions diagnosed and/or under control before getting pregnant, which in turn minimizes their effects on your pregnancy and baby. Plus this visit is a good opportunity to ask your doctor anything on your mind about getting pregnant or pregnancy. Many experts recommend booking a pre-pregnancy checkup at your ob-gyn at least three months before you plan to start trying. You’ll want to make sure you’re up-to-date on vaccinations, checked for STDs, tested for heart-health issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and make sure that any chronic conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, or thyroid problems) are in check. That preconception checkup made us sure that we both were physically capable of bringing a new soul into this world. When we went for the check up, the staff at the hospital were like why are we doing this(at that moment my period were regular and we both were fine). But, we just wanted to make sure that we don’t have any diseases or if everything is okay with our bodies(including our reproductive system). I also got myself vaccinated for Hepatitis B vaccine coz my gyno recommended that. I know many people just start the whole process on their own but trust me medical help can make a huge difference in this whole process. It’s a lot easier to get pregnant (rather comforting) when you know that you both are healthy. That’s why it’s quite important to look after your health before you decide to start a family.
Monitor Your Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Calendar:
I have always monitored my menstrual cycle, earlier I used to use calendar from my journal or any extra calendar available in our house. And from 2016, I have been using clue app to monitor my menstrual cycle and ovulation window. You can start using this app too if you want. However, there are couple of similar apps available for androids as well as for iPhones. So, chose the one you like, these app will help you to monitor your menstrual cycle and ovulation window. They will give you an idea of when you are most likely to get Pregnant. And don’t worry if your periods are not coming on times just seek for the doctors advice. When we were planning right after our preconception checkup and HBV, my cycle got irregular too ( for few months) and that’s why we took the help of my gyno before we started anything else. She helped us not only to regulate my period (by giving me some prescriptions to regulate my period), but she also helped me to monitor my ovulation period and gave me an exact ovulation window. I was also using ovulation test strips to check if I was ovulating in that exact window given by my gyno (I can even tell you the exact date when we conceived our little one). Trust me, it makes the whole process a lot easier if you know your exact ovulation period.
So, if your cycle is regular, you’re most likely to get pregnant if you have sex within a day or so of ovulation (The time when an egg gets released from the ovary). This is usually about 14 days after the first day of your last period, if your cycle is around 28 days long. An egg lives for about 12-24 hours after being released. So, it’s advised to have sex during that window.
I have written everything in this post that has helped us to get pregnant and I hope it helps you and your partner too.
PS: If you and your partner are fertile, all of the things which I have mentioed above will help you get pregnant fast. However, be patient with the whole process as it might take longer than what you would have expected. There are many factors which determines when one can get pregnant. So, have patience and if needed don’t shy away from taking some help from your gyno (specially if you are above 30s).
Declaimer: All content on this Blog, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.