Well, the time has finally come. You’ve met the love of your life and settled down together. Your finances are in order. You’re happy with your career. And, most importantly, you’re ready to bring someone new into your family.
You are ready to have a baby!
You’ve been through a lot of personal growth to reach this point in your life, but the journey to parenthood is only just beginning. One in 10 couples in the U.S. struggle with infertility, which can make your pregnancy story more complicated and emotionally challenging that you might expect.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help make conceiving a little bit easier. Make sure you are being proactive about these four things:
Visit Your Doctor
Most couples only visit their doctor after many frustrating months of negative pregnancy tests. However, it’s actually best to get a checkup before you officially start trying to conceive. Your doctor can check for any underlying medical problems that would complicate your pregnancy—and, if necessary, help you get these problems under control.
Additionally, it’s also wise to talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins. Most prenatals contain essential nutrients like folic acid, which can help baby develop and protects against birth defects. It’s best to start taking prenatals before you’re actually pregnant, so that it becomes a habit throughout your pregnancy.
Track Your Cycle
While most women get their periods on a consistent 28-day cycle, about 10% of women have a more irregular menstrual experience. There are plenty of things that can affect your cycle as well, from medication to stress to diet. But when you’re trying to get pregnant, understanding and predicting your menstrual cycle is essential to timing that conception just right. Therefore, it’s important to start tracking your periods.
These days, tracking your cycle is a painless process, thanks to the countless apps available online and for your smartphone. With the help of this technology, you’ll be able to figure out when you’re most fertile—so you know when to get busy making that baby!
Tend to Your Health
We’ve all been through one crazy year (thanks, 2020), which took a real toll on our mental and physical health. Maybe you’ve been indulging in a few too many comfort foods or making happy hour a nightly occurrence. Maybe your gym closed due to COVID and your exercise routine fell by the wayside. I get it. It’s OK. But if you’re planning to get pregnant, you’ll have to restart some healthy habits.
Growing and nourishing a baby isn’t an easy job, so make sure your body is up for the task. I’m not saying you need to run a marathon or go vegan, but take some small steps towards getting as healthy as possible. Go for a walk at lunchtime. Cook some healthy meals at home. Limit your nightly cocktail to one (and once you’re pregnant, NONE). These little changes will make a big difference throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
This tip might be the hardest one, but it’s also the most important. Trying to start a family is an emotional process—and when things aren’t going perfectly, it can be easy to panic and stress. But don’t do that!
Stress can interfere with your ovulation, so it really is in your best interest to take a chill pill and relax as much as possible. Practice meditation. Read a good book. Walk in the park. Take a quick nap! Anything that will ease your mind and minimize your stress will help your family get bigger that much quicker.
And while it may feel like getting pregnant is a difficult, stressful task, remember this: it will all totally be worth it. Try your best to enjoy this part of your journey toward parenthood, and focus on how much you’re going to love the little bundle that comes from it.