Being the super planner that I am, I decided to be proactive with the whole idea of family planning and trying to figure out what steps I should be taking to get the ball rolling. After scouring the internet for advice on how much it costs to raise a child and the challenges of being a working mom, it dawned on me that I never even thought about the most important steps to starting a family…making the kid (I know…duh)!
Luckily there are tons of websites and articles on ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant. It even has it’s own acronym (TTC). I’ve learned a lot in my research over the last month and one of the most important things I’ve learned is I might just hate being pregnant! Almost all of the articles I’ve read said I should avoid stress (nearly impossible), reduce my caffeine intake (just plain cruelty), and make sure to start taking pre-natal vitamins that are essentially the size of horse pills! As if that all wasn’t bad enough, I also have to eat three times a day (at least) and now exercise is an absolute MUST if I don’t to still be losing my “baby weight” 20 years later!
In spite of clear lifestyle changes required to bring a new bundle of joy into this world, here are some other tips if you’re TTC:
1. Schedule a pre-conception appointment and stop taking birth control contraceptives.
Once you and your partner have decided to start a family…stop taking your birth control contraceptives and schedule a pre-conception appointment. Scheduling this appointment is super important if you have a pre-existing condition or have had a medical event that could impact your future pregnancy. It is also great for women looking to get a little more information about what they should be doing in order to prepare themselves to get pregnant and to get tips on which vitamins/nutrients are most important for the healthy development of your baby.
2. Figure out your ovulation schedule.
Here is another piece of advice that is incredibly helpful. Not many women (including myself) know their ovulation schedule. I know when that awful time of the month should come and go, but I was not exactly sure when I’d be ovulating and for how long. There are certain days within your ovulation cycle where you are the most fertile and these are optimal times to try for a baby. WebMD, Baby Center, and other websites offer a free ovulation calendar, so check it out. If you are looking for dates more specific to your own cycle…I would suggest buying an ovulation kit from Target or CVS.
3. Get busy and avoid the myths, please!!!
This is an obvious one, right? But I would like to note that while you are trying to accomplish something (i.e., making a baby), you don’t want to turn it into something you MUST do instead of WANT to do. Also, don’t think you have to have sex every single day you are ovulating. According to most articles I’ve read, you can still conceive having sex every other day while ovulating since sperm can live several days after ejaculation.
Another thing you will want to do is avoid all those myths about how to “increase” your chances of getting pregnant. Please don’t think that after sex, you have to stand on your head or twist your body into some weird shape in order to help the sperm reach your egg. Some research on this topic indicates lying down immediately after sex may increase your chances of getting pregnant, but no one said you have to do a handstand!
Stay tuned for part 2 of what I learned about TTC! Happy baby making!!!!