How to Prepare your Body for Pregnancy

Janet and her husband are ready to start trying to have a baby. Janet of course knows that she needs to stop taking birth control and to have intercourse to make a baby, but she is wondering what other information there is to help her get pregnant and to have a healthy pregnancy.

There is a significant amount of education around what to do and what not to do while trying to conceive. Below is a list of scientifically proven ways to optimize your chance of conceiving and to obtain a healthier pregnancy. 


Prepare your body: 
 

  • Take a prenatal vitamin or folic acid
    • This can protect your baby from serious birth defects.
       
  • Eliminate binge drinking and smoking
    • It is up for debate whether occasional drinking alcohol affects fertility or not, however, binge drinking will impede your ability to get pregnant and put your baby at risk for serious birth defects if you binge drink before you realize that you are pregnant.  
    • Drinking has been proven to have negative affects on a growing fetus, therefore, doctors advice to stop drinking if you suspect you are pregnant. 
    • Smoking can make it more difficult to get pregnant and harm your baby. 

 

  • Achieve a healthy weight
    • Body weight can have a major impact on your ability to conceive by affecting ovulation.

    •  If your body fat percentage is too low, estrogen levels may be too low.

    • If you are overweight, estrogen levels may be too high. Both can affect your ovulation cycle. One way to estimate if you are in the healthy range is to calculate your BMI. Here is an online BMI calculator to calculate your BMI. 

    • Weight is not only an issue for women trying to conceive, it’s also an issue for your partner. Men, both underweight and overweight, can have reduced sperm quality.

 

  • Track your menstrual cycles
     
    • Tracking your menstrual cycles will help you to see if your periods are regular or not.
    • By knowing how long your cycle is, you can get an idea of when your fertile window may be. 

 

  • Pinpoint your ovulation date
     
    • You can do any of the following or a combination:
      • Take daily temperature readings or use a temperature sensor 
      • Use ovulation sticks
      • Evaluate your cervical mucus  

 

  • Balance your hormones
     
    • Use daily stress reduction techniques to reduce stress hormones that impede ovulation. 
    • Reduce Toxins found in make-up, soaps, cleaning products and garden products

 

  • Have sex every day or every other day during your fertile window.

 

If it's taking too long: 
 

  • Have your partner's sperm evaluated for viability.
     
  • If you are 35 years or older, after 6 months of actively trying, consider getting your fertility evaluated.
     
  • If you under 35, after 12 months of actively trying, consider getting your fertility evaluated.