10 things you need to know if you're trying to have a baby
Thinking about bringing a little bundle of joy into the world? That's wonderful news! We know the journey isn’t always straightforward, and it can be a sensitive topic, especially when it feels like everyone around you is announcing their pregnancies.
It might not always seem like it, but getting pregnant involves many different factors that need to align perfectly. So, if you find yourself struggling, you're not alone. It’s estimated that 1 in every 7 couples experiences difficulties when trying to conceive.**
If you’re looking for some expert-supported tips and information on how to get pregnant, look no further! Our handy 10-step guide is here to answer all your questions.
1. Start with a check-up
First things first, when you decide to start trying for a baby, schedule a preconception check-up with your gynaecologist. They’ll discuss how to get pregnant, your overall health, your family health history and suggest any necessary lifestyle changes you need to make.
Don’t hold back – make sure to discuss any worries you might have, pre-existing conditions, or medicine you might be using. Recognising and addressing these concerns early in the process can go a long way in improving your chances of getting pregnant.
2. Understanding fertility problems
For women, the most common reasons for fertility problems are hormonal imbalances and issues with the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Men often face problems because of poor spermquality, hormone levels, or issues in the ejection of semen. Lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and obesity can negatively impact fertility for both partners as well.
Another important factor is age – the quantity and quality of a woman’s eggs decline with age, which can make it more challenging to conceive. This decline is generally more noticeable after 35. For men, age is also a factor, but the decline is generally more gradual and starts later compared to women.
Infertility is a trialling and complicated problem but know that there are a lot of resources and options available to couples these days, and many manage to successfully conceive. Remember, the sooner you seek advice and take proactive steps, the more options you'll have on how to get pregnant.
3. When to stop using contraceptives
A big step once you’ve decided you’d like to start trying for a baby, is pressing pause on birth control.
If you're using hormonal contraceptives like the pill, patches, or injections, you might be wondering when to stop. The good news is that most women regain their fertility within three months of stopping hormonal birth control. You might be able to get pregnant ever before that, but gynos typically recommend waiting a few months before actively trying.
If you’re concerned about this step, talk to your gyno – they can guide you and help you understand the ins and outs of your body’s adjustment to life without hormonal contraception.
If you're part of the non-hormonal birth control squad and use condoms or a copper IUD, the baby-making green light is turned on immediately and you can get pregnant as soon as you stop using them.
4. Track your cycle
The menstrual cycle is a complex process regulated by various hormones. A typical cycle lasts around 28 days, although it can range from 21 to 35 days. Knowing your body well and understanding your cycle is crucial if you want to be able to identify your most fertile days.
Ovulation, the process in the body where a mature egg is released from the ovary and is ready to be fertilized, usually occurs around the 14th day in the cycle, give or take. This is your golden window for conception, and you can recognise it by ovulation symptoms like bloating, slightly elevated body temperature, changes in cervical mucus and breast tenderness.
Here’s the crucial info: the fertilization window for the egg is about 12 to 24 hours after it's released. Sperm, on the other hand, can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to five days. This means you have a window of about6 days each month when you're most likely to conceive.
Mark these days on your calendar and plan some romantic time with your partner. The more you understand about your cycle and timing, the better your chances of getting pregnant!
5. Use ovulation predictor kits
When it comes to accurately tracking ovulation, ovulation predictor kits can be your best friends. They work by monitoring the luteinizing hormone (LH), which surges 24 to 48 hours before ovulation. Once the kit turns positive, it's go-time for baby-making! These kits are generally easy to use, similar to how you would use a pregnancy test.
There are some tech-savvy options, too – cycle-tracking apps and ovulation calculators designed to help you understand your cycle. While they can be convenient, it’s best to use them alongside predictor kits, not instead of them.
6. Consider some lifestyle changes
Smoking, going overboard with alcohol, and letting stress run the show? Not great for fertility. Even that extra shot of caffeine can have a negative effect. Balance is the key, so consider quitting smoking and cutting back on the drinks – these tweaks can work wonders.
And here's a reminder: this should be a team effort. Unhealthy habits and bad dietary choices impact both partners, so you need to be team players.
When it comes to diet, make sure to eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. For the mom-to-be, a well-balanced diet isn’t only important when trying to get pregnant; it helps prepare a mom’s body for a healthy pregnancy.
The same goes for exercise. Not only does it help improve fertility, it also prepares your body for the physical demands of pregnancy. However, excessive exercise can have the opposite effect, especially if it leads to significant weight loss. Future mamas should aim for a balanced exercise routine that includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
7. Manage stress
If the baby-making journey is starting to feel like a pressure cooker, take a breath. Consider some stress-busting tactics – yoga, meditation, or hey, how about a relaxing vacation? Managing stress isn’t just a nice-to-have; it's a must, not only for supporting fertility but also for a healthier pregnancy down the road.
Remember, it's normal for this process to stir up emotions in both parents, and it's crucial to support each other. Communication is your greatest ally. Share your feelings, fears, and hopes. Keep the atmosphere light when possible – laughter can be a powerful stress-buster.
Set realistic expectations. This journey might not be as smooth as expected, and that's okay. Be patient with yourselves and each other. If needed, consider seeking support from friends, family, or even professionals who specialize in fertility.
8. Using pregnancy supplements
Studies show that many women aren’t hitting their daily nutrient needs, including those vital for fertility and the healthy development of the baby (like folate, iodine, and magnesium). Preparing ahead of time with fertility supplements or pregnancy supplements can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, help with implantation, and support the development of the baby before you even know you are pregnant.
TummyTox’s Getting Ready is a caringly developed fertility supplement designed specifically to support you during this period in your life. It contains 21 essential nutrients, including top-quality bioactive folate, that help provide the best basis for a happy and healthy pregnancy and make it stand out among other conception supplements.
9. How to recognise the first signs of pregnancy
We all know that a missed period is one of the first signals we might be pregnant. But there are other tell-tale signs: fatigue, tender breasts, and more frequent pee breaks.
Now, on the emotional side, hormonal shifts during early pregnancy can cause mood swings, heightened emotions, and changes in libido.
If you're experiencing these changes along with physical signs, it might be time to take a pregnancy test. The sweet spot for the most accurate results? Wait until the first day of your missed period. Testing too early might lead to false negatives, and we don't want the stress of that uncertainty.
10. What comes next?
Okay, you peed on a little stick, had a positive pregnancy test, and jumped for joy as you shared the news with your partner. But what now?
First things first, if you haven't already, it's time to put alcohol on pause, dial down the caffeine, and make friends with prenatal vitamins. These early moves aren't just good for you—they set the stage for your baby's healthy growth and development.
And when does morning sickness start? The exact timing varies, but you can expect it to start as early as in the 4th week of pregnancy, although it more typically starts around the 6th week and peaks between weeks 8-11.
On the personal side, have a heart-to-heart with your partner about when and how you want to share the news with loved ones. Some couples wait until after the first trimester when the risk of complications is much lower.
Once you've fully grasped the life-changing news, it's time to start preparing to become a mom. For the first few months, you likely be focusing mostly on your pregnancy and all the changes happening to your body, before shifting your focus to the delivery and taking care of your newborn in the last stages of your pregnancy.
Get the best support with Getting Ready pregnancy supplement!
A healthy mom means a healthy baby, and nothing will help prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy like a great fertility supplement!
TummyTox’s Getting Ready pre-pregnancy multivitamin features patented forms of nutrients that are crucial for fertility and the healthy development of the baby, like Quatrefolic® (folate), PureWay-C® (vitamin C), and vitaMK7® (vitamin K2), along with chelated minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, chromium) and other bioactive vitamins (D3, B2, B6, B12...).
Our top-quality conception supplement supports the health of your womb, your hormonal balance, and the formation of connective tissue. It helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babiesand supports early development. The crucial vitamins and minerals will also help keep you energised, support your immunity, and help set the scene for a healthy pregnancy.
Embarking on the journey to conceive is both exciting and challenging. Remember, you're not alone, and it's perfectly okay to seek help and support. You've got this, and we're cheering you on every step of the way!
Overview: Fertility problems: Assessment and treatment: Guidance. NICE. (n.d.). https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG156