Getting ready for pregnancy
Some people get pregnant the instant they start trying; others take a little while or need medical help. Here are some simple tips to enhance your chances of conception, and some ways to avoid getting disheartened if it doesn’t happen straight away.
85 percent of couples conceive within one year of trying
50 percent manage it within two or three months
10 to 15 percent of couples seek medical advice on conception
Stop using contraception
If you’re still taking the pill or other similar form of contraception, seek medical advice on when you should stop taking it. Most doctors recommend you finish the course of pills you’re on, then use condoms or a cap for a couple of months until your fertility levels are back to normal.
Stay Fit and Healthy
Whilst you’re trying to get pregnant, eat a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruit and vegetables, cereals and whole grains. Make sure you eat regular meals and try to avoid sugary snacks, fizzy drinks and junk foods. This isn’t just for you, but for your baby, so be realistic about planning a diet that you can keep up throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond!
Losing excess weight could also enhance your chances of conception. Visit your GP to find out what your ideal bodyweight should be, then watch what you eat accordingly. Gentle, regular exercise can really help your body to become receptive to pregnancy and make it easier for you to manage stress levels whilst trying to conceive. Who knows, losing a bit of weight could make you feel just that extra bit sexy, too!
Cut down on caffeine and alcohol as it is suggested that too much of either of these can limit your chances of conceiving.
If you or your partner smokes, get some advice from your GP and give up now. By avoiding situations where you would usually have a cigarette together, or just by deciding to smoke outside, you could make it easier on yourselves to quit altogether. The NHS runs a Pregnancy Smoking Helpline, so call now on 0800 1699 169.
Know your cycle!
Start making a note of the dates of your periods in your diary or a calendar. If you are on a regular 28 day menstrual cycle, you’ll probably be most fertile around day 13 or 14, just after you ovulate (with day one being the first day of your period).
Other ways to chart your fertile phase are to chart your basal body temperature, by the position of your cervix and the consistency of your cervical mucus.
Make time to relax with your partner, but, once you know your cycle, have more sex around your fertile days.
Don’t give in to despondency!
Anyone who has tried for a baby will know that waiting to conceive can be incredibly stressful. But you do need to try to relax. Research indicates that you’re more likely to conceive if you’re not tense. Try not to pull your hair out waiting for your period, and make a huge effort not to be miserable when it comes.
When to seek medical help with conception is up to you. Most GPs would like to see both partners, initially just to check your general health, but then to monitor your fertility problems. Check out our Supernanny advice on fertility problems, coming soon…