I Spent More Than $80,000 To Have My Kids, And I’d Do It Again

When they came into the world, I knew I was complete.

March 11, 2016

Why Women Are Being Urged To Have Kids By 30

Nowadays, it seems that more women than ever are putting off having kids in favour of personal pursuits, but according to a top fertility doctor they should be trying for a baby before they’re 30.

RELATED: Is There A Perfect Time To Start A Family?

In a letter to education secretary Nicky Morgan, The Mail On Sunday reported that professor Geeta Nargund has asked for fertility lessons to be included in national curriculum in a bid to “empower people to take control of their fertility.”

“I have witnessed all too often the shock and agony on the faces of women who realise they have left it too late to start a family,” she wrote. “For so many, this news comes as a genuine surprise and the sense of devastation and regret can be overwhelming.

“Information is power and the best way to empower people to take control of their fertility is through education,” she continued.

Nargund warned that an increasing number of women in their 30s and 40s were seeking IVF treatment after being confronted with fertility issues that were both “costly and largely unnecessary.”

“Ideally, if a woman is ready for a child, she should start trying by the time she is 30,” she wrote. The reason why? “Because as a woman gets older, her fertility declines sharply.”

Speaking to Sky News, the professor pointed out that lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, sexually transmitted diseases, medical conditions and body weight all have a significant impact on fertility later on in life. Therefore, Nargund believes it’s imperative women are taught about biological ageing so “they can make an informed choice.”

“If women are ready, if they have the right partner and have the right financial and social stability and the support to have a child, then I think they should consider not delaying – that’s my clear message,” she urged.

Image via Shutterstock

June 1, 2015

Getting Pregnant: How Long Does It Usually Take?

If getting pregnant is on your agenda, you’re probably hoping to get a positive pregnancy test result after the first try. Many of us know women who were able to conceive within the first few weeks of trying. However, it can take up to a year for the average woman under the age of 35 to conceive.

If you happen to fall into this category, it is important to not get discouraged. As well as talking with your doctor, there are a few other things that you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

How long does it take most couples to get pregnant?
Statistics show that approximately 25 percent of couples are able to conceive within the first month, and 50 percent will conceive by the end of six months. After a year of trying to conceive, 85 to 90 percent of couples should be successful. This means that around 10 to 15 percent of couples will not be able to conceive within one year. If you’re over 35, consider seeing a fertility specialist after six months of trying.

How can I increase my chances of conceiving?
Check your ovulation and fertile time. You should start having intercourse a few days before your predicted ovulation date. Avoid using lubricant and try to remain horizontal for up to 30 minutes after intercourse.

You can also increase the likelihood of conception by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin. A supplement that contains lots of folic acid is especially important because it is essential for early fetal development.

What should I do if I can’t get pregnant?
If you have been trying for more a one year, you should consult with your doctor and a fertility specialist. They will be able to conduct tests on you and your partner to determine the cause. Once the cause has been established, your doctor can suggest a method of treatment. The most common fertility treatments include fertility drugs, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intra-uterine insemination and hormone therapy, and adoption and fostering is also an option.

There are many factors that may lead to infertility in men or women. Thyroid problems, cancer, imbalanced hormones, previous cases of the mumps, low sperm count, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and other conditions can significantly lower your chances of getting pregnant. Fortunately, the majority of these conditions can be treated by a fertility specialist. However, many of the treatment methods can be quite expensive and take years.

Remember, you’re not alone. Try not to get stressed or discouraged, and talk to your partner and family about the next course of action. You’ll find many online forums as well to help with your next steps.

How long did it take you to conceive?


February 4, 2014

Getting Pregnant After Having a Baby

According to some research, most women experience increased fertility during the first two to three months after giving birth. For women who are interested in getting pregnant again soon after giving birth, this is wonderful news. While it is possible for a woman to become pregnant within three weeks of childbirth, there are some things that you should know before attempting to conceive again.

How soon can I start trying to conceive again?
In most cases, your doctor will recommend that you wait about six weeks after giving birth to begin engaging in sexual intercourse again. However, if you plan on having sex before the six week time period is over, be sure to practice caution and listen to your body for signs of pain or discomfort.

Many women experience several weeks of bleeding after giving birth. This bleeding is a result of uterine damage can last between three and eight weeks until the injuries heal. If you are experiencing post-partum bleeding, it is best to wait for it to stop. Your uterus is not yet ready to support another pregnancy.

Does breastfeeding affect my chances of becoming pregnant?
If you are breastfeeding, you will be much less likely to get pregnant right after giving birth. Breastfeeding is actually quite effective as a method of birth control for most women because it usually halts the menstrual cycle. As you begin to wean your baby off of breast milk and introduce more solid foods, your cycle should return and your chances of conceiving should return to normal.

Women who decide not to breastfeed may ovulate within a few weeks of giving birth. It is very possible to get pregnant again during this cycle. Not all women will ovulate this quickly. In some cases, it may take up to 14 months for your menstrual cycle to completely return to normal.

Should I consult with my doctor before trying to conceive?
It is always a good idea to talk with your doctor about your plans to get pregnant right after giving birth. There is usually a checkup scheduled approximately six weeks after you have your baby. You can use this opportunity to ask your doctor if he or she thinks it is okay for you to start trying to conceive again. They may have suggestions for you based on the condition of your reproductive system and overall health.

The drawbacks of conceiving soon after giving birth
In addition to the fertility aspect of conception after birth, you also need to consider the many other factors and consequences of getting pregnant so soon after having a child. Having children back-to-back can take a toll on your body. If you are not healthy enough to sustain another pregnancy yet, it is a good idea to wait six months to a year before trying to conceive again.

You also need to consider the impact of having children who are very close in age. This will have major implications for your finances, employment, child care needs and even how you plan to save for your children’s college expenses.

Talking with other parents who have children who are very close in age may help you to determine if having another child this soon is the right option for you. Weigh out all of your options before making this decision. If you do decide to start trying to conceive again, be sure to check-in with your doctor and continue to take your prenatal vitamins.

How long did you wait to have children after giving birth?

January 31, 2014

Getting Pregnant After Having a Miscarriage

For many women, the idea of getting pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage is a confusing and emotional process. In order to have a better chance of conceiving again and having a successful pregnancy, it is often helpful to find out what caused the miscarriage and work with your doctor to incorporate new ways to promote a healthy pregnancy. Keep reading to find out more about conceiving after a miscarriage.

Why do miscarriages occur?
A miscarriage occurs when a pregnancy is spontaneously ended prior to the 20th week of gestation. Most miscarriages occur due to abnormal fetal development, but many other things such as physical trauma, maternal health conditions and problems with the reproductive organs can also lead to a miscarriage. In some cases, miscarriages occur for no apparent reason.

According to statistics, approximately 15 percent of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage. The exact percentage could even be a little higher because many women have early miscarriages that occur before she knows she is pregnant.

Some people have the misconception that a woman who has a miscarriage is at a higher risk of having another miscarriage. However, most miscarriages are isolated incidents and the majority of women are able to have a successful pregnancy afterward. Fewer than five percent of women experience two miscarriages back-to-back.

How long should you wait before getting pregnant after a miscarriage?
It is a good idea to allow your body to heal before trying to conceive after a miscarriage. For many women, most physical damage caused by the miscarriage heals within one week. However, it may take up to six weeks for your period to return. Some women are able to get pregnant again before their next period occurs.

In addition to the physical damage that a miscarriage can cause, many women also experience emotional trauma and a sense of loss. This may require you to take more time before trying to get pregnant again. You might also need counseling to help sort out your feelings.

Women who have already suffered from one or more miscarriages are encouraged to speak to their doctor or gynecologist before deciding when to start trying to conceive again. Some experts say that women should wait six months before trying to get pregnant again. However, there is little to no real evidence that waiting this long is actually necessary. Your doctor will be able to conduct tests and examinations to determine how long you should wait.

Ways to promote a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage
In order to have a better chance for a successful pregnancy, there are a few things you can do if you are not doing them already. The most important step is to start taking a prenatal vitamin every day that has a high amount of folic acid. It is best to start taking folic acid about three months before conceiving. You should also work on getting physically fit and losing weight if you are currently overweight.

Additional precautions may need to be taken by women who have had previous miscarriage. Your doctor will be able to determine the best course of action for you. This may mean that you will need bed rest, further check-ups or medication in order to increase your chance of a successful pregnancy.

Experiencing a miscarriage is a traumatic and stressful event for any woman to go through. Working closely with your gynecologist or physician is important, especially if you have had a miscarriage in the past.

What is your best advice for getting pregnant after miscarriage?

January 29, 2014

5 Tips For Getting Pregnant Faster

If getting pregnant hasn’t been easy for you, you’re not alone. Many women don’t get pregnant when they start trying, but there are things you can do to help your chances of getting pregnant faster.

Understanding your ovulation cycle is key to getting pregnant faster. Keeping a pregnancy calendar is a must, so you can chart your ovulation dates. Start by recording the day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Most women ovulate between day 11 and day 21 of their cycle (counting from the first day of the LMP). Fertility experts refer to this as the “fertile time” of a cycle, because the chances of getting pregnant are increased during this time. Ovulation can occur at other times during your cycle, and can change from month to month. So it’s important to note down any changes in to your pregnancy calendar.

Consider positioning
How you have sex and how you position your body afterwards can help. Fertility experts recommend having sex on your back, and then laying down after sex. You may want to hop up and use the bathroom, or run to the kitchen to get a glass of water, but it is best to stay still to open up your ovaries and allow for better flow to the uterus.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Trying to get pregnant isn’t just about what you do in the bedroom. Make sure that you live a healthy lifestyle – from watching what you eat and drink, to maintaining an exercise routine to keep your body in shape and your weight in check.

The other important factor is learning to relax. Getting pregnant can sometimes feel like you’re racing against the clock. And if you find you’re not getting pregnant, that can add to even more stress. But the stress you put on yourself can effect your hormones, which can be counteractive to your reproductive efforts. So make stress-reducing efforts part of your lifestyle, like going for regular walks, meditating or doing yoga.

Stop using birth control
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, stop using birth control. It is important that you stop taking your birth control as early as possible so that your body can start to get back to its normal cycle, and flush out the chemicals. No matter what type of birth control you used, your body may vary in terms of how long it takes to get back to your regular ovulation cycle.

Keep trying
Trying to get pregnant can sometimes feel like a job. But instead, enjoy the intimacy that comes with having sex, and lots of it! It might be easier said than done, but it’s important to try and not become obsessed with getting pregnant. Relax, and keep trying. If things don’t change, then consult your doctor. But in the meantime, enjoy having lots of great sex!

What are your tips for getting pregnant faster?

January 28, 2014

Getting Pregnant After Birth Control

Thinking about having a baby, but concerned how birth control may affect your chances of conceiving? It’s common for women have taken birth control for years to question whether or not their long-term use of birth control will prohibit them from getting pregnant.

Fortunately, most experts say that the majority of women who have taken oral contraceptives should not have problems with ovulation or conception once they stop taking the pill. A recent study that focused on more than 2,000 women who had recently stopped taking the birth control pill discovered that 21 percent of the women became pregnant within one month. Approximately 79 percent of the women became pregnant within one year. These results were quite similar to the results of women who had not been taking the pill.

If you intend to start trying to conceive, read on for some helpful tips that will increase your chances of success.

Pick a date
In most cases, you will ovulate a few weeks after you stop taking the birth control pill. However, some women may have to wait a little longer for ovulation to occur. For this reason, it is a good idea to pick a date to begin trying to conceive so that you can plan to stop taking your birth control pills about three months before that date.

Women who have used IUDs or contraceptive patches should follow these same guidelines. This should give your body plenty of time to readjust its hormone levels and start the ovulation process. Contraceptives such as condoms and diaphragms can be used until you are ready to start attempting to conceive.

Women who have used injectable contraceptives like Depo-Provera will need to wait as long as nine months to one year for the drug’s hormones to leave your body completely. You will not start ovulating until your body is able to produce hormones on its own again. Pick a date to start conceiving that is one year from the date of your last Depo-Provera shot. Your body should be able to return to normal within that amount of time. If your cycle does not return after waiting for the recommended amount of time, you may need to visit your doctor to determine if there is another underlying problem.

Once you begin the process of trying to get pregnant, it takes the average couple about five months to conceive. Some couples may have to try longer before they conceive. This time frame is roughly the same for all women, whether they took birth control or not.

Get healthy
During your last month of taking oral contraceptives, you should start taking a preconception vitamin supplement. Ideally, the supplement should contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in addition to all of the other vitamins and minerals necessary for women’s health.

To significantly lower your risk of birth defects of miscarriage, it is a good idea to start taking a folic acid supplement at least two months before trying to conceive. These supplements will help to lay the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and lower or eliminate your risk for many complications.

There are many myths that exist about birth control use and fertility. Start by speaking to your doctor, and giving your hormones time to adjust.

What is your experience with birth control and getting pregnant?

January 23, 2014

Could You Be Pregnant? Early Signs of Pregnancy to Look For

If you’ve been trying to have a baby, there’s that time every month when you wonder: is this the month? Or perhaps you haven’t been trying, but you have a feeling that something is a little different. Could you be pregnant? Your body may be giving you a few hints. Look out for some of these early signs of pregnancy.

Late period
One of the strongest signs that you could be pregnant, of course, is that your period hasn’t started when you expect it. That’s because once the egg is fertilised it embeds itself into the uterine wall. Instead of shedding the lining as your body does each month, the lining builds up even further to support the embryo. If your period is very regular but now it’s late, this is a good indication that you may be pregnant. However, if you are not regular, this is a less reliable indicator.

Morning sickness
If you feel sick to your stomach and are not sick, this could be a sign of pregnancy. Many women feel nauseous in the first weeks of pregnancy. This is called morning sickness, and for some women the queasiness is strongest in the early hours of the day, but for others it can hit at any time. Morning sickness is often accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to scents. Many women suddenly do not like the smell of certain foods, perfumes or other odours.

This can be a rather vague symptom, but a symptom nonetheless. Many women feel unusually tired in the first trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, exhaustion can also be a sign that you are getting sick or that you simply aren’t getting enough rest. Therefore, it is not a strong indicator of pregnancy on its own. Fatigue is not something to ignore, however. It is something to consider if you are experiencing it along with other common pregnancy symptoms.

Breast tenderness
If you are feeling an unusual soreness in your breasts, you may be pregnant. Many women feel very tender early in their pregnancy. This may be one of the pregnancy symptoms that get your attention the most, especially if you do not usually feel breast tenderness at certain times of the month. If your bra feels uncomfortable or your breasts are tender to the touch, take note.

Frequent urination
When a woman is in her early pregnancy, her uterus begins to grow and can put pressure on her bladder. This is something she is not used to, which can make her feel like she has to use the toilet more frequently. It is one of the earliest changes in your abdomen, starting when the embryo itself is very small. If you suddenly need to urinate more urgently than you usually do and you do not have an infection, you may be pregnant.

If you experience any of these symptoms and there is a chance you could be pregnant, take a pregnancy test. These tests, which use a small amount of urine, are simple to carry out yourself at home. Then, if your results are positive, it’s important to follow up with your doctor as soon as possible. They will confirm the pregnancy and get you on track with a proper course of prenatal visits. If your home test is negative, give yourself another few days. If your period still does not start, consult with your doctor.

What other signs of pregnancy did you experience?

January 22, 2014

Planning on Getting Pregnant? Start Here

Making the decision to start a family is just the first step in the pregnancy journey. Before you even begin to try getting pregnant, there are several steps you should take to ensure that your body is the ultimate nurturing environment for a baby. 

The food you put in your body before conception affects your chances of conception and the health of your future. As soon as you make the decision to get pregnant, eliminate trans and animal fats and refined sugars from your diet. Instead, stick with a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and whole grains.

Your weight is extremely important when trying to conceive. If you are overweight or underweight, chances of conception decline. Before you even begin to try for a baby, get your body to an ideal weight. Keep in mind that the body suppresses fertility in women who are consistently losing weight.

If you don’t already exercise, now is the time to start. Research shows that women who engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week have a higher chance of getting pregnant. Exercise that is too strenuous may place too much stress on the body and lower chances of conception, so try not to overdo the workouts.

A baby in the first stages of development requires high amounts of folic acid to build a healthy central nervous system. Mothers who begin a course of folic acid supplements prior to conception are far less likely to have a baby with birth defects. Ensure the health of your baby now by including this supplement in your diet.

If you smoke, hopefully you are planning to quit once you become pregnant. Now is the time to throw away your cigarettes. If you quit now, your body can purge the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, and you will have a much easier time conceiving.

Stress is bad news for your body and mind, but it particularly affects fertility. If you are under stress, it can even prevent ovulation. It’s time to implement stress management techniques like daily meditation or yoga to can diminish the impact on your reproductive system.

Trying to get pregnant can sometimes feel like science. Your fertility cycle is unique, and it is really important to chart and monitor your period in a pregnancy calendar. If you begin to do this before you try for a baby, you will have a good idea of exactly when you ovulate and how external factors affect your ovulation cycle.

Your partner
Don’t forget there are steps your man should also take to ensure his sperm are as healthy as possible. A diet high in whole foods that is good for your fertility is also good for his. If you both eat well, and stay hit, your chances of conception should increase.

Sperm must be kept at a certain temperature to be as healthy as possible. Tight, synthetic underpants can make that temperature far too high. Treat your partner to a gift of boxers in a natural, breathable fabric for healthier sperm.

In this age of technology, many men keep their mobile phones stashed in a front pocket. The small amount of radiation emitted by the phone can have a big impact on fertility. Using a laptop computer directly on the lap creates the same problem. To protect sperm, keep mobiles and laptops away from the groin.

What are your best tips for getting pregnant?

January 20, 2014

Tips for Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant isn’t as easy for some women as it is for others. For every woman who gets pregnant within a few weeks, there is another woman who struggles for months or years. We chat with fertility experts for their practical tips and advice to help you get pregnant faster.

Take a break after intercourse
Some people will tell you that you should lay down on your back with your feet straight in the air after intercourse, but this position really does nothing to help you. Immediately after finishing intercourse, take the time to lay down flat on your back and just rest. This lets the sperm find the cervix, and you can get up and move again after 15 minutes.

Don’t focus on ovulation
Sperm can find a way to the cervix at any time during the month, but many women think that they need to only have sex while ovulating. The more intercourse that you have, the greater chance you have of making a baby. When you only have sex a few times a month, it becomes routine and can decrease your chances.

Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can increase your fertility, reduce stress and leave you feeling healthier. A simple walk around the block is all you need to do to get your blood pumping and your heart racing. Try exercising at least three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes.

Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats can go a long way towards helping you get pregnant. These fats include those found in olive oil, avocados, wild salmon, nuts and organic eggs. Adding those foods to your diet, while also avoiding unhealthy fats can increase your changes of getting pregnant.

Decrease carbohydrates
Processed foods and carbohydrates can reduce your chances of having a child. These foods can lead to weight gain, lower your self confidence and make completing simple tasks harder. Avoid junk food, french fries, potato chips and soda.

Don’t skip the Missionary position
When it comes to pregnancy, missionary position is one of the better positions to try. Lay down flat on your back with your partner on top of you. This position helps the sperm move effortlessly into the cervix.

Magic Mountain Position
The magic mountain is another sexual position that can help you get pregnant. Sit on your hands and knees with a pile of pillows underneath you to support your body. Your partner stands behind you in the same position during intercourse.

Reduce stress
You probably hear a number of stories from women who only got pregnant after taking a break from trying. The more time that you spend trying, the more pressure you put on yourself. The stress that you feel can actually stop you from having the baby that you want.

Conception is a process that requires as little stress as possible. Practicing yoga, taking a break from work, using deep breathing techniques and using other simple methods can help you reduce stress and get pregnant.

Take vitamins
The list of vitamins that can help with pregnancy include copper, potassium, Vitamin E, riboflavin, Vitamin A and zinc. Taking each of those supplements can leave your jaw sore and your mouth tired, but you can find vitamin supplements that contain all the vitamins and minerals that you need.

Stay positive
There is no perfect formula that works for every woman, and you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you don’t get pregnant right off the bat. Depending on your cycle, health and family history, it might take months before you see a positive sign staring back at you. Don’t doubt yourself if it takes longer; just sit back and let nature take its course.

Do you have any tips for getting pregnant? Share them in the comments!

December 15, 2013