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

5 Signs of Pregnancy to Look Out For

It’s often a mystery whether you’re pregnant or not and it can be difficult to know 100 percent until you get a pregnancy test. There are actually a number of early signs that will quickly indicate that you’re expecting. Look out for these 5 signs of pregnancy to see if you might be pregnant before getting a pregnancy test.

1. Morning sickness
If you’re tempted to run to the bathroom throughout the day, then you may be pregnant as a majority of women suffer from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, and can even be sparked with the sight or smell of certain foods or fragrances.

Although it is often considered one of the worst parts of pregnancy, it usually only occurs in the first trimester as your body begins to change. This can occur as early as three weeks into your pregnancy and is often caused by an increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels.

To prevent suffering from nausea, try to eat consistently throughout the day and drink at least three litres of water each day. Motion sickness bands have also proven to be effective for pregnant women.

2. Fatigue
Even if you’re getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep, you may still feel fatigued and tired throughout the day. This is one of the most common signs of pregnancy as your body is going through the early stages in the first trimester that makes it feel as if you always need a nap. Don’t be afraid to sleep more and allow your body to gain enough rest.

3. Mood swings

It can be easy to confuse your mood swings with PMS, which often occurs in the week prior to starting your menstrual cycle, but the change in behaviour can occur throughout all nine months of your pregnancy. Although it can be frustrating, it’s one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant due to hormonal changes as your body begins to prepare to carry a child. Mood swings include anxiety, outbursts, and frequent bouts of crying at a moment’s notice.

4. Backaches
Even before the second trimester when the baby begins to become larger in size, backaches can occur due to the ligaments loosening as your body prepares to carry a child. This is caused by increased levels of relaxin, which occurs in the pelvic region as the body begins to prepare for the birthing process. It can mean having difficulty to maintain good posture and feeling as if you have aches throughout your back during the day.

5. Food cravings
Pregnant women are notorious for having food cravings that consist of juicy pickles and ice cream. Although it may be a bit of a cliche, the symptom still rings true as pregnant women are now eating for two and often begin to crave new tastes and textures. Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients to promote proper development in your child and also maintain a healthy weight.

Although many women are often nervous that their food cravings will lead to consuming donuts and fried food, a lot of cravings are often healthy. Food cravings can also change on a daily basis and can differ depending on the trimester you’re currently going through. Maintain your portions and opt for healthier versions of the foods you’re craving to avoid drops in blood sugar, which can also contribute to cravings.

What signs of pregnancy were your favourite – and least favourite?

December 16, 2013