Disclosure:: This post is sponsored by our friends at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital and written by Dr. Frank Caillet, OB-GYN.
Conceive Success :: 6 Simple Life Hacks Can Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
OK, so you want to be a mom, but it’s taking longer than you thought. It seems everyone from your mom, aunt and neighbor to old friends and co-workers have the surefire answer to improve your chances. Bottom line: Conflicting opinions and stress will get you nowhere fast.
Stop. Take a breath. You can do this. Here are some simple life hacks that don’t require so much effort, and the results may improve your chances better than you realize.
Eat Well and Step It Up
Diet and exercise. You may be tired of hearing it, but, it works. That doesn’t mean you have to jump on the latest weight loss fads or push your muscles to spasms. Do what works for you. Find a routine or program that helps you maintain a healthy weight and keep moving. The first successful step in any plan is to talk to your doctor about what’s best for you, your body and what you’re trying to achieve.
Also, moms who have chronic conditions like hypertension, depression, asthma, eating disorders, heart disease and kidney ailments should consult with their doctor about what impacts their current treatment plan may have on conception and pregnancy. Medications and other treatment may need to be altered to ensure a successful pregnancy and delivery while safely maintaining an existing condition.
Alcohol Is Not Your Friend
That glass of wine at the end of a long day feels like an old, familiar friend who warms your soul and helps you unwind. But, you may want to part ways for now. Stillbirth, miscarriage, learning disabilities and behavioral issues are some of alcohol’s impacts, and there’s always the threat of fetal alcohol syndrome. The first four to six weeks of your pregnancy are among the most crucial for your baby’s development, so alcohol intake even that early in pregnancy can have serious results.
Put Down the Cigarette, Don’t Vape
It may be cigarettes, cigars or vaping (e-cigarettes). If you want to get pregnant, both partners should stop. Smoking decreases fertility in both men and women. In addition, low birth weight, preterm delivery, asthma and other lung issues, learning disabilities – these are just a few of the impacts smoking – first- or second-hand smoke – can have on your unborn child. Still, the American Pregnancy Association says up to 20 percent of women smoke while pregnant and more than 1,000 babies each year die because their mom smoked during pregnancy.
Cut Back on Coffee
Iced coffee is a wonderful treat on a hot day. With fall around the corner, pumpkin spice and other autumn flavors soon will be available. Still, moms-to-be should be mindful of the impact caffeine may have on their little one inside. More than two caffeinated drinks a day could increase your chance of miscarriage to 74 percent or more, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Fertility and Sterility journal. It’s not all bad news, though. You can enjoy a 12-ounce cup a day safely while pregnant or trying to conceive, so perk up!
Vitamins Are Vital
Prenatal vitamins are not just for while you’re pregnant. Consider taking at least 400 mcg of folic acid a day while trying to get pregnant. The main ingredient in prenatal vitamins, folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies whose moms begin taking it at least one month before trying to conceive. And, you’re getting a head start on a fundamental part of a healthy routine that’s vitally important while pregnant.
Couple Things to Remember
Having a baby is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do, and it’s one of the more trying things. The conception journey is not easy for everyone. It takes time and patience for some. And, the first few months after baby arrives home brings a whole new set of challenges, from schedule changes and lack of sleep to new responsibilities and routines.
While it’s just you two, be a couple. Enjoy your time together and the full attention of your partner before the distractions set in. Get away together for a weekend. Explore the wonders of a “stay-cation” or a trip to a nearby locale that sparks your interest. Take a hike – literally. Find a great place to walk together and enjoy nature at its best. Remember, this journey takes two and together you will make the trip worthwhile.
About the Author
Dr. Frank Caillet is an OB-GYN with Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Learn more at www.lourdesrmc.com/expecting.