Trying for a baby should start well before the intimate fun begins with your partner, but don't stop practicing while you are prepping your body.
I found out I was pregnant in early September 2014 but the prepping began way before then. I started with going off the pill in February as I wanted my body to start to get into its own rhythm; and that it did. What a roller coaster ride that was.
Being on the pill is a whole other topic that I won't speak about right now, but I was on it for 12 whole years. Knowing that scared the heck out of me. I was asking myself...how is my body going to react? Will my period come back straight away (it can take a while to come back)? Is my skin going to break out? Yes it did. Has it affected my fertility? And the questions go on...I read heaps of information on this from the fabulous Nat Kringoudis so check out her blog for more information on hormone health, the pill and ovulation.
The next thing to do is begin exercising and eating well. This is a biggie and one that shouldn't be skipped. I was lucky because due to my job and my love of wellness my body was already in pretty good shape so I just kept it up.
If you don't already have a good routine of exercise and eating well, then start small and work your way up. You don't want to jump in head first and get so overwhelmed you start to drown in the experience.
Be kind to yourself and set yourself up to succeed. Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
:: Exercise and eat well because you love your body; not because you loath your body. This mindset switch will make exercising and eating yummy healthy food so much more enjoyable for you; I promise!
:: Stop labelling food as good or bad. When you start to label foods you will then automatically think you can't have any 'bad food' and then you will want it even more. Look at food as either nourishing or punishing, then make your decision on what you choose to eat.
:: Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Start by committing to moving your body twice a week and work that up to the recommended 3-4 days per week. Same with food, if you slowly cut back on what you know doesn't nourish your body, it won't seem as scary and daunting.
E.g. If you have 2 sugars in your coffee but you want to cut that down, start by putting in 1 1/2tsp instead and slowly wean yourself off the sugar. Another example is, if you don't have breakfast (the most important meal of the day) start by having something small like a tub of yoghurt or a piece of toast and slowly but surely you will then have to have breakfast each day because your body will get used to eating then.
I hope that helps get you started on your lifestyle make-over of nourishing your body instead of punishing it. Remember, a not so great diet and lack of exercise can really harm your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. Plus when you do fall pregnant, don't you want your baby to have the best chance at a healthy life?!
The next thing on your list when you feel you are ready to get serious about making a baby is to visit your GP. Have a chat with them and tell them your plans. They will most likely check you over and then send you off for a blood test to check all sorts of things such as your blood type; vitamin D levels; iron levels; immunity to different diseases such as hepatitis; foliac acid levels (which is crucial to producing a healthy bub) and many more things. Your doctor will explain all this to you.
After I got my results, I then began taking a pre-conception multi-vitamin* which helped promote healthy ovulation as well as giving you the nutrients your reproductive system needs. I used Blackmore's Conceive Well Gold (Australia).
Once you feel as though your body is ready and healthy, then start the fun times with your partner. But do remember to not take the process too seriously. Have fun with it. Enjoy it. Don't see your partner as only a baby making machine. Don't stress too much (this also effects your chances of conceiving). Let what will be, be as hard as that may seem.
Let me know in the comments below your tips for preconception? Did you have any methods or tricks up your sleeve while you were getting your body ready for growing a baby? Or maybe you are just starting this journey and have a question...Share with us!
** A multi-vitamin should not be used to replace healthy diet.
** I do not have an affiliation with any brands I have mentioned in the above post. This is purely what I used for my own journey.
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Be happy & healthy,