Now I’m not a fertility expert or anything but I do know a thing or two about baby making. Before trying to get pregnant, I researched fertility tips and tricks and thought “what the heck, why not try it.”
So in no particular order, here are some things you can keep in mind if you think you may want to try to get pregnant in the next year or so:
1. Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins: Never too early to start. It can take your body a few months to stock up on all of the nutrients you may be low on (especially folic acid), so it’s not a bad idea to start a few months before you begin trying to conceive.
I picked up some cheapos at first but then a few people told me they go straight through you and don’t break down right. So I got Garden of Life Raw Prenatal vitamins. All of the ingredients are things you can understand, and while they don’t taste the best, they’re easy to swallow. I also took the Oceans Mom vitamins (and still do) which has DHA and is great for baby’s brain development. I attribute Lil’ J’s advanced intelligence in part to my religiousness of taking these.
Vitamins not your thing? BeNice Prenatal is a drink that comes in a packet you mix in with water to get all the prenatal vitamins you need! (Free shipping right now too!!)
2. Eat Healthier: Really, you should be getting all of your nutrients from food but take note to things you can cut back on, and what you can eat more of. Green leaves are more rich in folic acid, so eat lots of yummy salad. Also, cut back on caffeine. Studies are back and forth on whether or not caffeine affects the ability to conceive but it doesn’t hurt to take a break from it. I did, and haven’t looked back since. I had my husband give it up too because excessive caffeine can affect sperm count.
Also, think about cutting out artificial sweaters if you haven’t already. If you’re craving something sweet, BellyBar has a bunch of yummy things to try. I love their shakes but my favorite is their Berry Nutty Cravings. They also have a new “boost” bar that compliments your prenatal vitamins.
3. Keep Warm: I read a great book called Pulling Down the Moon which has 12 steps to optimizing your fertility. One thing I thought was interesting learning about were my body’s processes, and how fertility is a warm process, therefore drinking warm liquids (or water at room temperature versus cold temperature) made less work for my body. I dunno, maybe it was all in my head but I ate a lot of steamed veggies, and drank a lot of warm water with lemon, and if I ever ate something cool, I would usually drink something warm with it.
4. Use a Sperm-Friendly Lubricant: Did you know stuff like KY jelly inhabits the swimmers from getting to their destination? It’s not birth control or anything but it doesn’t help things when you’re trying to get pregnant. I used Conceive Plus. Which doesn’t inhibit them and supposedly helps the swimmers get there easier.
5. Keep the Legs Up: Ya know. After doing the deed. Use good old gravity for 5-10 minutes to get the swimmers on their way.
6. Get Your Spouse Involved: My husband thought I was a little crazy when I was telling him what he could and couldn’t eat and to skip hot baths. But it’s good to discuss things and make sure you’re on the same page. It’s a good idea for him to eat better, exercise too. My husband used these vitamins. Oh, and Horny Goat Weed is supposedly suppose to help male fertility but really… Who the heck knows! Whatever you do, don’t be like me and turn in to a sex natzi.
7. Relax: It’s the #1 think you’ll get tired of hearing from people when you’re trying to conceive. But try it. Go on a baby-makin moon, or try Circle + Bloom (a fertility relaxation program). I did both. Use this as an opportunity to try that yoga class you’ve been eye-balling. Or start a new book. Something to get your mind off trying to conceive (TTC). If it doesn’t work, you can always think about all of the reasons why you DON’T want to get pregnant and try to trick your uterus using reverse psychology.
8. Get Regular Exercise: I took my dog for a jog every day (obviously pre-baby. Now he’s lucky if I remember to pet him). Gaining or loosing weight can whip your baby making machine into gear! You can try Carmen Electra’s Striptease DVDs like I did during my stripper stint and hit two birds with one stone!
9. Know Your Fertile Days: There’s a few key days every month that you’re most fertile. You can take your basal body temperature every day to track when you ovulate. I did this for a month but it really took the fun out of “being spontaneous” (but even when I wasn’t tracking I still knew when I was ovulating I just didn’t tell my husband so he thought it was spontaneous). I recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility to learn more about that good stuff.
10. Know it Can Take Time: Only about 25% percent of couples actively trying, get pregnant in the first month of trying. You really have only a 25% chance in any given month but 90% of couples get pregnant within a year of trying. So don’t give up!
And here’s a little something to help–Everyone who comments on this post before October 9th will be entered to win a pack of the Garden of Life Prenatal Vitamins I mentioned earlier!
Random.org winner: Commenter #37: Brittany!