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You and your partner are considering bringing a child into this world, firstly congratulations. Second, there is a range of things you need to consider not only when you are pregnant, but before and while you are trying to conceive.

These tips are not just there to take up space on a page, or nag at you, they are real-world things you need to consider and change in your lifestyle if you are going to effectively conceive and give your little one the best possible chance of starting life in the best possible way as possible.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs

You are not in college anymore. Well, you might be, but odds are if you are planning a baby, you need to put your partying ways behind you. Alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs all put a great about of stress on your organs, your blood, and your brain. In addition, using while pregnant has been proven to adversely affect the babies when the join the world, some need to detox – which is one of the saddest things ever, when their mothers use while pregnant.

In addition, if you are on prescription medication, speak to your doctor, as you may need to stop or move to a different medication to support your conception chances.

Get in shape

If you are in ‘match-fit’ then you are more likely to conceive. Research has proven that women that regularly exercise & live a healthy lifestyle are more likely to get pregnant sooner than those who are not. Between 30-60 minutes per day and a healthy diet is strongly recommended to get the body moving, the blood pumping and you conceiving sooner.

Track your ovulation

Timing is important when trying to conceive, and if you’re not having sex around the time of ovulation, conception will be difficult, if not impossible. Thus, in addition to having more sex in general, it is a smart idea to try to figure out when you are ovulating so you’ll know when your most fertile time is. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Get an ovulation kit: Sold at drugstores everywhere, these simple kits are used to measure the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine; LH levels surge about three days before you ovulate. However, some kits are more sensitive than others, meaning that some products can detect an LH surge days before others can.
  • Track your basal body temperature: Basal body temperature typically drops by about half a degree 24 hours before ovulation and increases by about the same amount after ovulation. However, you might not want to use this method by itself, since your body temperature can be thrown off by other things, such as illness. You can buy a basal body temperature thermometer in drugstores or online.

Take a prenatal vitamin

In addition to providing important nutrients during pregnancy, prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplements also offer nutrients that support fertility. The most important fertility nutrient provided by prenatal vitamins is folate/folic acid (folic acid is the synthetic form of folate found in vitamin supplements).  

Make a pre-conception doctor visit

While not strictly required for someone who is younger than 35 and in good health, a pre-conception visit with your OBGYN is important if you have any chronic health conditions, take any medications, or are 35 or older. Your doctor will perform a check-up and talk to you about managing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, or any other condition that might make you a candidate for a high-risk pregnancy.  

Stop trying so hard

This one may seem to stand in opposition to the idea of this article itself, but it is nevertheless true. Sometimes, couples can get so caught up in trying to do everything right to get pregnant that they can bring added stress to their lives, and this stress itself can actually make it more difficult to get pregnant.

Finally, it may be helpful to remember that healthy, fertile couples have about a 20 percent chance of conceiving each month when having regular, unprotected sex. This means that is completely normal for it takes up to a year to get pregnant. If you’ve been trying for longer than a year, it is a recommended that you see a fertility counselor who can help you determine why you’re not getting pregnant and what you can do to increase your odds.

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