Are you healthy enough to create a baby and nurture it? It’s time to get some pre-pregnancy tips, apart from weekly pregnancy tips, and start looking after your body.
Healthy Lifestyle + Healthy Mother = Healthy Baby
The first step is to shift to a healthy lifestyle. So, if you smoke ten cigarettes a day, bring down to one. If you drink endless cups of coffee or indulge in binge drinking, it’s time to stop. Remember, women who take more than 500 mg of caffeine daily are likely to face difficulty in conceiving. Talking of alcohol, even 5 drinks or less per week can affect fertility. And this is for both sexes.
If you eat a purely veg. diet, you should make sure you’re getting all the essential nutrients. Zinc and Vitamin C are vital for fertility. Include lots of fresh fruit and veggies in your diet, along with whole grains and high protein food like pulses. If you’re an athlete or involved in active sports, you need to keep a tab on your body fat and weight. Also, don’t be in “extreme action” when trying to conceive. Bring down your exercise to moderate. And most importantly – avoid stress!
Consult your doctor and discuss with him/her about your plan to conceive. They can provide you a weekly pregnancy guide and also tell you about supplements like folic acid to be taken before you conceive. You can also learn about pregnancy calendars.
It’s Not Size But Time That Matters!
The perfect time for making a baby is ovulation. This is the time when you’re at the peak of your fertility. Say, if you have a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, you are likely to ovulate around the 14th or the 15th day, that is, at mid-cycle. Having sex at this time can fertilize your eggs and make you pregnant.
However, if your menstrual cycle is irregular, it’s hard to know the time of ovulation. Don’t lose heart though. There are other changes in your body that can help you know your “baby-making” days.
One of them is the cervical mucus. In the early stage of your cycle, the mucus is sticky and thick. It blocks the cervix and hardly lets the sperm enter. However, when it’s time for ovulation, the mucus thins out to let sperm get through. After ovulation, it thickens again. So, you can watch your mucus behavior and plan your intercourse accordingly.
Next comes the basal temperature, which is the temperature of your body during rest. It rises by 0.2 degrees Celsius after ovulation and remains elevated until you get your period. Keep a check on your temperature and have sex on the day before it rises. Remember, record the temperature right when you open your eyes and are still in bed. Just stepping out of the bed can raise the temperature.
You can also measure the hormonal changes in your body through an ovulation predictor kit. It can tell you the best time to conceive. And once you’re done, it’s time to start writing a pregnancy diary and get ready for pregnancy week by week.