So you finally decided that you do want to have children! Now that you have decided, you want to get pregnant as quickly as possible. You may even be as terrified as I was that you have “put it off for too long” and will not be able to get pregnant! What should you do? Immediately make an appointment with the most highly recommended fertility expert in your area? Wrong! If your goal is to get pregnant quickly and have a healthy baby, there are seven key things you should do right now.
First, invest in a fertility monitor (I used the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor) and start using it immediately. Your goal should be to get comfortable with your ovulation cycle. Within a couple months you should know exactly when your LH surge is and therefore the optimum time to have intercourse to ensure pregnancy. This is important since you will want to have intercourse twice at most within your fertility window to ensure your best chances for getting pregnant. Obviously missing your fertility window will prevent you from getting pregnant. What many women don’t realize is that having intercourse too often can actually lower the number of sperm delivered at the critical time, reducing your chances of getting pregnant.
Second, get yourself an appointment with the most highly recommended acupuncturist in your area. A good acupuncturist will be able to stimulate your ovaries, ensuring the production of a healthy, mature egg to be fertilized as well as even out your cycle so that it is more predictable. This is especially important if you have been taking birth control pills for any length of time. Birth control pills cause your body to think that it is already pregnant so the ovaries don’t release an egg. Over time, this causes the ovaries to get lazy from lack of use so that they will often either not release an egg or release an immature egg that isn’t capable of leading to a successful pregnancy.
Third, change your diet. Perhaps you are currently consuming the very best foods for getting pregnant, but that is unlikely. To get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy, you need at least 80-100 grams of protein per day. You also need to consume a lot more healthy fats (omega 3) and cholesterol (egg yolks) than you are likely to be currently consuming. In addition, you should ensure that at least 80% of what you eat is organic, free range and unprocessed food. The hormones, antibiotics and other toxins present in conventionally raised and grown foods are harmful to both your health and efforts to get pregnant. For example, meat raised in the US by conventional methods has hormones (estrogen) and antibiotics in it as well as toxins from the pesticides in the feed. You should also minimize your consumption of soy products as that will also result in a detrimental estrogen-to-progesterone balance. If your estrogen-to-progesterone balance is not optimum, you uterus will not have a nice thick lining for a fertilized egg to attach to. This will make a huge difference when it comes to conceiving and birthing a healthy baby. One of the sources of information that I found most helpful when it came to diet and nutrition during pregnancy was the Weston A Price website under keywords “Diet for Mothers”.
Fourth, get eight hours of sleep per night. This may be the hardest thing to do, but getting eight hours of solid sleep per night is proven to reduce stress levels and at the same time give your body adequate time to flush out and remove toxins. If you want to have a healthy pregnancy, much less get pregnant, getting a full eight hours per night is essential. One tip for actually getting enough sleep, especially if you have a busy brain like me, is to listen to relaxation MP3/CD’S or boring books-on-tape. The goal is to give your brain something to do other than worry, allowing it to slow down so you can drift off. The advantage to listening to books rather than reading (my second recommendation) is that it allows you to get into your favorite sleeping position and close your eyes. NEVER watch TV to go to sleep as TV is known to stimulate your brain, resulting in less restive sleep.
Fifth, reduce your stress levels. Stress is probably one of the greatest barriers to getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. Stress reduces immune system function and in general, animals that are preparing to run away from a threat are not in the best position to get pregnant. If you are producing a lot of stress hormones, then you are NOT producing the hormones necessary for getting pregnant. In addition, stress is detrimental to pregnancy itself, often resulting in premature labor, preterm babies, and preeclampsia, to name just a few. If you want to give yourself the best chances of getting pregnant, do an evaluation of your life, list your current stressors and create a plan for reducing or eliminating each.
Sixth, ensure you are getting the appropriate level of exercise. Moderate exercise for 30 minutes to an hour 3-5 times a week is very helpful. Beware both no exercise and excessive exercise. Excessive exercise causes, not reduces, stress on your body. If you are unsure if your current exercise routine is excessive, as yourself whether you would recommend it to your retirement age mother. If you wouldn’t recommend it then it is too excessive!
Seventh, evaluate your career situation. If your job stress is excessive, then it will not only affect your ability to get pregnant, but also your ability to stay pregnant and create a healthy work- life balance after the baby is born. Set yourself up for success as a mother by taking a hard look at what kinds of changes you may need to make to your career so that you can balance it with motherhood gracefully. For example, if you work in high-tech sales and your job requires you to spend 50-80% of your time traveling around the world, it will be almost impossible for you to nurture a baby. You can truly have it all, but that doesn’t mean that every job lends itself to motherhood. With some planning now, you can transition into something that will provide the income and professional satisfaction you desire along with the time and flexibility you need to be a successful mother.