Although pregnancy comes as a surprise to some couples, others actually plan it. They set a date (usually a specific month, rather than an actual day of the week) for when they are going to start trying to conceive. This allows them to do some advance planning which can be very useful.
If you and your spouse decide you to prepare for a pregnancy, whether it’s your first or fifth, here are five ways to get started.
1. See Your Doctor
As soon as you have decided to become pregnant, schedule a check-up with your gynecologist. Inform him or her that you are ready to start a family, and your doctor will conduct the necessary examination as well as check for any issues that may need to be addressed before you start trying. You’ll also receive information about what things you can do to improve conception, what prenatal vitamins you should take, and what medications you should avoid in case you’re pregnant.
2. Pay Attention to Your Cycle
At least three to six months before you even start trying, start paying attention to your body before, during, and after your period. Notice your mucous discharge and other indicators that help you know where you are in your cycle. Each morning right when you wake up and before getting out of bed, take your temperature with a thermometer (called a basal temperature).This lets you know when you’re ovulating. It’s best to start at the beginning of your next period.
As you near ovulation, your body temperature will rise. Chart this with an ovulation calculator, either by keeping a piece of paper and pen or have an ovulation calculator right by the bed (because you have to take your temperature before you even get out of bed) and you’ll know when approximately you will be ovulating.
3. Good Health
During that three- to six-month period before you even start trying, start drinking orange juice so that you can build up your supply of folic acid as a sufficient supply of this nutrient can help decrease the risk of birth defects, and stop smoking, drinking, or doing anything else that’s harmful to your body. Also, if you need to, try to lose those extra pounds the doctor has been telling about. Don’t use fad or “crash” diets to do this, though. Do it safely, by decreasing calories and increasing exercise. Remember to take a prenatal vitamin daily.
4. Check Your Health Insurance’s Pregnancy Policy
Start checking your health insurance policies, employee maternity/paternity policies, and other things to see if you need to make any preliminary preparations. This doesn’t mean you have to tell anyone, but you need to be aware of the financial ramifications.
5. Prepare the Home
Have your home checked for radon, carbon monoxide, and other dangerous chemicals. If a problem exists, take steps to correct them before you start trying to conceive.
Having children is a beautiful thing. By making preparations before you conceive you will increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
By: Janice Hill