Stop Taking Birth Control
Yes, this may seem like a no-brainer, if you are trying to get pregnant, but it isn’t as simple as it would seem. If you are taking a hormonal based birth control, like the “Pill”, it can take your system several months to actually regain regular, baby making, hormonal balance. If you have been taking Depo Provera, it can take even longer. You will want to plan accordingly and give your body a chance to regain it’s natural balance.
Start Taking a Good Quality Prenatal Vitamin
You may already be taking a multivitamin, but if you are considering pregnancy, you will want to look at changing over to a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are formulated to support your changing body during pregnancy and typically have a higher level of folic acid. Folic acid, a B vitamin, has been shown to decrease the chance of birth defects, that affect your baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Stop Those Harmful Habits
If you smoke, drink alcohol to excess or take drugs, you are going to want to stop those habits before trying to get pregnant. In regards to actually getting pregnant, smoking actually lowers your chances. Statistics show that women who smoke are 60% more likely to be sub-fertile or infertile. It doesn’t just affect the women negatively. Men who smoke actually have sperm that can be less able to fertilize the egg and, if they do manage that feat, the resulting fertilized egg has a higher chance of failing to develop properly. In addition to making it harder to get pregnant, these habits can also harm your developing baby. Smoking, drinking, and taking drugs have been linked to lower birth weights, miscarriages and premature labor.
Deal With That Caffeine Addiction
Sorry to tell you, but if you drink more than a cup or two of coffee, you may be increasing your chances of a miscarriage. A Danish study showed that women who drank 8 cups of coffee a day had double the risk of a still birth as compared to women who did not drink coffee. Studies show that 200 mg of caffeine a day is generally considered a safe limit. With that in mind, you can figure out what your typical caffeine consumption is, and adjust accordingly. Caffeine isn’t just in coffee. Read the labels and do your research. That cup or two of Starbucks, you drink everyday, most likely has a higher caffeine level than home brewed coffee. Each can of Coke or Pepsi you have typically has about 40mg of caffeine in it. Some over the counter medicines like, Excedrin, are also caffeine culprits. Oh, and let’s not forget chocolate, which is also a caffeine carrier.
Weight Does Matter
Studies show that women who are underweight, BMI less than 20, or overweight, BMI over 30, typically have a harder time getting pregnant. Loving your body into a healthy BMI range of 21 to 29 will help with your goal of becoming a parent. (You can get a good estimate of your BMI by using the National Institute of Health’s BMI calculator.)
Sorry, Guys, you aren’t off the hook. If you are overweight, you are also lowering your chances of doing your part in this getting pregnant game. Men who are overweight can have lower testosterone levels which make the desire to have sex lower. In addition to lower sex drive, being overweight can also lower the quality of your semen, resulting in lower sperm count and lower semen volume upon ejaculation.
Get to a healthy weight and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Know When You Ovulate
Even if you are living your life to promote a healthy pregnancy and baby, if you don’t have sex when you are ovulating, the chances of actually getting pregnant are pretty slim.