Learn Your Family History
Collecting your familys health history can be important for your childs health. You might not realize that your sisters heart defect or your cousins sickle cell disease could affect your child, but sharing this family history information with your doctor can be important.
Other reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, trouble getting pregnant , or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.
How To Use Nipple Stimulation For Labor
There are two easy ways you can stimulate your nipples for labor :
Each of the studies used a different duration of nipple stimulation, from 15-20 minutes to up to an hour. You could always start with the shorter duration and increase it as your pregnancy progresses.
Quick warning please be careful with this one prior to 38 weeks . It CAN give you contractions / Braxton Hicks and you dont want to risk evicting baby slightly too early. Im holding off on any more of this until I reach 38 weeks next week
How To Get Pregnant: Tips And Facts To Increase Fertility
We’ve spoken to the experts to come up with 10 tips for how to get pregnant quickly and safely.
You may have many questions about how to get pregnant, particularly if you have an underlying condition. Taking care of your body is a good first step to optimize your fertility. But what else can you do to improve your odds of having a baby?
The most important advice for a woman who wants to get pregnant is to get to know her body, specifically her menstrual cycle, said Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, and medical director of the in-vitro fertilization program at Northwestern Medicine’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division in Chicago.
“It’s important to know how far apart her cycles are so she can more accurately time intercourse to try to get pregnant,” Pavone said.
We’ve highlighted the top ten tips that may help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. As always with this type of information make sure to speak to a medical professional as this advice is broad and you may require specialist attention. You should still find this article and accompanying video on how to get pregnant useful.
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Reach And Maintain A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for many serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers .1 People who are underweight are also at risk for serious health problems.2
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isnt about short-term dietary changes. Its about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk with your doctor about ways to reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
Caring For Your Mental And Emotional Health During Pregnancy
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health! Having depression or anxiety are not reasons to not get pregnant. There are medications to help manage your depression that are also safe to take during pregnancy. Talk to your OBGYN about your options.
Your OBGYN will also want to make sure that you have a supportive, safe home environment. If you have not felt safe at home or have experienced domestic violence, speak with your OBGYN about this so you can receive the help you need. If your partner is violent or abusive with you, they are likely to be abusive toward your child as well.
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Consider Increasing Your Coenzyme Q10 Intake For Egg Quality
If you are trying to get pregnant after the age of 35, you may want to considerincreasing your intake of CoQ10. CoQ10plays a crucial role in energy production in the bodys cells, including egg cells.Richfood sourcesof coenzyme Q10include meat, poultry, and fish.
CoQ10 levels naturally decrease with age, and as a result, so does egg quality. Although many focus on egg quantity, egg quality is one of the most important factors in fertility. Researchindicates that CoQ10plays an important role in supporting healthyegg quality and a healthy pregnancy.
Have Sex Every Two Days
If youre trying to conceive in your thirties, aim to get busy once every two days. Theres this misconception that you must have sex the day you ovulate, when thats not necessary for conception, Molinaro says. Some people are also concerned that if they have sex every day, it may decrease the efficacy of sperm, but theres not a lot of research on whether or not thats the case. Once every other day should cover your basesplus, its still fun that way and not a chore, which isnt what you want trying to conceive to become.
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Record Menstrual Cycle Frequency
A woman who wants to have a baby should monitor whether the first days of her periods tend to occur the same number of days apart every month, which is considered regular. Conversely, her periods may be irregular, meaning her cycle lengths vary from month to month. By tracking this information on a calendar, a woman can better predict when she might be ovulating, according to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine. This is the time every month when her ovaries will release an egg. There are also some apps that can help with the tracking, such as GlowOvulation period tracker .
Ways To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
Planning for pregnancy and motherhood is a daunting task. It goes without saying that you and your partner have a lot more to think about than just the baby’s name and the colour of the nursery walls. One of your first priorities should be to ensure that you are in the best possible shape both mentally and physically. Simply put, healthy, happy mothers make healthy, happy babies. Here are nine areas of your health that the experts agree you should start focusing on in the year before you fall pregnant.
Get your weight under controlBeing overweight can make it difficult to fall pregnant, add to the strain on your body and increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Being underweight can cause difficulties conceiving and can result in miscarriage or a low birth weight for your baby.
If you need help controlling or putting on weight, speak to your doctor and a dietician about the best way to approach this.
Get fit In general, when pregnant, you shouldn’t start any exercise you weren’t already doing before you fell pregnant. Make sure that you’ve started a workout routine that will prepare you for those extra kilograms you’re going to pack on and for running around after a busy toddler. It will happen sooner than you think!
Alcohol may reduce fertility in both men and women as well as having an impact on your general health and wellbeing. When trying to fall pregnant, it’s best to reduce your intake to one to two units a week.
Day : Schedule A Preconception Visit
Depending on a number of factors , you may also want to schedule a special preconception visit with your obstetrician. Some of the areas of this examination may overlap with your physical, so be sure to bring any specific reproductive questions you may have.
Your visit should cover anything youre concerned about, from screening for sexually transmitted diseases to screening for pregnancy readiness.
Advanced Maternal Age And Fertility
You may be wondering why age plays such an important role in your fertility.
Believe it or not, if you are trying to get pregnant over the age of 35, you are considered advanced maternal age. Because many women are delaying pregnancy until well into their thirties, this can be a hard truth to accept.
It is, however, an important truth to understand. Age and fertility are directly linked. There are two main fertility factors to consider: egg quantity and egg quality. They both follow a similar pattern, naturally decreasing with age.
There is little you can do about your age.Time keeps marching on!But heres the good news:
You canbegin to make healthy choicesto prepare your body for pregnancy. Doing so may help support a healthy pregnancy well into your mid-thirties and beyond.
Preparing Your Finances For A Baby
If you had to sum this up in two simple steps, theyd be: Calculate your baby budget and build up your savings. Once you have an idea of how much having and raising a baby will cost, you can start socking money away to meet those needs.
Start by using a financial calculator tool to estimate your monthly costs as a family of three. Then take your current monthly budget and subtract the cash youve estimated you’ll spend on baby down the road. Meet your new budget! Try a test run now, before you even conceive. You may have to cut back on eating out or clip a few extra coupons to make ends meet, but this effort will help you learn to prioritize your babys needs and expenses.
And, of course, you know what to do with money you save on your test run: Add it to a savings account that you can easily withdraw from. Being financially prepared may very well alleviate stress about the unknown and provide flexibility in terms of child care, work and other choices youll face as a new parent. And it can help support the lifestyle youve become accustomed to when extra expenses crop up.
Day 1: Quit Tobacco Alcohol And Drugs
Smoking, using drugs, and drinking alcohol can harm an unborn baby in a number of ways. Smoking exposes your baby to harmful chemicals, restricts blood flow, and may even cause preterm labor.
Drinking puts baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome . Using drugs is not only illegal, but it also may cause birth defects, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
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Why Women Are Waiting
According to the provisional birthrate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , while there have been steady increases for women in the 30 to 34 and 35 to 39 age groups, birthrates have declined by an average of 4% per year since 2007 for women in the 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 age brackets.
Although the current trends indicate more women are waiting until their 30s to have babies, the reasons are unclear. Some possible explanations include:
- Finishing schooling and establishing a career before turning to thoughts of having a baby
- Greater access to safe and effective contraceptive
- Having fewer children
- More screen time, less sex
Is It Safe To Get Pregnant In Your 30s
Yes, you can become pregnant even after 30 years. However, do keep in mind that the chance of getting pregnant naturally after 30 can be less when compared to a younger age since female fertility declines gradually over time.
Biologically, the best age to get pregnant is between the ages of 20 and 30 years . Fertility issues can often arise at later ages due to the risk of endometriosis or fibroids. This may vary in each woman based on individual risk factors that is, some can have a healthy pregnancy at age 30 or more, where a few may face complications.
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Preparing For Labor Is Preparing For Baby
Its up to you whether you try any or all of these things the best thing about them is theres very little risk involved. Itll get your body ready to go for the big day, and if you are ready it might be enough to tip you over the edge.
Im all for anything thatll make labor and delivery easier and faster! Because it means:
- less exhaustion going into postpartum and the fourth trimester
- less likely to need induction or augmentation with pitocin (which can mean a more painful labor
- less likely to need a c-section if the pitocin fails to progress labor
- less likely to need interventions or drugs that can increase chances of tearing and make postpartum healing longer and more painful
Its likely that Ill be induced on or just after my due date , but I hope doing this prep work will help everything go smoothly no matter what happens. As my favorite birthing course instructor says: the goal is a healthy mom, healthy baby and a healthy mind!
How To Get Pregnant If You Have Endometriosis
Endometriosis is another common reproductive condition, affecting more than one in 10 women in the United States. It occurs when tissue found in the uterus grows in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Even mild endometriosis can reduce fertility, while severe endometriosis can distort a woman’s pelvic anatomy and, for example, block her fallopian tubes, according to a 2015 study in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India.
It is still possible for a woman with endometriosis to become pregnant, and, once pregnant, the pregnancy is expected to be no different to that of a woman without endometriosis. Medical treatment through drugs does not improve fertility, according to Endometriosis UK, an endometriosis-focused charity. These medications involve regulating a person’s hormones, and can slow the growth of endometrial tissue and prevent new pieces from developing, said the Mayo Clinic. But because these drugs are based on hormones , they actively stop a woman from getting pregnant.
Endometriosis presents differently in different women, so its treatment depends on the individual,according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Surgery to excise the endometrial and scar tissue may improve fertility rates and help reduce pain associated with endometriosis, researchers reported in the 2015 study in TheJournal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India.
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Preparing Your Body And Mind For Pregnancy
If you are planning a pregnancy or even thinking about conceiving any time in the near future you probably are thinking that you want to achieve the most healthy, easiest pregnancy possible.
Whether this is your first baby or your third, this list of what to do in the time before pregnancy to prepare your body will be a huge help.
Get Enough Sleep Before Conception
Make it your goal to catch a solid seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Just like a good prepregnancy diet, catching enough zzz’s can help improve your chances of producing a little one . In fact, having an irregular sleep schedule has been shown to potentially increase the odds of irregular periods, which won’t help your odds of conception.
Similarly, sufficient sleep is key to staving off stress, which can also undermine your fertility and complicate pregnancy. Plus, if you’re charting your basal body temperature to help better understand your cycle, you need adequate, consistent slumber to get the best results.
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Get Help To Stop Smoking
Smoking affects fertility in men and women. If you stop smoking now it will improve your chances of conceiving. Smoking has also been shown to damage the DNA of your baby. During pregnancy smoking is the biggest risk factor for serious complications in pregnancy that you can change.
Make Any Changes To Your Diet
You dont need to follow a strict regime thats impossible to keep up with, but you should aim to be in the healthy weight range for your body. Being underweight or overweight can impact fertility and can cause health complications during pregnancy.
For example, a study found women reduced their risk of gestational diabetes by 83%, simply by adopting a healthy lifestyle before they conceive. Those who adopted a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy reduced their risk by half.
Women who ate healthy foods, exercised for 150 minutes per week, had a BMI of less than 25 and did not smoke were 83% less likely to develop gestational diabetes than women who did not meet the healthy lifestyle criteria. Find out more about gestational diabetes.
What should you eat and what should you avoid?
The best foods to avoid are sugars and grains. So cut out or significantly cut down your intake of breads and cereals, cake, biscuit, pasta, potato anything that converts into sugars.
Reproductive and womens health specialist, Doctor Andrew Orr, recommends the paleo or primal style of diets for his fertility patients. With over 10,000 babies born as a result of his treatments and advice, its definitely advice worth taking.
Here are 13 healthy breakfast ideas.
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Have Your Partner Ditch His Briefs
Time to say goodbye to briefs and hello to boxers. Some studies have found that men who wear boxers have a higher sperm concentration and total sperm count than those who dont. Its also a good idea to have your male partner avoid placing his laptop directly on his lap or spend too much time in hot tubs. Thats because heat can impair sperm formation, explains Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, a maternal fetal medicine specialist.
Managing Your Finances During A Second Pregnancy
Youve learned firsthand that having a baby impacts your budget. But there are a few extra things to consider when youre thinking about adding another little one to your brood. Ask yourself:
- If you work outside the house, can your budget take the hit if you have to take a second unpaid maternity leave, or will you have to cut short your time with the second baby?
- Are you a stay-at-home mom who would like to get that second pregnancy over with so that you can return to work?
- Can your house handle another little body now, or will you need to move to a bigger home to accommodate your growing family?
- Will you be able to use the baby gear you already have , or will your firstborn still be using it, requiring you to get a second set of essential items?
Having a second baby will be an additional expense no matter when it happens, but the timing of your second pregnancy can have a big impact on how much extra money you shell out. You and your partner may want to come up with a preliminary family budget to see what you might be able to afford in the near future versus the distant future to help you make your decision.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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