The biggest question on the minds of everyone trying to conceive is undoubtedly, “how to prepare your body for pregnancy?” To give your baby the best start in life, it's very important to get your body in tip-top condition before trying to conceive, and there is no denying the fact that a healthy body has a strong reproductive system and better chances of pregnancy.
On the road to parenthood, taking some simple steps in the right direction will help to stack the odds of a healthy pregnancy in your favor. To prepare your body beforehand is equally important for both men and women.
10 Tips to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy for Both Sexes
Find or visit a doctor
It is very important to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. The purpose is to have a base line medical checkup, and having someone reliable to talk to regarding all your concerns. Women with chronic health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, epilepsy, lupus or heart disease should better have them carefully managed.
Check yourselves out
Both partners might need to get some tests done at the preconception doctor visit, depending on the circumstances and general health. Common tests and screening before pregnancy include screening tests for STD/STIs and hepatitis. Vaccinations like Rubella cannot be administered during pregnancy, so it is very important to get yourself vaccinated before trying to conceive.
When to stop contraception (WOMEN ONLY)
Obviously you need to stop using contraception. You can just discontinue the barriermethods like condom and cervical caps if you want to get pregnant. However if you are using oral or injectable contraceptives, it is best to wait for a couple of months, so the effects are completely washed out of your system.
Take in necessary nutrients
A healthy, well balanced diet is the first step to prepare your body for pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet will make sure your body is rich in all of the nutrients your baby will need.
Folic acid is the universally recommended supplement and a major player in reproduction. It is long known for safeguarding against neural tube defects, and it also helps in conception. A recent study concluded that men who took regular folic acid had fewer sperm abnormalities. Citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and legumes are rich sources of folic acid.
Iron, Calcium and Zinc are other necessary supplements, but it is better to talk to your health care provider before starting them.
Vitamins and supplements
Popping some pills won’t make you magically prepared to get pregnant, but it will ensure that your body has adequate stores of nutrients and essential vitamins to help in producing healthy eggs and supplying sufficiently for the maturity and growth of the baby.
Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin D have strong positive effects on preparing the body for pregnancy.
Get with the fitness program
It is essential to have a BMI in a healthy range for both men and women. Being overweight can get in the way of a successful pregnancy, and being underweight is also not advisable. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on your body so it makes sense for you to be fit before you get pregnant.
If you’re already fit and healthy, it will be easier for you to keep active while you are pregnant. Exercise can also help to reduce stress and improve your sleep, mood and energy levels. If you already work out, you may need to tailor your workout a little, and it is good to avoid stressful exercises. Simply try out some core exercises to strengthen the stomach muscles which will be very helpful.
Cut on caffeine, cigarettes, illegal drugs and alcohol
When it comes to caffeine, moderation is the key. Excessive intake of caffeine (more than 300 mg daily) has been linked to fertility problems as well as to an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and a low-birth-weight baby.
If you smoke, there is no better time or reason to quit. Giving up will improve your chances of having a happy pregnancy and a healthy baby. You can avoid second-hand smoke by encouraging your partner to give up too.
Even moderate amount of Alcohol has been found to reduce the chances of falling pregnant. No safe level of alcohol has been identified during pregnancy.
It’s best to avoid all these substances while you are trying to get pregnant and throughout the pregnancy.
Our minds are powerful, so watch your thoughts carefully. Turning negative thought process into positive affirmations can markedly reduce stress and improve your wellbeing.
Trust divine timing
Some people fall pregnant as soon as they desire, but for others it can take a little longer. That can be frustrating. Try to understand that things will happen when they are supposed to happen. Worrying endlessly about them will only increase your stress level that is not good for you. Keep calm and be patient. Meditation, yoga, massage and other relaxation techniques can offer great help.
Having sex, getting pregnant
The chances of getting pregnant are the highest during the fertility window. These most fertile days include the day of ovulation and five days prior to that. Though timing the days when to have sex makes logical sense, it is not always perfect. Instead of limiting intercourse on those few days, it is recommended to have sex more frequently to maximize the chances.
Extra Tips for Men on How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy
Protect Your Testicles
Sperm are stored in testicles, it is very important to protect them for a healthy sperm count. You can avoid trauma by wearing loose underwear, and avoiding bike rides and hot tubs. It is also important to limit exposure to certain toxic substances found in paint, pesticides and fertilizers.
A fertile ejaculation contains a tremendous amount of sperm. Even though, around 20 to 40 million sperms are present in a single shot, only a few reach the egg. The life span of a healthy sperm is from 3-5 days, and the quality of sperm matters a lot. Sperm with low mobility or defected head or tails are less likely to fertilize the egg. Knowing simple facts like that will give you a better understanding of your fertility.
Warm temperatures can affect the testes’ ability to make sperm
Your balls hang outside the body for a reason. It helps to keep them at a lower temperature which is essential for healthy, good quality sperm. To boost sperm health, try to avoid all the activities that increase testicular temperature, like hot baths, spa, sauna, long bouts of bike rides and keeping your laptop in your lap.
Women undergo a lot of physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Fluctuating hormone levels can result is unpredictable behavior. Try to be gentle and supportive. On this rollercoaster emotional ride, you need to be very patient, caring and understanding.