“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.” Who doesn’t remember this familiar childhood song when they thought two children liked each other? As you grew older, you hoped and prayed that one day in your life this song would come true and you would find the love of your life. Someone to leave you speechless and breathless anytime you're together. Someone to grow old with.
As fate would have it, your time finally arrived! You found the love of your life who made you remember this song and makes every day feel like the first time you met. Whenever you think of your significant other, you can't stop smiling and anticipating what the future holds as you embrace the idea of having children.
According to the latest US fertility rate, less children are being born every year which places the 59.1 rate at its lowest level since reports began in 1909. But couples are still having children. Many couples can’t wait to see miniature versions of themselves being born into the world. Nothing brings more joy and excitement to a couple than the birth of a child.
Contrary to popular belief, conceiving a healthy child doesn’t automatically happen. Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that about 10 to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. It also suggests that this number could be higher because many miscarriages happen early in pregnancy when a woman doesn’t realize she's pregnant.
Every woman’s conception story is different. Sometimes it can take a lot of patience, planning, and work. Below are 15 things not to do when trying to conceive to help you have a successful conception story.
15 Stress About It
Whether you're trying to conceive or not, too much stress is not good for you or your body. Although there isn't definitive evidence to support the claim, doctors believe that stress can hinder your natural ability to ovulate and conceive. Pressure from family and friends wanting to know when you're going to start a family, along with your ticking biological clock, can also add unnecessary stress. Not to mention watching your friends effortlessly become pregnant and wondering if and when it will happen for you.
To help increase your chances of conception and reduce your anxiety, keep a positive attitude and relax. Being uptight and stressed out will not help you conceive any faster. Instead, it will slow down the process. Practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga to help you relax and maintain a positive attitude.
14 Drink Alcohol
If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, you probably should take a break while trying to conceive. Although the research isn’t clear on the amount of alcohol consumption to avoid and how it effects the conception process, it's still a good idea to stop drinking. During the conception phase, you could become pregnant without knowing it. Once this happens and you're still drinking, you're putting the health of your unborn child at risk.
Avoiding alcohol prior to pregnancy not only protects you but also your unborn child from potential birth defects, disorders and miscarriage. It can also help in the long run if you are planning on breast-feeding.
13 Consume Drugs
Similar to alcohol, certain drugs can interfere with ovulation and conception or cause serious birth defects as your baby develops once conception begins. It's recommended that you seek the advice of your doctor before taking any medication not specifically prescribed by a medical professional. Research studies on various types of drugs, ranging from over the counter to illegal street drugs, and their effects on conception are not exactly clear but you don't want to take a chance when it comes to your health and that of your future baby.
Drugs such as antidepressants, opiates, stimulants, amphetamines, or acne medications should be avoided due to the unknown side effects they can potentially have on conception and a growing baby. If you are using any of these drugs or have used them in the past, it would be a good idea to talk with your doctor to develop a plan of action to address these concerns.
12 Skip Vitamin Supplements
When you're trying to conceive, vitamin supplements should be taken daily to help give your body the extra nutrients it needs that may be missing from your diet. Skipping supplements can leave your body deficient in certain areas which could cause unnecessary strain on your body during conception.
A good supplement to begin taking is a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals to help promote conception and support a thriving baby during pregnancy. One important vitamin necessary for a healthy pregnancy during conception and throughout pregnancy is folic acid.
Folic acid helps prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. It's recommended that women trying to conceive take a prenatal or multivitamin with at least 400 milligram (mg) of folic acid which is the minimum amount needed for a healthy pregnancy. Taking supplements along with a healthy diet are a great way to start the conception process. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
11 Skip A Checkup
You don’t want to start the conception journey without making sure that you're healthy. Pregnancy demands and takes a lot out of your body because you're sharing it with another person. It's not the time to skip having a checkup with your primary doctor and gynaecologist. On the contrary, you need them to evaluate you to make sure that your body is operating at its optimal condition.
One of your body functions that should be checked before pregnancy is your heart. Having an EKG performed will help determine if it's strong enough to handle the stress and strain that pregnancy will place on it. Having a checkup prior to conception will also identify potential problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes so that they can be addressed and treated. It's easier to deal with any problem when it's still small as opposed waiting for it to get out of control.
10 Quit Exercising
If you've stopped exercising, it's time for you to start again. Your goal prior to conception is to be in the best physical and mental health possible. Exercising can help you meet this goal. Exercising helps reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and body mass index, and strengthen your heart. Doctors recommend that you get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily to maintain a healthy heart.
Exercising doesn't have to be complex or involve joining a gym. It can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day but should be something that you enjoy and look forward to doing. If you enjoy it, you will stick with it. Before starting any exercise plan, consult with your doctor. Once you select an exercise plan, make a commitment to do it at least 3-4 times a week.
9 Drink Caffeine
Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee or tea? The problem lies in how much of it you consume on a daily basis. Studies have not found a clear link between the effects of too much caffeine and conception. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Some of the side effects of too much caffeine include headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, elevated heart rate and more.
How much caffeine should you have? Doctors recommend 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) daily while trying to conceive which is equivalent to two 8-ounce cups of coffee. By reducing your caffeine intake early, you lower your chances of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications once you conceive.
8 Continue Smoking
We know that second hand smoke is bad for us and can kill us but did you know that first hand smoke can be just as deadly? Reports have shown that smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers and are more likely to have fertility issues. Smoking also increases your chances of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy and preterm labor.
If you smoke or live with someone that smokes, you should take the necessary steps to quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke whenever possible. Talk with your doctor about ways to quit smoking. Your health and the health of your unborn child depends upon it.
7 Have Soft Drinks
Drinking an occasional soft drink is fine but if you consume large amounts of soda on a daily basis, you could be lowering your conception chances. Soft drinks consist of large amounts of sugar which can raise your blood insulin levels. Studies have shown that too much sugar is not a good thing and can lead to serious issues such as diabetes and obesity. Also, depending on the type of soft drink, it could also contain caffeine which affects conception.
Rather than reaching for a soft drink, look for healthier alternatives such as water, milk, and decaffeinated teas. Although not as enticing and fizzy as soft drinks, they offer more health benefits for you and your unborn baby. If you have to have an occasional soft drink, choose one that is caffeine-free. Moderation is the key.
6 Eat Too Much Sugar
Everyone loves a sugary treat from time to time but did you know that too much sugar can be a bad thing? Whether you drink or eat it, you can experience some lingering side effects. Researches have shown that consuming too much sugar over a period of time can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity which can lower your conception chances.
As tempting as it is to grab a sugary treat, now is a good time to rethink your food choices. Choose healthier or low sugar foods that will not only supply you with nutrients but also much needed energy. By starting at the conception stage, it will become a habit that you can maintain throughout your pregnancy.
5 Tell Everyone
Deciding to have a child is one of the most important and scary decisions you will make as a couple. Sometimes, your family and friends may not feel the same anticipation and joy that you feel because they have previously experienced the highs and lows of parenthood. As a result, they might not be as supportive or positive as you had hoped.
Once you and your significant other decide to have a baby, it might be a good idea to keep it to yourself. Don’t tell anyone and don’t put it on social media. Conception is already a stressful process and who needs the added stress from family and friends telling you what you should do and how to do it. After you have successfully conceived and progressed in your pregnancy, you can share your news with your family and friends.
4 Become A Dare Devil
Now that you’ve decided to let another person share your body, it's no longer about you. It's all about your future unborn baby. If you're a daredevil and enjoy heart stopping and thrill seeking activities such as zip lines, skydiving and bungee jumping, you will need to stop them immediately.
By participating in these activities, you could be exposing your unborn child to serious risks and complications because you might not know that you're pregnant at the time that you are doing these things. Instead, you should start thinking and acting as if you are already pregnant and avoid dangerous activities and situations. Your ultimate goals are to have a healthy pregnancy and still be around to help raise your child. Don’t put that at risk!
3 Compare Yourself To Others
It's so easy to listen to other people’s story about how fast they were able to conceive, and to start comparing your journey to theirs. This holds particularly true depending on how long you've been trying to conceive. As a result, you begin to wonder if you will ever get pregnant.
Each woman’s method and journey to conception will be different. No two people are the same. What may work for one woman might not work for another. You have to trust and believe that it will happen for you. While you're on the journey, don’t compare yourself to others. Enjoy where you are until you get to where you want to be. Conception can sometimes be a marathon rather than a sprint, and it's important to keep the right perspective along the way.
2 Use Lubricants
Not all lubricants are created the same and achieve the same results. Some can actually lower your conception chances without you realizing it. Studies have shown that some brands of lubricant can damage the sperm and prevent it from traveling through the uterus to fertilize the egg.
Researchers recommend foreplay as the best lubricant for conception. They recommend at least 15 to 20 minutes to get in the mood. However, if you still need a lubricant, you can find safe and effective “conception friendly” or “fertility friendly” lubricants such as Pre-Seed and Conceive Plus at your local pharmacy.
1 Obsess Over It
Most couples want to start a family and can’t wait to start trying. In the beginning, it can be fun, but the longer it takes to conceive, the less fun it can become. Once you're on the road to conception, if you're not careful, it can start to be the only thing that you or both of you think about which can be a bad thing. Before you know it, you're checking your basal temperature to see if you're ovulating or buying pregnancy tests to see if you're pregnant. You become consumed and obsessed by it.
It’s good to have a goal but you have to appreciate the journey, too. Don’t approach lovemaking with the sole intent of getting pregnant. Instead, enjoy each other’s company and the love that you have for each other. When the time is right, conception will happen. In the meantime, focus on romancing each other because once you become pregnant and your child is born, you won’t have much time for each other.