As the new year comes closer, many women are thinking about what they want for their futures—and for lots of women, that’s going to include starting a family. Whether she wants one child or a big family, there are plenty of women out there who have already decided that 2019 is going to be the year when they take the leap and start their journey towards motherhood. Here’s the thing about that phase in between deciding to have a baby and getting that positive pregnancy test result—it can be a pretty long road, and although many couples think that it’s going to happen right away, this is usually not the case.
Because the whole “TTC” journey is not as simple as many think, it’s easy to go into it completely unprepared and deal with a whole lot of fraught emotions along the way. But when a couple has the right mindset as they make this decision, it can make the whole process go a lot more smoothly. When they do find out that they will be bringing home a little bundle of joy, they’ll be so happy. Here’s what every woman needs to know if they’re TTC in 2019.
20 Get Your Overall Hormonal Health Checked Out
According to Mind Body Green, women have officially figured out that when it comes to your overall health, knowing that your hormones are balanced is so crucial! Up until the past couple years, many women overlooked this aspect of their health when they were in the TTC phase. But now that so much new research is coming out about the importance of balanced hormones, women everywhere are wising up. If a woman is TTC in 2019, she should definitely make it a point to get her hormones tested to make sure everything is balanced and her body is totally ready.
19 Schedule A Preconception Checkup
According to What to Expect, a preconception checkup with a doctor can be a great idea if a woman is TTC. In fact, if she is actively planning to have a child, she should definitely go for it. Of course, there are women who end up finding out that they are pregnant even though they weren’t totally planning on it, and their babies still turn out fine, despite the lack of an early checkup. Is it the end of the world if a woman doesn’t get this checkup? No. But can it answer some important questions for her? Absolutely, yes.
18 Talk To Her Own Mom About Her Pregnancy Journey
According to Women’s Health, many women feel awkward asking questions about pregnancy when they are young. Let’s face it, although it’s obviously a fact of life, it can feel a bit weird to ask your mom about these topics when you’re a teenager! But when a woman is TTC, it can definitely be helpful to ask her own mother questions about her pregnancy (or pregnancies, if she has siblings). This is just one more way of making sure that she will be prepared for all the little ups and downs of pregnancy when she finally gets that positive test result.
17 Start Taking Folic Acid Before It Happens
According to The Bump, most pregnant women know that they should start taking folic acid as soon as they find out they will be having a baby—but is there any point in taking it even earlier, just to be on the safe side? Research confirms that the answer is yes. Taking folic acid before conceiving can lower the baby’s chance of having spina bifida. It is such a simple little dietary change, and it can really make a huge difference. Simply add it to your typical supplement routine at the dose that your doctor recommends for you to take.
16 Watch Her Vitamin A Intake
Now, on one hand, it’s a smart idea for a woman to start taking folic acid when she decides that she is going to TTC—but are there any supplements out there that you should actually limit or watch out for? According to Mayo Clinic, the answer is yes, and that particular supplement is Vitamin A. No, you don’t need to limit your vegetable intake—the form of Vitamin A found in plants is safe, but high amounts of Vitamin A in animal products or multivitamins can pose a health issue for a fetus. It’s best to be on the safe side.
15 Start Reading Some Good Parenting Books
Time to pick up a good book! According to Very Well Family, when you’re TTC, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the free time that you still have to read some parenting books and learn all about the exciting journey you’re about to embark on. You may think that you’ll be able to just copy most of what your parents did, and sure, you’ll want to learn from them—but there is always new information coming out about different parenting methods. It’s good to stay updated and informed so you can make smart decisions for your future kids.
14 Quit Bad Habits Before Getting Started
Everyone has their vices, and having a certain vice doesn’t mean that you are lacking, morally—look, we all make mistakes and fall into bad habits sometimes. But according to Baby Centre, doctors recommend that any woman who is planning to get pregnant should start working on dropping those vices before she finds out that she is going to be a mom. It will be easier to slowly work through that process (perhaps with professional help, if necessary) then trying to quit a bad habit cold turkey the minute you find out that you will be bringing a baby home in nine months.
13 Make A Dentist Appointment
Many women do not think that their dental health will be relevant during pregnancy—but it’s actually super important to stay up to date with your dental hygiene! According to What to Expect, hormones can have an impact on your dental health. Furthermore, if a woman happens to have a dental health issue when she gets pregnant, it can be much more difficult for her to deal with. Basically, it is important to be on top of ALL aspects of health when a woman is TTC. Better safe than sorry, right? Just get those appointments out of the way early.
12 Fill Her Plate With Healthy Foods
If a woman is already eating a super healthy diet while TTC, then good for her—she should keep up the good work! If she knows that she could make a couple changes, now is definitely the time. According to The Bump, sticking to a super healthy diet while TTC is not only good for overall fertility, it can also just make the whole process easier. Let’s face it, this can be a very emotional journey, and eating tons of sugary, processed foods is actually linked to mood swings and low emotional states. Eat your veggies like your mom always said!
11 Communicate Openly With Her Partner
There are many couples out there who struggle with communication—especially in the age of smartphones and social media, it is easy to feel like talking face to face about important issues is a bit intimidating. But according to Mom Junction, one of the most important aspects of the entire TTC journey is openly communicating with your partner. You two need to be on the same page as of right now—it’s only going to be more challenging once you have started your family. Make sure that you are being open and honest about your emotions and thoughts during this time.
10 Keep Her Stress Levels Low
Yes, the TTC journey can be a stressful one—there is simply no doubt about that. According to Very Well Family, countless women report increased feelings of stress during this time in their years, even if they are trying to stick to healthy routines, lean on their partners for support, and be patient. However, it’s important to understand that stress can impact overall fertility, so women should really try their best to properly manage stress. It’s no easy task, that’s for certain, but it could be a good idea to incorporate yoga or meditation into your routine, or talk to a counselor.
9 Start Limiting The Caffeine Intake
Unfortunately, there is a general rule that pregnant women should avoid caffeine—according to Mama Natural, doctors say that they have not been able to determine a specific, safe level for caffeine consumption during pregnancy, so avoiding it altogether is just the easiest way to go. Want to make that transition easier instead of just quitting cold turkey when you find out that you’re going to be a mom? It’s best to start easing up while you’re TTC. That way, it won’t be so hard to say goodbye to your coffeemaker and favorite creamer for those nine long months of pregnancy.
8 Don’t Feel Pressured To Tell Everyone
Look, if you have been in a relationship for a long time, people will take it upon themselves to ask some pretty personal questions—you’ve got to set your boundaries up and decide what you will and won’t answer! According to Mama Natural, it’s perfectly fine to decide that you are keeping your decision to yourself. Women who are TTC in 2019 should know that no one else is entitled to that information. It is also totally fine to tell your partner that you aren’t super comfortable with him sharing your TTC journey with other people, too—it’s your life!
7 Stick To A Fitness Plan Now
This all comes back to getting your overall health in line before the baby arrives. According to The Bump, getting into an exercise routine while you’re in the midst of your TTC journey is a really great idea. Not only is this a way to get some stress out of your system, you’ll also be in great shape by the time you find out that you have a baby on the way! This can also seriously help with body confidence. Whether you enjoy yoga, running, swimming, or anything else under the sun, just find a routine that works for you.
6 Make A “Baby Budget”
As every new parent knows, when the baby finally comes, money is going to be a little tighter. That’s just the logical consequence of adding a brand new human being to the family who needs all sorts of new things. According to Mama Natural, making a “baby budget” while you’re TTC is always a good idea. Yes, someone’s income could change within the next year or so, yes, you might have to make changes to your original plan here or there, but overall, it’s smart to have an idea of where you will allocate your money before the baby comes.
5 Start Taking Saving Seriously
So, after you make that “baby budget,” what would the crucial next step be? Well, it’s time to start seriously saving! According to The Bump, it definitely helps to be more careful with money while you’re still in the TTC stage. That way when the baby arrives, you’ll already be used to working with a limited budget—it’s a win-win situation. Not only will you have plenty of money saved, you will also be a pro at sticking to a tight budget. Making the adjustment to include your new family member won’t feel like such a big transition now.
4 Bring Any Questions To A Doctor Or Midwife
Sure, when a woman is TTC, she is not making regular doctor’s appointments to fill them in on her progress, unless she is going forward with some sort of fertility treatment. But according to Mama Natural, many women are hesitant to ask their doctors about relevant questions because they feel like since they aren’t pregnant yet, they don’t really have a reason to. But ladies, if you have a question about pregnancy and you don’t just want to rely on Google to answer it, feel free to go ahead and ask a professional! After all, that’s what they’re there for.
3 Learn How To Read Her Body’s Signs
Many women don’t full learn about the different signs that their body can give them to show that they are able to get pregnant. According to Wellness Mama, there are several different methods that women can use for tracking these signs. There are also different apps and tools that are available that will make the process easier, or you can simply choose to go with a pen and paper method instead. Either way, tracking is totally invaluable when it comes to the entire TTC process. It will definitely help you get to know your body and feel more in tune.
2 Discuss The Timing With Your Partner
Of course, most couples do not get to announce to the world that they are having a baby right away—it can take a few months or even a year or two until they get to break that special news! According to What to Expect, it’s super important to have a realistic discussion with your partner about the timing of family planning. Maybe you don’t know if you’ll be ready for a child just yet, and you need to be real with him about it. Make sure that you wait until you are both ready, and you’ll both feel confident.
1 Don’t Get Discouraged If It Doesn’t Happen Right Away
According to What to Expect, many women say that the most stressful part of the whole TTC process is simply playing the waiting game. But this is why it’s so important to be open about the fact that this can all take a while—and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, if it doesn’t happen immediately, guess what? That just means that you have more time to save and prepare for the baby. As 2019 approaches and women start thinking about family planning, it’s important for them to understand that this process does not have to be a rush.
Sources: whattoexpect.com, thebump.com, babycentre.com, mindbodygreen.com, womenshealth.com, mayoclinic.com, verywellfamily.com, momjunction.com, mamanatural.com, wellnessmama.com