When I talk about pregnancy planning, I don’t mean when you are pregnant. I mean when you make the decision that you’d like to have a baby.
Because I believe it’s a “project” it takes planning and action to conceive a baby naturally or via IVF; to have a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby.
It takes planning whatever route you’re taking to parenthood. And whether you’ve just a twinkle in your eye or you’ve been struggling for a while.
Somehow, you’re always the creator or co-creator of the baby of your dreams.
Here, I’m talking about pregnancy planning when you’re planning to make the baby yourself – natural conception or IVF.
I want to share what that planning means and how you can go about it.
What You Need to Plan a Pregnancy
Super Sperm, Healthy Eggs and a Welcoming Womb
As prospective parents, you want the best for yourselves and your future child, right? We now know that conception, pregnancy and even our children’s health are influenced by our own health preconception. That isn’t as scary as it sounds, trust me.
The best start literally starts with the very best sperm, the healthiest egg and a welcoming womb.
So, it makes sense to me to get yours in tip-top condition before you start trying for a baby. You can make a big difference to your health in just 3 or 4 short months, maxing your chances of conception, a good pregnancy and a healthy baby.
I call that preconception care or getting “baby fit” or “baby ready”; and it takes two. It’s not rocket science nor a Bootcamp of Extreme Health Measures either.
There are a few threads to this plan. The foundations if you like.
- Lifestyle choices
- Taking care of general health
- Detoxing your life (not nearly as bad as it sounds!)
- Busting stress
- Getting jiggy
- Tests and investigations
Food Glorious Food
Food is the cornerstone of health. It’s fuel, sure. It’s also information for all the cells in our bodies and it’s medicine.
We can improve our health and therefore our fertility by eating the right foods – that’s women and men.
Women need to eat a good diet in pregnancy to reduce unwanted pregnancy symptoms and
also to provide your baby with all the nutrients it needs to grow and develop healthily.
Of course, that can mean taking supplements too. At least folate for women. Please buy good quality. That means the most expensive you can afford – cheap supplements are stuffed with fillers and contain active ingredients the body finds tough to absorb. You may as well chuck them down the loo! Choose a supplement with methylfolate because it’s the form of folate most people can use.
Don’t just buy any old Folic Acid!
Better still, talk to someone like me about tests that can assess your own mineral status and then develop a supplement programme just for you and your individual needs.
The lifestyle choices we make influence our health and fertility. We don’t just have to worry about this stuff as expectant Mums. It matters beforehand.
Whether we smoke or not.
Whether we drink alcohol or not and how much.
Whether we have caffeine and how much?
Whether we have a super sweet tooth and cave into it or not?
Whether we take street drugs or not?
Whether we’re on any prescribed medications or over-the-counter meds or not and which ones?
It can all impact fertility as well as pregnancy.
Taking Care of General Health
Our general health can affect our fertility. It’s not simply diagnosed conditions with our reproductive systems that impact the ability to have kids or not.
Take for one example, the thyroid gland. Women suffering low thyroid function might find it tougher to conceive naturally. If you know that you suffer from low thyroid you can speak with your doctor. What if you don’t know?
If you’re suffering any signs or symptoms that have been diagnosed, before trying for a baby is a good time to have them checked out as a precaution: it may save you time and trouble later on the path to parenthood.
Detoxing Your Life
I hate the word “detox”. It conjures up pictures of vivid green juices that taste like weeds and smell even worse.
That’s not what I mean at all.
But modern life is mad. There are nasty chemicals everywhere. At home, at work, outside. In our food, in the water, in the air … I could go on.
Many of these chemicals harm fertility and hormone balance, as well as being health-harmers and allergens.
Please don’t facepalm.
Reducing your exposure is the first step. I can show couples how to test for toxins using hair samples. If high levels are found, they can be removed safely using food, supplements and lifestyle choices. It’s best however not to detox and try to conceive at the same time.
Stress is another scourge of modern life, right?
Stress wrecks hormone balance. It can screw up monthly cycles. It can affect fertility.
Stress can also send sex-drive plummeting and that’s not what you’d like when trying to conceive naturally.
It’s mega important to remove or at least reduce the stress in your life. Most couples I’ve met and worked with to boost fertility are suffering some kind of stress in life; some are stressed due to their fertility struggles.
Mother Nature designed it so humans and animals do not become pregnant at times of great stress. Makes sense. It may not be a safe environment to give birth or to raise young. Evolution hasn’t caught up with us on this yet.
Busting stress for fertility is key.
We all know how babies are made, right?
But not every woman knows that it’s sex before or on day of ovulation that’s potentially baby-making.
And how do you know if and when you’re ovulating, anyway?
A 2016 US study of apps and websites, found that the fertility windows predicted varied hugely.
And that many of these windows included days after ovulation when the chances that sex will result in pregnancy are close to zero.
So fancy apps aren’t always accurate. There are other signs to look out for. There are tests a doctor can perform.
Which leads me nicely to tests and investigations.
Tests and Investigations
The path to parenthood isn’t always smooth. Some couples will try naturally for a long time and it doesn’t happen as quickly as they’d hoped.
In the UK, there are guidelines as to when tests are recommended by the NHS and in what circumstances.
How do you know what tests are available? Or what to push for and when? How do you know what alternative test are available privately and what they are good for?
You need someone who knows to guide you. I help my clients work out what to ask for and when and what they might be best pursuing privately.
We all know that here in the UK, public funding for fertility treatment is declining generally.
It can be a lottery as to whether your area provides it or not and what they provide for people, very sadly.
Which is another reason, I firmly believe in having a plan before you start trying for a baby.
Have a Pregnancy Plan
Having a plan and looking at the aspects of life that I mentioned, puts you in the best position. Certainly, the best position to conceive naturally, to reduce risks in pregnancy and to optimise baby’s health.
It boosts your overall health, to max fertility. It’s not some extreme measures.
And lots can be achieved in as little as 4 months. I do admit it can take more, for some of my clients.
If that doesn’t work out for you, you have put yourself in the very best position going into assisted treatments like IVF. IVF success rates are not generally high and it’s crucial to do all you can to tip the balance in your favour.
Proper preconception care is the way to do that.
If you want to find out more about preconception care you can discover lots more on my 7 Steps to Boost Fertility in a FREE guide.
You can sign up for free using this totally safe link. All you need is an email address and a computer or smart device to look at the materials. No fancy equipment or computer geekery.
I can’t wait for you to get started.