Planning A Pregnancy. The process of planning a pregnancy doesn’t need to be as difficult as you may think. We’ve broken it up into smaller steps you will need to think about and work on to make sure both you and your partner are well informed as to what you need to do at each stage.
Pre Pregnancy Planning
Stopping Contraceptive Methods
Depending on your contraceptive method of choice, this may be as simple as agreeing on a date to stop using a condom and try to have a baby. For barrier methods such as the condom, you can become pregnant immediately after stopping the use of it. For other methods such as the coil or contraceptive implants, full fertility may take a little longer to return.
If your contraceptive method at the moment belongs in the latter category, it may be worth consulting your doctor about having it removed in order for your body to return to a normal baby bearing state sooner rather than later.
When Should You Conceive
For most healthy couples, that are having regular sex without contraception, conception of a baby should take less than a year. Many couples actually worry too much about when the most fertile time is for the woman in any given month, trying to plan having sex when she is ovulating. Studies have shown that this is generally not an effective way of becoming pregnant simply because it can make the process a lot more stressful than it needs to be. It’s good to try to time it to your ovulation cycle, but not obsessively. Having sex frequently during the week, building up to ovulation, often makes the experience much more enjoyable and less pressurized.
Aim Towards A Healthy BMI
Your chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby are drastically improved if you live a healthy lifestyle. Dieting and exercising are just two areas you should focus your attention on. Not only is a healthy lifestyle beneficial to the baby once you’ve conceived, but a healthy body mass index (BMI) also increases your fertility. Women with a BMI lower, or equal to, 18 may find themselves having trouble conceiving because of irregular periods which suggest that you’re not going through the ovulation cycle. A woman with a BMI of 30 or higher may also find their fertility hindered.
If your plan is to conceive within the next year or two, and you find yourself outside of the healthy BMI zone, then it may be time to work on that.
It’s no secret that certain lifestyle habits are terrible for both fertility and child bearing. Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can greatly decrease your chances of having a baby, and if you do happen to conceive, then these habits will be detrimental to the baby’s health if continued.
When people ask the question “how to plan for a baby?” the first thing we tell them is to stop smoking and to stop drinking to excess. If addiction is the problem then it’s generally advisable to give yourself a few months to ween yourself off the cigarettes and the booze before stopping contraception. Fighting addiction is a tough task by itself. Fighting an addiction alongside having a baby makes it all the more harder.
Lastly, a lot of drugs are perfectly safe for non-pregnant women, to improve their lifestyle, but aren’t recommended for child bearing women. If you currently take any kind of medication, for any kind of health problems you may be suffering from, you need to consult your doctor to see if the drugs are safe to use after conceiving – if not then you’ll need to look for alternatives.
The Most Important Thing
A lot of couples forget that introducing a new member to their family should be a happy and rewarding part of their lives. Although it’s important to put the pregnancy first with all your lifestyle decisions, it’s also important not to neglect yourself. Keeping your mind in a low stress state will not only make the process more enjoyable, but also increase your chances of having a healthy baby. It will help you avoid common problems such as anxiety attacks or even depression. Treat yourself well and you’ll be much happier for it.
Deciding to have a baby is a huge decision to make, and if you’re pretty sure this is the right time to do it, then a little bit of planning before, during and after the pregnancy will go a long way. Some preparation work would help make the whole process much more enjoyable for yourself and for your other half. Many people often underestimate the amount of stress that they can come under during the pregnancy – having a good plan of action will definitely help alleviate some of this pressure.