Trying to conceive
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Trying to conceive: 6 best practices for couples

Making a baby may seem to be a pretty straightforward process for many couples while it is not so simple for others. Assuming that you are one of the fortunate couples to have a perfect pregnancy when you are ready is a bad idea. This may only cause you mishaps and heartbreak until it is too late. It is best for couples who are trying to conceive to put certain things in place before getting under the covers.

Many couples only find out that they are pregnant when the symptoms are obvious causing them to take a store-bought pregnancy test. By this time, the baby has already been developed. Other couples spend a lot of time trying to conceive or experience multiple miscarriages or losses in late pregnancy without finding out the reason. Here are 6 best practices for couples who are trying to conceive to increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy.

6 practices when trying to conceive

1. Take in folate and folic acid

Women who eat a lot of green leafy vegetables or take supplements with 400 mcg folate and folic acid daily usually fall into the category of women with successful pregnancies. Very few who do not consume these nutrients may be fortunate to have healthy babies. According to WebMd, “Birth defects occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. So, it’s important to have folate in your system during those early stages when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing.”

Remember that pregnancy is a possibility even with the use of contraceptives once you are engaging in sexual activity with the opposite sex. Whether or not you are trying to conceive, a female should take folate and folic acid to prepare her body for creating a healthy baby during early pregnancy.

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2. Calm yourself

It is important to maintain a stress-free mind and body when trying to conceive and during pregnancy for the entire 40 weeks. Many couples wait to see a positive pregnancy test for them to decide “how it goes”. This usually ends in persons acting surprised, confused and frustrated because they had no intention of rearranging their entire lives in the first place. Many women especially those with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant especially when they are stressed out.

Once you and your partner are trying to conceive, find ways to stay calm while dealing with personal struggles, the frustrations of each other, family members, in-laws, friends, work, finances, chores and the economy. Before getting busy, discuss your options to maintain a peaceful relationship and see if it is possible for you to go forward. You may also try listening to soothing music that allows you to sleep deeply and remain serene for a long time. A tranquil environment is needed to welcome a baby into the womb and to be nurtured lovingly until birth.

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3. Get screened when trying to conceive

Thanks to modern science, there are certain tests that can reveal any medical issues you may have before you show symptoms, experience miscarriages, have losses in late pregnancy or if birth defects are a possibility. A common issue is the woman or the man having a hormonal imbalance causing irregular periods or low sperm count. Doctors usually treat this with hormonal medication and many couples find success with pregnancy.

Women with an incompetent cervix do not necessarily have to lose babies to discover this problem. When you are trying to conceive, tell your doctor about any uterine surgeries you may have had in the past so your cervix can be monitored carefully. Once your cervix shows signs of incompetence, you may be advised to have a cervical cerclage inserted, go on bed rest and put up your feet during your pregnancy.

According to MayoClinic, there are several fertility tests. Men can get semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing, testicular biopsy, imaging and DNA abnormalities. Women can get ovulation testing, Hysterosalpingography (HSG) which evaluates the condition of your uterus and fallopian tubes and looks for blockages or other problems, ovarian reserve testing and sonohysterogram, also called a saline infusion sonogram, used to see details inside the uterus that are not seen on a regular ultrasound. There are other tests for more serious conditions so your doctor should guide you accordingly.

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4. Time your cycle

Trying to conceive whenever you feel like is not how it works. Getting pregnant occurs during your ovulation period which typically happens around day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle according to Healthline. The timing can vary as women have different cycles or due to a hormonal imbalance, irregular periods.

Women can keep track of their ovulation window by recording the first day of their last period and counting 2 weeks to know when they are most fertile. Your discharge may be heavy, clear, sticky or watery at this point so this should also be a sign that you are ovulating. This is the time for couples to do the deed as much as possible. The timing may not always work for women with PCOS as they tend to ovulate even without a recent period. Women experiencing irregular periods should see a doctor to assist them with hormonal treatment.

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5. Eat balanced meals

Having a healthy diet is very important in preparing the body for conception and the development of a healthy baby. Women and men with hormonal imbalances can improve their chances of having a baby when they eat the right foods daily. Both male and female can consume suitable portions from the basic food groups to balance hormones and prevent deficiencies, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Practise eating meals that include staples, vegetables, fruits, legumes, foods from animals, and fats and oils. Serve yourself a combination of bread, rice, pasta, provisions, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, pumpkin, bananas, berries, citrus, peas, nuts, beans, eggs, milk, cheese, chicken, beef, fish and butter. Avoid using too much sugar, salt and eating large portions of food at once. Also, remember to drink plenty water and chew your food properly to help with digestion.

6. Exercise regularly

There are several benefits to exercising when trying to conceive. What to Expect states that experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) urge women who are expecting or planning to get pregnant to get more physically active. Exercise tones muscles like your heart which has to pump more blood to your growing baby, reduces stress, makes you sleep better, helps you to maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

If you are not already exercising, then get active. Try doing some yoga poses like sun salutation, downward facing dog, planks, cobra, warrior, half-moon and pelvic floor exercises. According to LifeScience, avoid strenuous exercises as doctors see a lot of menstrual disturbances in women who exercise heavily, and a lot of times these women need to cut back on their workouts if they want to become pregnant. You can get into a routine doing some walking, jogging, running, aerobics, and simple strength exercises for at least 30 minutes every day.

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