Are you trying to conceive? Check out our top ten ‘must haves’ for couples preparing for a baby!
1. His and Hers Whole Food Multivitamin
Preconception nutrition is just as important as it is in pregnancy. Did you know that there are important nutrients that support healthy fertility and may actually increase your chances of success? A multivitamin for him and a prenatal, or female-specific multivitamin is necessary when trying to conceive. Multivitamins are specially formulated to help ensure you are receiving enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to sustain health. Women trying to conceive need at least 800mcg of folic acid a day to help prevent neural tube defects in the developing embryo. Key nutrients vital to healthy fertility for both men and women include folic acid, B6, B12, C, E, D, and zinc.
2. Charting Tools
A recent study showed that only 13% of women seeking reproductive assistance knew when their most fertile times were each cycle. Knowing when and if you are ovulating is going to help you know when to try to conceive. There are many tools to help you figure out your most fertile times! We love the Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor. The Clearblue® Easy Fertility Monitor tracks 2 hormones to typically identify up to 6 fertile days – it not only shows you your 2 Peak Fertility days, it can also inform most women of an extra 1-5 days of high fertility prior to their peak fertility.
Be sure you keep a journal as well. This may be an app on your phone, a charting website, or a plain old paper one. The more you know and are in rhythm with your cycle, the more likely you are to pinpoint ovulation. Learn other useful charting tools here…
3. Blender or Juicer
This may seem silly, but you know there is really no better way to increase nutritional levels for pregnancy preparation than by making a smoothie or fresh juice daily! A wide variety of delicious fruits and vegetables can be combined into liquid nutrition. Smoothies and fresh juices are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other vital nutrients to support a healthy baby-ready body! On top of that, you can add powdered fertility superfoods to get the most out of this quick meal! This is one healthy habit you will never regret and can pass on to your children. Plus, you can make baby food with either a blender or a juicer!
4. Have a Stress Management Practice
Go, go, go. This fast-paced world can leave you feeling drained; which is not good for baby making time. Chronic stress levels have been shown to be bad for fertility. Long-term stress can lower libido, lead to erectile dysfunction and contribute to hormonal imbalance. To maximize conception efforts and keep your sanity long-term, write a list of stress reduction techniques you are interested in and pick one to do at least 2-3 times a week. Meditation, yoga, exercise, guided visualization or massage could be some good choices. Make your stress management practice a habit. Implementing stress reduction techniques now is a great fall back for pregnancy, parenting and life in general!
5. Sperm Friendly Lubrication
The best sperm-friendly lubrication is cervical mucus. Sometimes though, for whatever reason, women may experience vaginal dryness and need some extra help. Cervical mucus is necessary for the sperm to reach the uterus. So what should you do if you don’t have enough CM? Pre-Seed is the only product on the market proven to be sperm-friendly. Other lubricants, saliva and even oil inhibit sperm from reaching the cervical opening. Be sure you have adequate cervical mucus production and when in doubt, consider Pre-Seed for use during your fertile times.
6. Pregnancy Tests
Here you are in the two-week wait, only to realize you don’t have any pregnancy tests. Stock up, and I don’t mean on the expensive ones at the pharmacy. Did you know you can purchase the same pregnancy tests your doctor’s office has for less than 5 bucks for a 10-pack? Yep, that’s right. Most women will test multiple times around the time their period is due. Purchasing multiple pregnancy tests will allow you to test multiple times over those first few days of your missed period. Just because these tests are cheap doesn’t mean they aren’t as effective, in fact these tests are 99.9% accurate.
7. Books Specific for Those Trying to Conceive
Having books on ways to prepare your body, mind and life for a baby can be inspiring, and are the best tools of all! You don’t need all of them, just one or two will do! Here are some books we find great for pregnancy preparation:
Green Fertility: Nature’s Secrets For Making Babies: A Powerful Proven Plan To Help You Get Pregnant Fast & Have a Healthy Baby by Niels H. Lauersen & Colette Bouchez
The Tao of Fertility by Daoshing Ni and Dana Herko
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler
Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility by Sami S. David & Jill Blakeway
The Mind-Body Fertility Connection: The True Pathway to Conception by James Schwartz
Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey Through the Labyrinth of Sexuality by Jeannie Parvati Baker & Frederick Baker
Adequate amounts of rest revitalize us. Disrupted sleep cycles can disrupt the natural rhythm of the menstrual cycle and hormonal balance in both men and women, and vice versa. Basically, this means that lack of sleep can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Disrupted sleep cycles in women may be a signal of hormonal balance. As if that weren’t bad enough, we all know what it’s like when one or both partners are too tired to have sex.
So, do what you can to ensure a good night’s rest. If you can’t get in a full 8 hours a night, sleep in 3-4-hour chunks split up. Be sure you are getting enough sunlight daily and/or consider supplementing with vitamin D. The human body has what is known as the circadian rhythm, which runs on a 24-hour time frame. It is the natural rhythmic pattern of our daily life and surroundings. If sleep is disturbed, so is the natural wake and sleep cycles of the body. Without enough sunlight, the body can’t produce enough vitamin D, which has been shown to be essential to regular ovulation in women. This is where supplementation can help.
Consider drinking a relaxing herbal tea before bed. Chamomile, Skullcap, Lavender, and Kava are some good choices. Make your bed comfy. Avoid watching TV before bed; choose a good book instead.
9. Healthy Libido
Baby making can begin to feel like a chore, especially if you have been trying for several months. Keep your desire perked with these easy tips:
1. Create a mental mood; open your heart.
2. Choose a good location for baby making. If you are actively trying during your fertile times each month, spontaneity is probably no longer part of the picture. Choose a room where your mind won’t wander — no paperwork, no pictures of family. Make it a place that is comfy and you can move around, be loud, be free. Have all your ‘tools’ there as well; lube, toys, etc.
3. Foreplay! Remember #5 above? This will help to create that all important cervical mucus. Women need adequate stimulation to produce adequate amounts of CM for intercourse. Both studies and testimonials from women show that ladies need more time to climax; foreplay helps to ensure she will climax. During orgasm, the cervix spasms and slightly dilates; this is known as the “upsuck theory of female orgasm”. Basically, the cervix sucks the semen up into the uterus, increasing the likelihood of conception.
4. Avoid libido killers. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of sleep can all inhibit lovemaking, so plan to avoid these during your most fertile times.
5. Consider herbs shown to support a health libido. Many people think herbal aphrodisiacs are a hoax. I think they are misunderstood in how they work. Herbs that increase libido usually increase circulation to the genitals, which also happens during arousal, so essentially, they are just helping stimulate the sexual organs. Learn more about herbs for libido here…
10. Positive Attitude
Begin your conception efforts with a positive attitude. NOBODY wants to be around a whiner. Occasional venting and honesty about your feelings are fine, but at the end of the day, having a good attitude is best. Keep your head up, put your best foot forward each day and believe in your body! Even if you face challenges in your conception efforts, carrying a positive outlook increases your chance of success and acknowledges you are strong. Plus, having a positive attitude is a healthy habit to pass along to your children!
- Timing crucial in achieving pregnancy. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.monash.edu/news/articles/timing-crucial-in-achieving-pregnancy