Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are You Ready to Have a Baby? Tips to Help You Conceive and Have a Healthy Pregnancy

While it's technically possible to get pregnant after your first cycle, and even after having sex just one time, it takes a bit more effort, and time, for most mothers to conceive. If you've made the decision to have a child, the following tips may make it easier to get pregnant.

Get Physically Fit

One factor that influences your ability to conceive and carry a baby full-term is your overall health. To get in shape for your pregnancy eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis and give up any habits that might harm your health or that of your child, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

Taking steps to improve your health, before you get pregnant, helps your body to be ready for the pregnancy. It reduces your chances of suffering from a complication during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle before conception and throughout your pregnancy protects your unborn child. For example, CDC statistics show that about 7% of mothers smoke during pregnancy. This practice has been linked to an increased chance of birth defects, as well as low birth weight. If you have a harmful habit like this one, now is the time to kick it!

Track Your Cycles

In order to get pregnant, both egg and sperm must be in the right place, at the right time. Tracking your cycle to learn when you are ovulating, and at your most fertile, can help you and your partner know when will be the most favorable time to have intercourse. Apps like Your Fertility Friend offer resources that make it easy to track ovulation, and provides other information that's helpful for expectant parents.

Relax and Try Not to Stress

It's normal to feel at least a little anxious if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for a while. Stress can, however, affect your hormone levels and cycle, so it's important to relax. Try not to worry too much if you don't manage to get pregnant the first few times that you try to conceive.

Get a Physical

If a few months have passed and you still haven't been able to get pregnant, it's probably a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional. Go for a checkup to see if there is a physical condition that is affecting your ability to conceive.

While several things can influence fertility, the good news is that procedures such as in vitro fertilization and other medical advances are making it easier to have a baby, even if you or your partner have one or more factors affecting conception.

Watch for Pregnancy Signs and Get Tested

While missed periods and morning nausea are common signs of possible pregnancy, many women don't show any obvious indicators. A pregnancy test is the only way to be certain.

Many pregnancy tests are now for sale over-the-counter, so you can buy one without a prescription and take the test in the privacy of your own home. Just be aware that while most tests are fairly accurate, there is still a chance of both a false positive and false negative. Follow up with your doctor and ask for a blood test to be certain of your pregnancy status.

You're Pregnant - Congratulations!  Now What?

Once you conceive, the process of having your baby is literally just beginning! To ensure that everything is on track follow up with a midwife, obstetrician or another healthcare professional for guidance, and follow their recommendations.

During your pregnancy, your doctor will monitor your health, and that of your unborn child. Your doctor may run several tests to check your child's development, such as ordering an ultrasound so they can visibly see how the baby is growing in your womb.

Your doctor may also want to perform amniocentesis, or other, less-invasive tests, to check for birth defects. Tests like these let your doctor know if your baby has a condition that can be corrected while they are still in the womb, or if they need to take extra precautions later in your pregnancy or during the delivery.

By taking steps to improve your health, and working with your healthcare professional, you can make it easier to get pregnant, carry your child to full-term and have a healthy baby!

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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