Pregnancy is a funny thing. As women we spend half our lives trying NOT to get pregnant. Once we are ready we just except it to magically occur the first month we try, when we really have no idea if it will be easy or hard for us.
I can tell you from experience that it’s kind of a trip.
There’s no clear roadmap to tell you if getting pregnant is going to be easy or hard for you. There is no magic ball to know the exact time and place you will conceive or whether you will have morning sickness or swollen feet.
While we have no idea exactly how our pregnancy journey will go, there are some steps we can take to make things as smooth as possible until then.
I became pregnant with my daughter in 2012, but started preparing my body for a baby years before that. I had been told in 2005 that getting pregnant would be very hard for me, and I made it my mission to do whatever I needed to make myself healthy in order to have a baby someday.
We have now been working on baby #2 for 18 months and these tips are even more important and real to me as I am again working to prepare my body for the miraculous job of growing a baby.
Whether you have been trying for one month, ten months or simply have an idea you might want to be pregnant someday, these tips will help get your body and mind prepared for the moment you finally see your positive pregnancy test!
4 Tips To Prepare Your Body for Getting Pregnant
1) Get off birth control pills
I am not a doctor and I don’t know your specific situation. I’m saying this simply from my personal experience and supporting articles I’ve read from health care practitioners. Please do not change any medication without talking to your doctor first!
I was on birth control for 8 years. When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I was told to stay on it because it would help with the symptoms. I was also diagnosed with a prolactinoma at the time, which is a small tumor on the pituitary gland. About a year later I decided I would stop the birth control. I had no idea what my body was like in a “normal” state and felt a need to find a baseline again. I did not get my period for TWO YEARS. In that time I saw a specialist for my tumor who said that my prolactin levels were so high that I was not ovulating. The pill had been masking that all those years. It took a few years and some medication to finally get my hormone levels correct and my periods normalized. I haven’t touched the pill since.
I would never have known any of that if I hadn’t of taken myself off birth control. To be completely honest, I felt no change in my endo symptoms when I stopped, anyway. If I had waited until the month I was ready to get pregnant I would have been in for quite the shock and a two year wait. If you really want to know what your body is like on its own, you may want to get off birth control.
2) Start taking vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are vital to the health of your baby, but I also believe that a high quality vitamin can help you get pregnant as well.
While you could in theory wait until you were pregnant, I highly recommend you start taking your vitamins now! This was actually the first step I took after my decision to fight my endo, and I believe wholeheartedly it helped heal my body and was a huge factor in my ability to get pregnant. (These are the prenatal vitamins I took and am taking again now.)
I also think it’s important to simply get into the habit of taking them now rather than later. The last thing you will want to do when nauseas during pregnancy is swallow vitamins, but you will have to. It’s A LOT easier to do it when your body is already used to it. I promise.
3) Study your eating habits
I don’t think you need to cut out everything you love before you get pregnant, but the more I read and experience the more I know that foods can have a huge affect on our body’s ability to conceive and carry a baby!
The first thing to do is eliminate added sugar and processed foods from your diet. Throw out the boxed cookies and candy and ice cream. Try replacing it with fruit for the sweetness.
Add lots of dark, leafy greens and a variety of vegetables and grains.
You could try switching from coffee to tea or cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink per week.
If you need some ideas, check out my own personal Superfood Fertility Grocery List. This is what I stock my fridge and pantry with every week!
4) Take it one step at a time
Here is a short list of all the things I have been told – either by experts, books, forums or friends – may help in conceiving a baby:
acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, massage, royal jelly, bone broth, herbs, exercise more, exercise less, stop alcohol, drink tea, drink only green tea, relax, meditate, have blood work done, take your temperature, check your cervical mucous, use ovulation test strips, count the days of your cycle, have more sex, have less sex, get more sleep, eat more red meat, take iron pills and don’t do jumping jacks
I get overwhelmed just looking at the list.
I’ll tell you what I did the first time around: I stopped birth control years in advance, I exercises, I cleaned up my diet and took prenatal vitamins. That’s it. I drank alcohol and coffee right up until the morning I got the positive test and was happy to do it.
This time around is a little different. It’s taking longer, I’m three years older and I have already had a baby. So I’m slowly adding other factors in as the months progress and trying different things. I finally stopped coffee about two months ago and drink tea instead (but I’m not happy about it). I eat my weight in pineapple the second two weeks of my cycle. I track my temperature and I do acupuncture.
If I had tried to do ALL of those things from the beginning I would have gone crazy with a capital C. You have to pick just a few and concentrate on those. Then, if you feel the time is right and you are used to your vitamins and exercising, you can go ahead and add the massage and temperature tracking.
By taking some simple steps now, you can get ahead of the game and be prepared for the moment you are ready to start trying! Don’t feel any pressure or stress to start at a certain time. Just take a deep breath, know you are on your own personal journey and start with the steps above.