On Your Mark, Get Set, Prepare ~ Preparing to Conceive

Ashley and Dustin sittin’ in a tree! K.I.S.S.I.N.G First comes LOVE, then comes MARRIAGE, then comes the BABY in the baby carriage.

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If only it was that easy!!
Two years into marriage my husband and I have recently decided that we are ready to add-on to our family. I don’t know about you but I am the type to research everything to death so when we made this decision it was natural for me to consult Google to find out what I should be doing to prepare for getting pregnant. WOW there is a lot of information out there to digest. Do this Don’t do that I was being pulled in so many directions, I remember one night sitting there staring at my screen wishing I could find all this wonderful information in one location. So I decided to write all my finding down so that maybe someday it could help some first time mom-to-be not pull all of her hair out. Here are the top 10 that I found.


 

Disclaimer/Warning: I am NOT a medical authority. This is geared for WOMEN so men BEWARE some of the following may be TMI, you were warned.


Now that that’s out of the way let’s Begin!!!
#1 and maybe the most important thing that I did and that I think every woman should do is to make an appointment with your OB/GYN, primary care provider and dentist. I mean think about it for a minute you are going to be housing a child in your body for 9 months why not make sure your body is in tip-top shape.
#2 Pick the right prenatal supplement. blog pic 2You might be thinking ‘oh I will just run down to Wally World and get the generic stuff.’ While this may work for most women make sure you don’t overdo on certain vitamins. Vitamin A (aka beta-carotene) for example taken in excess can cause several different birth defects. The daily recommended allowance for Vitamin A is 770 mcg be sure to educate yourself and when in doubt call your Doc.
#3 Get off the couch! Yep that’s right experts recommend doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise a few days a week. Walking, strength training and yoga are some of the things they suggest just make sure you keep your heart rate at 60% of the maximum (0.6 X (220 – AGE) ). Get set on an exercise schedule and stick to it even through your pregnancy, who knows it could help shed the baby pounds we are sure to pack on.
#4 This is probably the most obvious: NO alcohol/drugs/smoking/caffeine It’s a no brainer. Yes easier said than done for some but it’s for the best(yours and babies)
#5 Ditch the junk food and eat healthy. An awesome source of information can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov .  Also research foods that are good (and harmful) to eat while trying to get pregnant. Here is a video that helped me jump start my research…..


blog pic 5#6 Sit down and talk money. Did you know that without insurance the typical pregnancy and delivery can cost anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 or that on average you will spend $300,000 over the next 18 years? Yep a money talk is in order here, get it out of the way to reduce stress which can get in the way of making your precious little angle.
#7 Here is where we get down and dirty. MEN YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP THIS POINT. Ladies KNOW your body. If you want to know when the best window for getting pregnant is then you need to know your body. There are many ways to go about this; you can track your cycles, chart your basal body temperatures, or use an ovulation predictor kit. Another less talked about way is to listen to your body. If we slow down and take the time to listen to what our body is telling us we can find that window without all the fuss and muss. A little know fact is that when we ovulate our bodies tell us by either a pain or lower abdominal cramping usually localized to the ovary which is releasing the egg. Another way our body cues us into our ovulation time is changes in our cervical mucus. Yes that goopey stuff our cervix releases has a purpose. Before we become fertile the cervix will release a tacky white mucus that if you put it between your fingers will break apart when you move your fingers apart from each other. As we near ovulation the cervix softens and opens slightly to allow sperm to enter the uterus and the mucus will changes until it has the consistency of an egg white and when you put it between your fingers and pull them apart it will stretch. After ovulation occurs and your fertile window has passed you will experience a dry spell as the cervix closes and hardens to protect the uterus (and hopefully Baby). For more information on the cervix visit www.beautifulcervix.com  you can also find information on how to do a self examination of your cervix.
#8 Another wise step to take is to investigate what type of birth you want to have and if your insurance covers it. Some insurance companies won’t cover home births, water births, midwives, etc. Find out ahead of time what providers are covered by your insurance, what procedures need preapproval, or what type of coverage do you have if you have a premature baby.
#9 This one should be obvious DITCH the birth control.

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#10 Last but definitely the most vital part of making getting pregnant. Have SEX. Don’t stress about when is the best time of the month to have sex as the sperm can live anywhere from 3 to 5 days inside your body. Experts say that for best chances you should have sex every other day for optimal sperm conditions. Just have fun!!!
Good luck to all who are starting on the journey of trying to conceive and remember that the process for some happens overnight and for some it may take time. Don’t stress, relax and have fun.

 

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