If little girls are made of sugar and spice, and little boys puppy dogs’ tails, how do you frontload your fertility to get your family started? The real nitty gritty of having babies comes down to how well our bodies are working and often what’s going on in our heads too. So, where do we begin with our fertility when we are trying to find our way to singing nursery rhymes and lullabies to a cooing baby?
For some, there may be no thought process when it comes to conceiving. As if by magic, it happens. For others, there’s a bit more focus needed and a little more insight into how to get all of our ducks in a row to hatch that egg.
Let’s look at a few things we can do to look after our minds and our bodies, prepare them both for an incredible journey and increase our chances of conceiving.
I call it “frontload your fertility.” In other words, getting ahead of the game, and getting your ducks in a row. It’s different for everyone and here’s a tried and tested outline to get you on the way to. . .
Frontload Your Fertility
First of all, what do we need for a healthy pregnancy? You may think of healthy sperm, and healthy eggs. And you’d be right but there are other things we need to consider too. There are many factors which can lie hidden in our bodies which can hinder our chances of conceiving. Things like anxiety, stress, poor diet, or weight issues. Even struggling with a bad sleeping pattern can affect your (and your partner’s) fertility.
By frontloading our fertility, making sure our bodies are well prepared and our minds are in a good place, we give ourselves a better chance of conceiving. The mind and body are closely interwoven so taking an integrated view of your fertility is key to conceiving success. It sounds simple but kickstarting good habits which are not necessarily in the forefront of our minds is not always easy. And that’s where my fertility coaching programme grew it’s roots. Teaching folk how to optimise fertility and get pregnant more easily, with hypnotherapy for habit changes and mood boosting.
How do we make sure our bodies are ready and willing for pregnancy? It takes two to tango so let’s take a look.
Get A Service
When we are considering starting a family and have worries about whether or not we will be able to conceive, the first thing to do is get a service. Just like our car, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re running at peak performance. There is a strong connection between our overall health and how it affects our reproductive wellbeing. You wouldn’t drive a car if you thought it was going to break down now would you?
Your GP will give you advice on managing any existing medical conditions, BMI, cholesterol or blood pressure, and get some baseline fertility hormone checks to support your conception journey. By highlighting any obstructions to starting a family, and targeting areas you can easily improve, you’re helping your fertility and general health. A good old tune up basically!
And while we are talking about a good health check-up, it’s worthwhile scheduling an STI check-up while you’re at it, not only for peace of mind but also to clear up any treatable infections. STI’s have a nasty habit of sabotaging fertility.
And hey, while we’re still here, don’t forget to pencil in a date with your Dentist! Inflammation and infection is an enemy of conceiving.
Know Your Cycle
To conceive, there has to be a rumble in the sheets or two. But knowing when to have sex is just as important as actually getting down to it. There are good days, and not as good days throughout your monthly cycle when conceiving has a higher chance of success after a bit of afternoon delight.
By keeping track of your cycle duration and regularity, and pinpointing when you are ovulating, you increase your chances of conceiving. Pay attention to your Basal Body Temperature and cervical mucus, also which can be keen indicators for when you are ovulating. There are plenty of ways to keep track such as ovulation kits and apps for your phone. Blood tests and scans let you know for sure if you’re ovulating. Knowing your cycle certainly helps with the next key element of frontloading your fertility – having sex and lots of it.
Sex, Sex and More Sex
We don’t like to schedule sex. It takes the spark and intimacy out of something so raw and natural. But knowing when to have sex is a good way to ensure your body is ready to conceive. Having sex every other day before ovulating is the effective ‘fertile window’ of opportunity.
Obviously the more sex you have, the higher your chances of conceiving.
Watch Your Diet
If takeaways and junk food are staples in your house, have a think about what you’re putting into your body. Is it healthy? Not so much. Our bodies need to be nurtured and that includes the food we eat. Nutritious and healthy food can do just that. Ditch the fatty foods, ready meals and take-out and replace them with high fibre, organic and most importantly good choices. Manage your gut health by including fermented foods and probiotics in your diet, take a vitamin designed especially for the conceiving couple and remember folic acid, or folate.
And More Sex
And literally, more sex. But on that note, enjoy it. Sex can often feel like a chore when you’re trying to conceive, and find yourselves working off a calendar of dates to do the deed. Take the pressure off and relish it. Libido can take a hit for the closest of couples, and temporary erectile dysfunction issues are common whilst trying to conceive. Hypnotherapy is very helpful here, and in keeping libido healthy.
Stress, anxiety and depression have been proven to have negative effects on a couple’s fertility. It can cause mayhem on our bodies by enhancing our cortisol levels which can affect ovulation and decrease sperm count. Not only that, but poor mental health can lower our sex drive.
Practice mindfulness, meditate, take up yoga, anything which calms and supports you in improving your mind and wellbeing. Trying to conceive is a naturally stressful time as it is. Be mindful of the experience you are going through and aim for a bit of Zen.
These new habits you will create pre-conception are great life choices to maintain to keep you fit and healthy right through pregnancy, and beyond into parenthood. Stay healthy, stay active, keep up the exercise regime, avoid harmful chemicals, remain calm and centred in your relationship. While there are no guarantees in conceiving, frontloading your fertility is a positive step towards getting on the right path to conception.