Many couples simply decide one day that they want to have a baby. So, without putting a whole lot of thought into it, the woman will scribble a little bit of calendar math down and the couple will go for it. For many couples, this works after a month or two.
Yet, there are some things you should think about before you simple throw away the condoms or stop using the pill. You need to make sure you’re ready to get pregnant in your body, your mind and in your relationship.
Here are some things to think about before you start trying to make that baby:
- Stop taking the pill. You should get off your birth control two or three months before you start trying to conceive. You’ll need that time for your hormone levels to get back to normal and to know exactly how long your cycle is so that you can accurately predict when you’re going to ovulate.
- Get your lifestyle under the control. Drinking and smoking are both terribly harmful to your baby when you’re pregnant, and they can also impact your fertility negatively. This goes for him, too; smoking and drinking can cause his fertility to drop as well. Cut your caffeine back to 100 mg per day or less, as well.
- Get to a healthy BMI. Being overweight or underweight can make it harder to get pregnant and can cause problems with pregnancy. Your ideal BMI should be between 19 and 24.
- Set aside some money. Sure, you’re planning on having some new expenses when the baby comes, but even being pregnant can be costly. Plan for doctor co-pays, maternity clothes and other baby-related preparations.
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin. The same nutrients that help your baby grow once you’re pregnant can also help with your fertility now. Once you do get pregnant, your baby is going to need all of that folate, iron and the other nutrients anyways.
- Get a handle on stress. Stress can impact fertility and it can impact pregnancy. Get your emotional house in order, because the tornado of pregnancy is going to turn it upside down.
- Start educating yourself about pregnancy health. Learn what kinds of activities you should avoid. Discover what kinds of foods are best to fight morning sickness and which are best to help baby grow and develop.
- Enjoy some intimacy now. When you’re trying to conceive, sex can become a bit mundane. Sure, there are things you can do to spice it up, but you should also take the time now to enjoy pressure-free sex.
- Look into your work’s policy on maternity leave. Be careful here; some companies may try to find and excuse to let you go if they think you’re pregnant or about to be. It’s illegal, of course, but discretion is the better part of valor in this area.
- Learn about your family history. Discuss any pregnancy problems your mom or grandmother might have had; these tend to be genetic.
A little preparation goes a long way in terms of being ready to get pregnant.