Health & Fitness

Get a Pregnancy Glow

Deciding to start a family is perhaps one of the biggest decisions a couple can make.  Most couples believe that once they have made the decision to experience this major milestone in life, getting pregnant will be a piece of cake.  Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way and many couples experience difficulty conceiving with one in six suffering from infertility.  The following guidelines and tips are not a sure path to success but they do provide a basic overview of what you can do to improve your chances of conception.  
Ditch the Pill
While stopping all methods of contraception including the pill may seem an obvious step to take when trying to get pregnant, what most people don’t know is that while some women may conceive within weeks of going off the pill, others may experience irregularities in their cycle which could take months to regulate. So ditch the pill immediately and monitor your cycle.  
Get Healthy
You are preparing your body to create a human being from scratch so ensuring that you are in tip-top shape is vital.  Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet with ideal vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium levels as these aid in boosting your fertility prospects.  If you are a smoker, now is the time to kick the habit.  Smoking greatly diminishes your chances of getting pregnant and can lead to a number of complications. In fact, research shows that smoking can affect both your fertility and your partner’s sperm count.  Avoid coffee, tea and colas or switch to decaf in order to increase your likelihood of getting pregnant.  Excessive caffeine can reduce your ability to absorb iron and increase your risk for stillbirth so if you absolutely can’t live without your caffeine boost, limit your intake to one cup a day.  It is also recommend that women avoid alcohol when trying for pregnancy.
Stock up on Folic Acid
Folic acid or Folate is a B vitamin (B9) that aids in cell growth and the building of DNA. It's in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, orange juice, and fortified grains.  Many people already suffer from Folic acid deficiency and simply take supplements to solve the problem.  In pregnancy however, a Folic acid deficiency can cause neural tube birth defects such as Spina Bifida, Anencephaly or Encephalocele, all of which are extremely severe birth defects. One of the most difficult things about these birth defects is that they often occur even before the woman knows she's pregnant. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that when you decide to start trying for a baby, you consult your doctor and up your intake of Folic acid.   
It’s All About Timing
When you are trying to get pregnant, timing is everything and having sex during your ovulation period is the best way to increase your chances of conception since this is when you are most fertile.  If your menstrual cycle is regular, your ovulation date is the 14th day of your 28-day cycle.  However if you have an irregular cycle, look for symptoms like tender breasts, increased body temperature, bloating and increased production of cervical mucus to spot the most fertile time for you. Alternately, purchase an over-the-counter ovulation kit or consult your gynecologist. 
Position Yourself
While you can potentially get pregnant regardless of the sexual position you choose, when it comes to the best position to conceive, the general rule is that the male sperm must be deposited as near to the female cervix as possible. While there is no definitive research on which positions are most effective when trying to conceive, general consensus based on logic suggests that some positions are more effective than others.  The missionary position is said to be the position that's best for getting pregnant as this particular position allows for the deepest possible penetration. For additional effectiveness, try elevating your hips with a pillow. Other top baby-making positions include rear-entry and lying side by side. Finally, while this has nothing to do with sexual positions, research suggests that when a woman climaxes during sex it causes muscular contractions which help push the sperm up into the cervix, thus increasing the likelihood of conception.  So while you may have thought that baby-making sex is cold and calculated, think again – relax and enjoy it – doctor’s orders! 
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