You have decided it’s time you want to be a parent. You may have been trying a short time, or perhaps longer, or even going through fertility treatments.
Whatever the journey may be, here are some tips for you to help you prepare for your pregnancy, in fact, these are what I followed myself. I am typing this as I am 20 weeks pregnant (with twins).
You should be taking folic acid, if you aren’t, chat to your doctor and let him know you’re trying to conceive. You can also include foods rich in folate into your diet. I eat a lot of lentils, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens. Follow me on Instagram if you need ideas (and some mean salad creations) I do share a lot of my day to day nutrition on there – I also use complete protein and take wholefood capsules, rather than supplements.
Although this may be hard, you will have to bite the bullet soon enough – are you a smoker? It may be time to ditch the cigarette as just 10 cigarettes a day has been shown to reduce a woman’s chance of conceiving by 50%. In my teens, I was a heavy smoker. I wanted to quit probably for the last 2 years of my smoking ‘journey’ and found it very difficult. What helped me, as surprising as it was to me, the book by Allen Carr – perhaps chat to your GP about what’s best and how you can tackle the demon!.
What I wasn’t aware of until I had my own infertility issues, is that more than 2 standard cups of coffee a day can lead to a higher chance of miscarriage. I am not saying to quit (goodness), but be aware and if you are drinking way above this amount just be conscious of it. I completely stopped during my last treatment and until I was 3 months pregnant and now I have 1-2 a day.
Most of us seem to be stressed or overworked and don’t get enough sleep. Try switching off the TV early and getting some extra sleep. I also recommend an eye mask cover as even a small amount of light can interfere with our hormones – yep, it’s true. Artificial light, while you sleep, interferes with the production of melatonin, which is a hormone associated with the ovarian activity. Research showed that women’s irregular cycles often normalized when artificial lighting is eliminated; because the melatonin has enough room to be produced.
Last but not least, exercise. I wasn’t able to exercise for the first few months of my pregnancy, and I also stopped most exercise during my treatment, so prepare yourself for every situation and if you want to get the best out of your pregnancy I recommend starting sooner rather than later. If you exercise before, it will be much easier to continue during. Some of us have medical issues so you need to check what’s allowed, but in general, if you were doing it before, you can keep on going!
If you have been having a hard time, you’re not alone.
Be sure to connect in groups and talk about any of your feelings, it can be a difficult time but I promise you, you’re not alone.
Wishing you the best on your journey.