If you’re planning on getting pregnant in the next few months, or if you’ve been trying for a few months without success, there are a few changes you can make to improve your health and lifestyle. Ask yourself if these eight habits are common in your life and how to change them to increase your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.
1) You are very stressed
If your workload seems overwhelming and your household responsibilities are piling up, you’re probably going to feel stressed, which isn’t necessarily the ideal situation for having babies. If you’re stressed enough not to have regular sex, it’s likely to affect your fertility.
A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that women who had higher levels of alpha-amylase, a stress hormone, in their bodies were less likely to conceive during their fertile window. Researchers have suggested that finding ways to relax could help a woman get pregnant. Find an activity that helps you feel less stressed and less anxious, whether it’s walking, yoga, meditation, or a massage.
2) You don’t sleep well
You’ve heard that poor sleep can affect your health, weight, and concentration. Although largely misunderstood, not getting quality sleep can also impact your fertility. A person who has very poor sleeping habits, disturbed sleep, or does not get enough sleep may have problems with ovulation, which can lead to fertility problems.
Adopt good sleep habits now and prioritize bedtime to support your overall health and eventually your ovulation. Better yet, go to bed at least 20 minutes longer and take the opportunity to actively involve your partner in the procreation project.
3) You are taking over-the-counter pain medication
When you have a headache or body pain, think twice about taking your usual painkiller. It is best for women to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [AINS] which can interfere with ovulation. Recent research suggests that taking certain NSAIDs can decrease progesterone, a hormone needed for ovulation. However, ibuprofen, one of the most commonly used NSAIDs, was not used in this study.
4) You avoid fruits and vegetables like the plague
You know you’ll need to make some changes to your diet when you’re pregnant, but it’s never too early to start eating healthier and adding healthier foods and fruits and vegetables to your meals. Do what your grandmother would do. This is a good rule for your general health. This means not eating too much junk food, cutting down on fast food habits and maintaining a healthy weight.
5) You consume a lot of coffee
Some data shows that pregnant women who have a high caffeine intake have more miscarriages. There is no obvious relationship that caffeine caused miscarriages but that women who drink more caffeine have other problems, such as a more stressful life or more intense work, is perhaps what led at higher risk of miscarriage. Better to be cautious in interpreting these studies, as they often show associations and not concrete truths.
That being said, other research from the National Institutes of Health (USA) has shown an association between miscarriages if a woman and her partner drank more than two caffeinated beverages a day in the weeks before conception. With caffeine is “don’t overdo it”. One cup a day is probably enough.
6) Your weight is not in the normal range
Although not a “daily habit”, maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of fertility. Weight has a big effect on fertility. Women who are either underweight and malnourished, or those who are overweight and overeat, both have lower fertility in general than normal-weight women. You want to be as close to normal weight as possible. Discuss your weight and diet with your doctor to see if they recommend any changes that might improve your fertility.
Although you may be tempted to go on a crash diet or do a ton of exercise to achieve a healthier weight, that’s also not advised. You could be making things worse, not better, for your fertility. While it’s generally good to lose weight if you’re overweight, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice on the recommended amount of weight and the safest and most effective ways to do it.
7) You drink alcohol like you just turned 20.
In women who are trying to get pregnant, it is best to reduce alcohol consumption. You don’t need to eliminate it. Of course, during pregnancy, no amount of alcohol is safe because it can cause very serious birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome and things like that.
If you’ve missed your period and aren’t sure if you’re pregnant, take a pregnancy test before drinking. So go ahead and have a glass or two of wine with your partner during your anniversary dinner, but don’t drink the whole bottle alone.
8) You smoke cigarettes
Think your cigarette isn’t a big deal? Wrong way, smoking is very harmful for fertility. Among patients undergoing fertility treatment, several studies show that smokers are about half as likely to become pregnant as non-smokers.
If you are pregnant and smoke, these toxins can cause the fetus to grow stunted and decrease blood flow to the uterus, so the baby may not grow as much during pregnancy. Avoid smoking if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant. And be aware that second-hand smoke (from your partner, for example) can also cause these problems.