First you should know this; pregnancy and the whole motherhood thing is no walk in the park. Before planning to have kids, you should make sure both you and your partner are ready to take this life altering decision. You should probably have some time to talk things through. Ask yourselves questions like: how are you going to handle this financially? When the baby comes, your relationship takes on new dimensions, so will he be able to handle that? Be careful that men – as tough as they pretend to be – freak out easily. What decisions should you make before a baby comes into your life? Decisions like moving, for example should never be put on hold, because with the physical demands of pregnancy, boy you are going to have a hard time catching up on what you missed! Now let’s get down to business! First I would like to introduce you to the fundamentals of a woman’s fertility system. Oh sure, you learned all about the birds and the bees at school, but this time we are talking about you and your body, so pay attention and don’t skip this part. In short, a sequence of extraordinary events must take place for pregnancy to occur. The whole process is governed by your hormones, mainly progesterone and Estrogen. These two ensure the release of a healthy egg a few days before your period is due. This is known as the Menstrual Cycle, which is responsible for regulating your fertility. When the egg is released from the ovary, to the ovary wall and into the fallopian tube, it has only a few hours to meet a lucky sperm. This probably means that you are at your most fertile for only a few days – even a few hours – a month. So you should make use of that time!
Ok so now, that I know the basics, how do I get pregnant?
A sperm has to get together with an egg. Through intercourse, the male must deposit sperm in or around the vagina. The first thing you should make sure you are doing right is having intercourse on the right time. That means on the day you are ovulating (releasing the egg).
Key 1: Know when you ovulate: Many of us don’t even know when they are ovulating, or cannot calculate precisely at what time exactly this process happens. In the past, women calculated their ovulation time by what is called Basal Body Temperature. They had to measure their temperature by special thermometers several times a day, for several days to find out. Well, today thanks to technology, this process is a lot easier. You should have in hand what is called an “ovulation kit”. Those are pretty easy to find in bigger pharmacies. They are also easy to use; they come with easy instructions and take like 3 minutes tops. If the test tells you that you are ovulating, then it’s time to get to bed! When exactly do I take the test? Ovulation takes place in the middle of the menstrual cycle. So to know when your estimated ovulation day is, you should be aware of how long your cycle takes. On the calendar, mark the first day of your last period, and the first day of your current period. The number of days in between is your menstruation cycle. For example; if your last period started on the 1st of September, and then you have another period on the 29th, you have a 28 day cycle. With a 28 day cycle, your estimated ovulation day is the 14th day from the first day of your period. However, you should not take the test on the 14th. Start taking the test everyday since the 11th day. This way, if ovulation starts early you will not miss it. If you want to increase your chances, have intercourse 24 hours before ovulation. This way when the egg is ready, a couple of sperms will be waiting for it to make the rendezvous. The trick is to make love ideally four times. Be careful too much sex can actually work against you. Ejaculations in excess of four times a week decrease the volume of the semen, which will decrease your chances.
Key 2: Position: The second key is the position when making love. Yes, varying your position may add zest to your life, but if your aim is pregnancy, let’s be practical. Only one position is ultimate for conceiving a child, which is the missionary position. Remember, gravity can be your worst enemy. So don’t jump out of bed instantly afterward. It is better to stay on your back for at least half an hour or longer.
Key 3: You and your partner’s diets: If you are trying to conceive, the sooner you start eating well, the most likely you are to get pregnant. For both men and women, food and fertility are linked.
1. Eat several servings of fruit, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods every day.
2. Take vitamins C, E, Zinc and Folic Acid. They are all important for making a healthy sperm and for you fertility too.
3. Get lots of Folic Acid (400 mcg/day). This vitamin has been proven to reduce a baby’s risk of defects. You can have Foliate-rich foods such as dark green leafs vegetables (ex: Spinach), citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!