If you’re thinking of starting a family this year, or are hoping this is the year you’ll get your BFP, now is the time to set yourself up for success. One of the most common questions I get is “what can I do to improve my fertility?” – so I’ve collected my top 5 tips to help you improve your chances of pregnancy and get your body baby-ready this year.
1. Give yourself time to prepare
It takes a healthy egg and a healthy sperm to give you the best chance at a successful conception, an uncomplicated pregnancy & a healthy baby. Egg and sperm both take around 3 months to mature and be ready for fertilisation, so it’s important to take the time to nourish and nurture your body to ensure the best and healthiest egg & sperm. Preconception care is about more than just taking folate – it’s about looking after yourself and getting yourself as healthy as possible for at least 3 months prior to embarking on the massive journey of fertility, pregnancy & parenthood. There’s no better time to start than now!
2. Act as if you are already pregnant
Are there some things you’ve decided to stop or start doing once you’re pregnant? Would it surprise you to know that the choices and behaviours that are best for your unborn baby during pregnancy are also the best for you and your baby BEFORE you fall pregnant (when you think about it, this isn’t at all surprising!). Choosing to look after yourself now the way you would look after yourself when pregnant will go a long way towards improving your overall health and fertility. It doesn’t have to be complicated – really it just means eating well, minimising alcohol and caffeine, avoiding drugs and environmental toxins, addressing any health concerns and enjoying some exercise, sunshine and relaxing activities. So if there’s anything that you’ve been thinking about starting or giving up once you get a BFP, now is the perfect time to make those changes!
3. Get to know your body and your cycle
When we do sex ed at school, the biggest message we get is that falling pregnant is the easiest thing in the world… But you and I both know this is far from the truth for many, many women! So we need to learn about how our bodies work and how to maximise our own chances of pregnancy. Tracking your cycle, learning how to recognise ovulation, paying attention to your symptoms, and starting to notice how your lifestyle affects your cycle (and vice versa) can give you some really valuable information about your fertility (and your health overall). Even more important is getting any issues with your reproductive health addressed early. Getting your hormones sorted and establishing a healthy, regular cycle is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. Click here for more info on how we can work together to balance those hormones.
4. Take the right supplements, rather than all the supplements!
Nutritional supplements have become more important to our general and reproductive health over the past 30 years, as our diets become more processed and our lives more busy and stressful. While it would be ideal to get all our nutrient requirements from our food, the reality is that this is just not possible without some substantial changes to the food supply, our daily diets and our lifestyles. Luckily there is plenty of good quality research around the most important nutrients for fertility, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Unfortunately … there is also a HUGE number of fertility-themed supplements available in a very unregulated market, so it’s important to choose carefully and get advice from well-informed sources. Knowing your own dietary intake, getting some blood tests done to reveal any deficiencies or insufficiencies, and having a plan for which evidence-based supplements you need at what doses is the best way to have the peace of mind that you’re getting everything that you need. The same goes for herbs and other “natural” fertility supplements – get the right advice about what will work for your unique situation, and in what form and dosing, makes a huge difference both to your results and your bank account! Click here to book a call so we can chat about optimising your supplement regime.
5. It takes two
Sperm health is an extremely underrated element of fertility – with the rapid decline in sperm counts over recent years, ensuring your partner’s/donor’s sperm is as healthy as possible is an essential part of the fertility equation. Luckily, most sperm health issues can be addressed through diet and lifestyle changes, and respond really well to these changes. New sperm cells are being made every day, so there’s no better time to start improving their health than now! Remember sperm takes around 3 months to mature, so every change you can make now will be improving sperm health in the months to come.
If you’re ready to start setting yourself up for success in your baby-making journey, here’s a few good starting points:
- Book a preconception appointment with your GP to get some standard blood tests done
- Make a plan for managing any existing health issues or diagnoses so you feel at your best
- Make sure your pap smears are up to date
- Book a free call if you want to talk about working with me to address hormonal concerns, discuss preconception care or just have a chat to see how I work (I love to chat!)
- Click here to explore other options for working with me to optimise your health & fertility
I hope you’ve found this helpful – I can’t wait to work with you on your fertility journey!
Image credit: Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash