I decided that I would like to start a whole series of posts starting from preconception all the way through to older kids so that we can feature all stages of parenting and perhaps encompass any stage that a reader may be going through. So, in going along with our theme, today's post is all about preconception...
Honestly, most parents never went through preconception. LOL They just found out they were pregnant then started in on everything, so, if you are wanting to plan on TTC(trying to conceive) then you are one of a lucky few. :)
For starters, I suggest sitting down and discussing with your partner what you plans, ideas and personal beliefs in parenting are before you go one step further. Make sure you are both on the same page in everything or at least have compromised and researched things together to get an idea of how you both feel. Make sure you are financially stable enough to handle it. Not saying you shouldn't if you aren't wealthy, just look at your situation and think about it. If you are still living at home and have no job and your partner is also jobless and living with mom, chances are, you can't afford a kid right now. Also make sure you are PHYSICALLY safe, domestic violence tends to rise drastically during pregnancy. If you are not sure of your safety, do NOT try to conceive. Chances are it will only lead to more violence and not less.
Now, make sure you are already eating right and this goes for both the prospective mom and dad. Mom should start taking prenatal vitamins with at least 400mcg Folic Acid 3 months before TTC. Most vitamins now come with a DHA supplement as well. If you are already eating right, taking a vitamin and exercising, you are on the right track to being healthy and fit enough to sustain a pregnancy. As a side note to eating healthy, apparently Goji Berries and Kombucha have fertility boosting properties. It helps to treat yourself as already pregnant healthwise before you try.
Another good thing to do is to get both you and your partner to a doctor for a check up, mom to an OB/Midwife for a preconception visit. You can rule out any health issues or needs before becoming pregnant.
If you haven't already, you should look into charting and learn what EWCM, Basal temp, luteal phase and more are. There are books (Taking Charge Of Your Fertility), websites (Fertility Flower) and paper charts to help you learn your body and cycle so that you have the best chance of conceiving. Also by charting or even keeping a fertility journal, you can start to spot issues if there are any to talk with your doctor about. It can really help with pinpointing a problem that may arise. For instance: an anovulatory cycle, PCOS and more.
Stop drinking and smoking BEFORE you even start TTC. It's best to give this up long before you start rather than trying to stop and being pregnant all at the same time. this goes for the father as well. Secondhand smoke is not good for the pregnancy either.
If you are on any prescription drugs, be sure to discuss with a doctor if you need to switch or stop taking them before you even become pregnant. Be sure to use Acetaminophen ONLY starting before TTC and throughout pregnancy. Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen are NOT approved for use during pregnancy.
Right now, before you even begin TTC, do yourself a big favor and RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!! Find out if you want an OB or a Midwife, do you want to deliver in the hospital, birth center or home, do you want to deliver naturally or with an epidural, will you deliver on your knees or sitting up, learn about delayed cord clamping, nursing, water birth, kangaroo care, co-sleeping, vaccines...EVERYTHING to do with pregnancy and babies. There is a lot to learn and plenty places to find the info. It also helps you tremendously in pregnancy and through labor if you have studied up enough and are confident in your choices. If you aren't, then you can be easily scared and swayed into choices you may not agree with or enjoy or will feel guilty about later. researching and reading prevents most of this.
Most of all, relax and have fun preparing to try for a baby. take the opportunity to do some non kid things before you get started.