Preparing for Parenthood: Lifestyle Choices to Support a Healthy Pregnancy Journey

Planning to have a baby? Explore the impact of lifestyle choices on your path to parenthood. Gain valuable insights into preparing for a healthier pregnancy through informed decisions.

Your journey to parenthood involves more than just timing. It involves laying a solid foundation that supports your pregnancy from the very beginning.

If you're planning to have a baby, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Preparing yourself mentally and physically for a baby is important. This involves making healthy lifestyle choices to improve your chances for a viable pregnancy.

It is important to remember that although most women can get pregnant with no issues, some families have a difficult time getting pregnant or staying pregnant. That is why it is important to always talk to your doctor before and while trying to get pregnant.

Trying to Conceive?

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Make Lifestyle Choices that Support Fertility

For both partners, adopting lifestyle choices that support fertility is a great first step.

Lifestyle choices are conscious choices about habits, behaviors, and daily routines. With pregnancy, lifestyle choices can affect fertility, the potential for a healthy pregnancy, and your mental and physical health. To lay the foundation for a healthy pregnancy you might consider the following lifestyle choices:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you are trying to conceive, maintaining a healthy weight is vital for healthy fertility and reproductive health. A healthy weight supports regulated hormones, boosting a healthy menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Struggling with obesity or being underweight can disrupt your hormonal system, which is associated with decreased fertility, affecting estrogen levels, uterine lining development, and egg health.

For men, it is equally important to maintain a healthy weight, as it influences testosterone levels and sperm health, which are crucial to conceiving.

2. A Healthy Diet and Recommended Supplements

In your journey to pregnancy, a balanced diet is a powerful tool for reproductive well-being. A nutrient-rich diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins gives your body essential vitamins and minerals.

Before you start trying to get pregnant, it’s important to also take vitamins to support a healthy pregnancy.

Experts recommend a daily supplement of folic acid at least one month before you start trying. Other recommended supplements may include iron, calcium, and vitamin D.

Most of the recommended supplements can be found in prenatal vitamins. Always talk to your OB-GYN about what they recommend for you.

3. Get Regular Exercise

Incorporate regular, moderate exercise into your routine. Exercise plays an important role in hormone regulation for both men and women.

Choose exercise that you enjoy and that can be easily added to your daily routine. This may include walking, running, yoga, strength training, or swimming.

If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to your OB-GYN about a personalized exercise plan. They will be able to provide you with an exercise prescription that supports your holistic health while boosting your fertility health.

4. Eliminate the Use of Unhealthy Substances

If you are trying to get pregnant, stop smoking and stop drinking alcohol. These substances negatively impact your hormonal health and can cause complications during pregnancy as well as birth defects.

Being Tobacco and alcohol free enhances your body’s readiness for conception and sets the stage for a healthier pregnancy.

Partners also play a crucial role in these lifestyle choices. Men, too, should abstain from smoking and should be wary of alcohol consumption, as these habits can affect male reproductive health.

Learn How to Track Your Menstrual Cycle

1. Track Ovulation:

If you’re trying to get pregnant, track your menstrual cycle so you know when you are ovulating.

You can do this through period tracking apps, ovulation prediction kits, monitoring basal body temperature, tracking on a calendar, or tracking changes in your body throughout your cycle.

Your cycle is typically 28 days, consisting of three phases: the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase, starting on the first day of your period, and ending on the first day of your next period.

Ovulation occurs roughly in the middle of your cycle when an egg is released from the ovary. You can become pregnant at any time during your cycle because sperm can live for up to five days in the reproductive tract.

However, you are much more likely to become pregnant during ovulation.

Talk to your OB-GYN about the best option for you.

2. Best Time to Try for Conception:

Aim to have regular, unprotected sex during your fertile window, which often occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts.

Experts recommend having sex every day or every other day during your ovulation phase, which typically lasts about six days.

Your OB-GYN can recommend the best plan for you and your partner. Learn more about conceiving.


Manage Your Stress

1. Relaxation Techniques:

To help ease your journey to pregnancy, it is important to address stress in your life. Stress interferes with your hormone system, affecting fertility.

Practice stress-reducing activities in your routines such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

Quality sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a supportive community are also important factors in managing overall stress.

2. Communication with Your Partner:

Foster emotional support, open and honest communication, and goal alignment between you and your partner.

Open discussions create a supportive environment, reduce stress and anxiety, and create a positive space to start the journey to growing your family.

This may include making pregnancy plans, setting expectations, and being open about challenges you may face in your journey to conception, pregnancy, and parenting.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have a plan for maternity and paternity leave?
  • What is your birth plan and expectations for delivery?
  • What is your family’s plan for work after the baby arrives?
  • Do you have a plan for childcare?

With communication, you enhance your family’s emotional well-being and ensure that you’re on the same page, working together toward the shared goal of growing a happy, healthy family.

For some people, it may be worth seeking counseling with your partner before having a child. This is a great way to be proactive in addressing potential stressors and challenges during the journey to pregnancy and parenthood.

Counseling can provide tools for communication and foster a deeper understanding between partners, which creates a healthier environment for your growing family.

Communicate With Your Partner

1. Emotional Support:

Your pregnancy journey may bring a range of emotions, both positive and negative. Your partner will need to be ready to show support, patience, and open communication.

Emotions that arise from pregnancy are not personal. Expect more crying and a higher range of emotions than usual.

The path to parenthood looks different for everyone, but by creating an environment of empathy, patience, and communication, you empower your family to navigate this journey with resilience and hope. Your support can come in many forms.

2. Health Check:

To optimize the chances of conception, it is just as important for the male to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it is for the female in a partnership.

This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding harmful substances. These lifestyle choices contribute to optimal sperm production and function.

The road to pregnancy is unique for every individual and couple. It’s important to meet with your OB-GYN before trying to get pregnant to ensure you and your partner are educated and prepared to grow your family.

If you’re looking for an OB-GYN near you who listens, educates, and provides compassionate care from first consultation to after delivery, find a CHRISTUS provider near you.

Trying to Conceive?

Find an OB-GYN

Trying to Conceive?

Find an OB-GYN

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