A big percentage of couples have difficulties on how to increase fertility. If you are planning to get pregnant, read on because we got you covered on how to get pregnant fast. We prepared this ultimate pregnancy guide for you because we all know how stressful it could be, especially in the conceiving stage.
Pregnancy is one of the major milestones of being a woman that is both exciting and worrisome. The moment that those two little red lines appear in your home pregnancy test, you feel excited and amazed by the fact that there is a life beginning to form inside of you. On the other hand, you’d also worry and think about the coffee you just finished drinking that morning and even the red wine you drank the weekend prior.
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How To Get Pregnant Fast
First things first—getting pregnant. There are couples who are hitting the spot right away while there are some who are having a hard time. Keep in mind that getting pregnant is not just out of pure luck. If you want to get pregnant then you have to do it right.
Know Your Ovulation Dates
Ovulation takes place when a mature egg is released from the ovary. It moves down to the fallopian tube where it stays for 12-24 hours and can be fertilized. The sperm cells, on the other hand, can live for up to 5 days once they entered the female reproductive tract. Ovulation normally happens 14 days before the start of your next period if you are in the regular 28-day cycle. Some women do not have the perfect 28-day cycle, and if you’re one of them, you need to keep track of your period using a menstrual calendar.
Ovulation can also be determined by its physical symptoms.
To know your basal body temperature, you can use a thermometer specifically made for this and take your temperature in the morning before getting off the bed. Do this every day, take note of the results, and wait for a pattern to appear. Two to three days before your temperature increases are the days when you are most fertile.
Another physical symptom is the change in your vaginal secretions. A clear, wet, and stretchy vaginal secretion occurs just right before ovulation.
Your age can also affect your fertility. The older you get, the lesser chance is there to get pregnant.
Have Sex Regularly
Having sex regularly is, of course, essential. Couples who have sex every day have increased chances of getting pregnant. This might be a lot of work for some couples, and if this isn’t possible for you either, make sure to have sex near the time of your ovulation. Right after your period, have sex at least every 2 to 3 days a week. This ensures that you are having sex when you are fertile and near ovulation.
Maintain a Normal Weight
If you are planning to get pregnant, you have to ensure that your body is healthy. Weight is also one factor in getting pregnant easily, especially in women. Take note that being overweight or underweight can increase the risk of you having ovulation disorders. A healthy weight is also crucial as it decreases the risk of pregnancy complications.
Speak With Your Health Care Provider for Further Recommendations
Preconception planning is best discussed with your health care provider. Your doctor can perform a thorough assessment of your overall health so that you can determine your chances of a healthy pregnancy. You will also be recommended to take supplements and vitamins in order to prepare your body for the baby coming your way.
In cases when you are having a hard time or you can’t get pregnant, this is also the best course of action to identify the problem and you can come up with a treatment plan.
How To Keep Healthy During Pregnancy
Now that your baby is on the way, the next thing you’re probably thinking about is how to ensure that your baby is safe and healthy. Your doctor may provide you with plenty of recommendations on this, regardless of whether you have healthy or risky pregnancy.
What To Eat When Pregnant
Asian culture is rich in so many aspects, and this also includes pregnancy traditions and myths. Some Asian moms believe that what you crave for and eat during pregnancy has a direct effect on the baby’s physical condition. For example, eating twin bananas can result in conjoined twins. Or if you are fond of eating crabs, chances are your baby will have limb deformities. To other cultures, these things may sound odd and even ridiculous but there are Asian parents that take these things seriously.
So, what are the things you should be eating during pregnancy?
During the first trimester, it is normal to experience morning sickness, fatigue, and vomiting. This nausea, triggered by the changes of hormones can sometimes result in food aversion. If you are experiencing this, it is recommended to take smaller but frequent meals in order for you to still get the nutrients you need during pregnancy.
And yes, cravings during pregnancy is a thing. Make sure to include plenty of fruits in your diet, but do not forget your vegetables, bread, cereal, milk and cheese, as well as red and white meat.
Food Supplements During Pregnancy
Folic acid is one of the most important micronutrients during pregnancy, and it is highly recommended for you to take it even before conception. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in babies and helps in DNA creation and red blood cell formulation. 400-500 micrograms daily are enough, and if you are worried that you are not getting enough of it from the food you eat, it is better to take the supplement as well.
Protein is also an important component of all the nutrients you need. Pregnant or not, your body needs protein to function well. In pregnancy, protein helps in the tissue growth and muscle development of your baby during the first trimester. You do not need to take supplements on this since it can easily be acquired from the food you eat—red meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts are amazing sources of protein.
Iron is also a much-needed nutrient during pregnancy, for you and your baby. You need increased iron intake as you need more red blood cells to produce oxygen for your baby, otherwise, it can cause pregnancy anemia. Iron can be acquired from your daily diet as well—green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, red meat, eggs, and legumes.
Calcium is also needed during pregnancy as it helps in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. It also helps you avoid osteoporosis later in life, so it is highly recommended that you increase your calcium intake. This can be acquired from milk and other dairy products. Also, walking under the morning sun every day can help you in soaking up in vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium better.
Omega 3 fatty acid is an important nutrient too, as it helps in the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Small ocean fish like anchovies and sardines are rich in omega 3. Salmon and tuna are the best source of omega 3, but larger ocean fish are said to be containing increased amount of mercury which makes it risky to eat while pregnant. Your doctor may recommend you to take an omega 3 supplement and it is important to follow their instructions before getting any over-the-counter supplements.
Precautions During Pregnancy
While we normally keep our bodies healthy on a daily basis, we need to be extra careful during pregnancy. Take note that while you are encouraged to eat healthier food and it’s normal that you have increased food intake (because of increased appetite), there are some food and things that you need to avoid as a precaution.
A glass of red wine may sound good and somewhat safe during pregnancy. The thing is, no one really knows what is the “safe amount” when you are pregnant. Since this is the case, it is much better if you avoid alcohol intake altogether. Alcohol can do plenty of damage to your unborn baby, including physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. It can also cause impairment to the development of your baby’s nervous system.
Coffee lovers may take this as bad news but yes, you need to minimize and eventually stop your caffeine intake if you want a healthy and low risk pregnancy. Regardless of the type of coffee and brewing method, 2-3 cups of coffee can increase your risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.
If you think you’ll have a hard time to stop drinking coffee, you can start by limiting your consumption to 1-2 cups a day, and eventually switch to a mixed decaf and regular coffee, until you skip the regular coffee altogether. Also, remember that coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine—black tea and Coke also have it so it is better to switch to a caffeine-free alternative if you cannot get rid of these drinks from your diet.
Some Foods to Avoid
If you are a food lover, you may want to think twice about eating these while you’re pregnant.
- Processed meats (or cook them very well if you can’t help it)
- Sashimi and shellfish
- Unpasteurized dairy and juices
- Raw eggs
- Meat spreads (paté, liver spread, etc.)
While we’ve previously established that fish is a good source of your much-needed nutrients during pregnancy (omega 3 fatty acids are highly present in ocean fish), you also need to be cautious because they can also contain increased amounts of mercury which is dangerous for you and your baby. Here are the fish that you should avoid while pregnant:
- Tuna (light canned tuna is okay, but not too much)
- King mackerel
Food-borne illnesses are what we are trying to avoid here, so be mindful of what you are eating. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, cook your meats very well, and be mindful of what to order when you are dining out. Seafood and shellfish are okay to eat, but it should only be limited to two meals per week.
Cleaning the Litter Box
If you have pets, especially cats, it is best to avoid cleaning its litter box.
You can still play with your pets, it’s just that you may want to ask somebody else to clean its litter box for you. Toxoplasmosis, and infection that can be acquired from cat litter boxes is harmful to your unborn baby. It can result to severe eye and brain damage, poor growth, and even prematurity. You may not experience symptoms of this infection as a pregnant woman, but it can definitely be acquired by your baby without you knowing.
Over the Counter Medicines
Over-the-counter medicines are a big no during pregnancy unless recommended or prescribed by your doctor. These medicines can be harmful to the development of the baby inside your womb, depending on the kind of medication. If you become sick during the course of your pregnancy (colds, common flue, etc.), go to your doctor so you can be prescribed medicines that is safe for you and your baby.
Smoking and Recreational Drugs
Smoking and other recreational drugs are bad for your health—and in general. In can cause different kinds of illnesses in adults, so how much more can it damage a developing baby? Smoking and recreational drugs can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, birth defects, respiratory problems, and behavior and learning problems.
Always Be Mindful in Using These Products
In every product that you need to use and in every major change that you need to do during pregnancy, always think if it is going to affect the baby. These may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Household chemicals including cleaning products
- Using sunscreens and tanning lotions
- Dying your hair
- Getting a tattoo
- Teeth whiteners
Pregnancy and Covid-19
The virus and its many variants that proved to be fatal of all ages across the globe can potentially cause plenty of risks and complications when acquired, and even more so by pregnant women. It has posed increased threats to many households, destroying lives and dreams of many.
Covid-19 and Fertility
Studies show that Covid-19 can increase the risk of infertility in men, although it is the symptoms that cause this and not the virus itself. One of the more common symptoms of Covid-19 is fever, and the increased body temperature in men can affect the quality and production of their sperm. This means that coronavirus or not if a male gets a fever, his reproductive capability can be effective. On the other hand, experts say that this is just a temporary effect, not a life-long threat.
Women, on the other hand, did not show any signs of infertility after acquiring Covid-19 which can be a relief. However, although the experts only cited the temporary effects, life-long complications are still yet to be determined.
Covid-19 and Pregnancy
Pregnant women have an increased risk of acquiring severe illnesses, including Covid-19. There are plenty of changes that go on with the body while pregnant, and these changes can cause the immune system to get weaker. This makes the body more vulnerable to infections and other diseases, especially respiratory viruses like Covid-19. If you are pregnant and you get infected with Covid-19, you may be hospitalized, admitted to the intensive care unit, and be attached to the mechanical ventilator to help you breathe.
A severe case of Covid-19 is fatal to anyone—what more to the immunocompromised people like pregnant women? Even if you survived Covid-19 during pregnancy, you have a high risk of experiencing complications like preterm delivery and a stillborn baby.
To avoid contracting Covid-19 while pregnant, you should avoid living or working in areas with high numbers of Covid-19 cases. It also helps if your community has an increased population of people who are vaccinated against the virus.
Covid-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy
Everyone is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, most especially those whose immune systems are highly compromised. These include people who are over 60 years of age, people who have underlying conditions, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective in lowering your chances of contracting the virus.
While you may still get Covid-19 after the vaccination, the chances are very low. Also, your chances of getting hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and attached to the mechanical ventilator are extremely low compared to those who are unvaccinated.
If you have concerns about getting vaccinated during pregnancy, you may discuss it with your health care provider. Your doctor can give you a much clearer insight on the risks as well as the possible complications and outcomes of contracting Covid-19 during your pregnancy and the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Enjoy the Moment of Being Pregnant
Pregnancy is easily the greatest miracle given to mankind. Yes, it can bring worry and a bit of exhaustion, but your worries should not hinder you to enjoy each moment that you are carrying your child within you.
There might be a lot of restrictions and things that you need to stop doing, but remember that it is all worth it when you finally give birth and meet your little one. So, set your worries free, keep being healthy, sit back, and savor every moment as a much more wonderful journey called parenthood awaits you.
Read more tips here: Live Science: How to Get Pregnant