How can I make it easier to conceive?
There are certain things that you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Here are some tips that may help you conceive your little one! If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant and have not been successful after a year, follow-up with your gynecologist or a fertility specialist. As soon as you decide to start a family, make it a point to have a complete health checkup. Your doctor will then advise you what changes you need to make in your lifestyle, if any, to increase your chances of not just becoming pregnant, but also of having a healthy pregnancy.
Remember, getting pregnant means that your body will be undergoing a lot of changes, and it needs to be in the best of health to do this. It is important that you divulge your entire medical history to your doctor. Also, let your doctor know if you are taking any medication, including regular over-the-counter drugs.
1 - Have sex in the morning, since the semen has the highest sperm count then.
2 - Being overweight or underweight during pregnancy may cause problems. Try to get within 15 pounds of your ideal weight before pregnancy. Remember, pregnancy is not a time to be dieting! Don't stop eating or start skipping meals as your weight increases. Both you and your baby need the calories and nutrition you receive from a healthy diet. Be sure to consult with your doctor about your diet.
3 - Check the Body Mass Index Calculator to see if you are at a healthy level for conception.
4 - Try to have sex in the missionary position, since it deposits the sperm closest to the cervix.
5 - Stay faithful to one, uninfected and equally faithful partner to prevent the tragic consequences of a new-born with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Discuss your own and your mate's sexual history (and any injected drug use) with your physician - and get tested for HIV or other infections, as appropriate. Even if you have HIV, for example, proper drug treatment can often prevent your child from becoming infected.
6 - You should not eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish while you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. These large, long-lived ocean fish accumulate mercury pollution as they eat smaller fish. If you then eat these fish, the mercury can accumulate in you and hurt the development of nervous system of your unborn child. The Food and Drug Administration also advises you not to eat these big fish when you're nursing a baby - and not to feed these fish to small children.
7 - Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables AND take a multi-vitamin containing folate, or folic acid, (a B vitamin) every day, before, and during pregnancy.
8 - Avoid soft cheeses. Soft cheeses are easily contaminated by a tough bacteria called Listeria. Ordinarily, people are not affected by Listeria, but in pregnant women the bacteria can cause violent vomiting, flu-like symptoms and miscarriage. This loss can occur even before you know you're pregnant. Mexican-style soft cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, queso de hoja, queso de crema and asadero are susceptible, as are other soft cheeses like feta, or goat cheese, brie, Camembert and blue-veined cheeses such as Roquefort. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant or potentially pregnant women should instead eat hard cheeses made from pasteurized milk or marked as aged for 60 days or longer.
9- Take care with all foods to food poisoning. Wash all surfaces, food and utensils thoroughly. Keep your hands clean during food preparation.
10 - To be on the safe side, some environmental health experts suggest that pregnant women - despite those infamous cravings we are supposed to get - avoid overdoing any single food or beverage in the diet. Varying your diet guards you against getting a massive dose of a problem substance, if there should be an accident that unexpectedly contaminates a particular food.
11-Pregnancy is not the time to care for a cat or take in a new one. They may harbor a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. If you get it while pregnant, your unborn child has about a 40 percent chance of contracting it too. In early pregnancy, this can cause the child to be blind, deaf and mentally retarded. The parasite can be found in cat feces, soil and infected meats that have not been thoroughly cooked. Cats get it from eating infected birds, mice and rats. So keep your family cat indoors to reduce its chances of getting the parasite - and have someone else clean its litter box, so that you don't get it.
12 - Protect yourself from pesticides and other chemical exposures. We don't know enough about the safety of home and occupational pesticides and chemicals in pregnancy, so it is a good idea to be cautious. Ask your employer to give you copies of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for any hazardous materials in your work, as required. A few substances of concern are lead, carbaryl (Sevin), bromine vapor, carbon disulfide, ethylene dibromide, mercury vapor and styrene and acetone used in plastic production.
13 - You can be exposed to chemicals in the air you breath, through your eyes, or in your food and water. Store chemicals in sealed containers when not in use and follow recommendations for ventilation. A major route of contamination is through your skin, so wear protective clothing and gloves. Wash off any spilled materials immediately. Wash your hands before eating and drinking.
14- If you are a farm worker, factory worker or scientist, or you have one as a husband, partner or family member, you and/or that other worker should shower at work at closing time or as soon as you/they get home. Clothes contaminated by pesticides, chemicals or metals should be washed at work, if possible. If they must be washed at home, they should be washed separately from other clothes, and as soon as possible.
15- If you are a dentist, dental assistant or hygienist or work with the anesthetic nitrous oxide (N2O) in human or veterinary medicine, you should know be cautious because this gas has been shown to cause defects in the offspring of exposed lab animals. Adequate ventilation, tests for leaks and other guidelines should be followed to limit your exposure. Women working as potters, with solder, or as home remodelers may encounter lead, which has been associated with miscarriages, stillbirths and infertility for more than 100 years. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health also warns of reproductive problems among women viscose rayon workers exposed to carbon disulfide (CS2) and among electronic and semi-conductor workers exposed to ethylene glycol ethers such as 2EE and 2ME.
16-If you're planning to decorate a room as a nursery, why not ask a pro or a partner to do the painting (while you go elsewhere and avoid the fumes.)
17- Avoid smoke, as well as smoking. Smoking increases the risks of an underweight baby and of stillbirth, the birth of a dead fetus. Smoking and passive smoke exposure may double the risk of a rare but devastating condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. In this condition, infants starve for oxygen because blood is not pumped through the lungs to the body but continues to flow as it did before birth and the activation of the lungs. Without successful surgery to correct the flow, the infant may die. Babies born to women who smoked during pregnancy are also more likely to have asthma and other respiratory problems. They also are more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome - SIDS. SIDS reduction campaigns emphasize positioning infants on their backs for sleeping as well as keeping cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke away. Smoking has been associated with infertility issues as well.
18- Avoid x-rays, hot tubs and saunas. They pose environmental risks for pregnant women. If x-rays are needed for medical reasons, your doctor will shield your abdomen (and thereby your fetus) from the rays. The March of Dimes also suggests pregnant women try to avoid infections. Rubella (German measles) during pregnancy can cause ear, eye and heart abnormalities. You can be tested to see if you've been exposed and are immune. If not, you can get vaccinated - but then should wait three months before getting pregnant. For avoiding many infections, frequent hand-washing can help.
19- Exercise moderately. Walk, swim, ride a stationary bike and/or join in a special prenatal aerobics class three or more times a week. Even a vigorous workout is ok for most women and may help you carry your baby to full term. Not so advisable: bouncing or jerking movements, toe touches, knee bends and sit-ups. Doctors generally fo not recommend any vigorous exercise that has you lying on your back after the first three months of pregnancy. Injury-risking sports - skiing, rock-climbing, horseback riding - aren't good bets. But regular, safe exercise can make labor easier and prepare you to get back in shape afterwards.
20- Relax, too. You don't need a lot of stress during pregnancy, or before pregnancy either!
21- Take folic acid daily both before pregnancy and during the first few months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. All women who could possibly become pregnant should take a vitamin with folic acid, every day. It is also important to eat a healthy diet with fortified foods (enriched grain products, including cereals, rice, breads, and pastas) and foods with natural sources of folate (orange juice, green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, broccoli, asparagus, peas, and lentils).
22- Be sure to see your doctor and get prenatal care as soon as you think you're pregnant. It's important to see your doctor regularly throughout pregnancy, so be sure to keep all your prenatal care appointments.
23 - Drink extra fluids (water is best) throughout pregnancy to help your body keep up with the increases in your blood volume. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water, fruit juice, or milk each day. A good way to know you're drinking enough fluid is when your urine looks like almost-clear water or is very light yellow.
24- Medical conditions/complications such as diabetes, epilepsy, and high blood pressure should be treated and kept under control. Ask your doctor about any medications that may need to be changed or adjusted during pregnancy. If you are currently taking any medications ask your doctor if it is safe to take them while you're pregnant. Also, be sure to discuss any herbs or vitamins you are taking. They are medicines, too! Discuss with your doctor all medications, prescribed and over-the-counter, that you are taking.
25- Saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms should be avoided while you are trying to become pregnant. Excessive high heat may be harmful before and during your pregnancy.
26- Genetic testing should be done appropriately. It's important to know your family history. If there have been problems with pregnancies or birth defects in your family, report these to your doctor. Also, genetic counselors can talk with you about the information you might need in making decisions about having a family. You can call a major medical center in your area for help in finding a board-certified genetic counselor.
27-You should know when your fertile days are. Charting your fertility will let you know when you are ovulating so that you know when you are most likely to become pregnant.
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