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Mother and Baby

7 Things To Remember When You Start Trying To Conceive (TTC)

Trying to conceive

Whether you've wanted a baby since you can remember or you only decided last week that the time is right, when you've worked out you want a baby, you want one, er, right now. And not knowing how long it will take you to conceive can seriously try your patience.

You may have spent most of your sex life trying to avoid having a baby, but now you've ditched the condoms and come off the Pill, getting pregnant may not happen as quickly as you expect. This is what you need to remember. 



1. Take your supplements

Start taking 400mcg of folic acid now, as you need to begin before you even conceive to help ensure healthy brain function in your future baby.


2. Enjoy your sex life

If you're on baby no.1 these could be your last days of carefree sex without worrying about the kids waking up or – worse – walking in. 


3. 
Stop obsessing

If you don't get pregnant in the first few months, don't panic. 90% of couples conceive within a year. So try not to get obsessive from day one. You may be able to control most things in your life, but this is probably not one of them. Plus, it's difficult to feel sexy when it's all about the sperm and the egg. 



4. Think about him

Remember it's not just about you. You're in this together and your partner needs to feel relaxed and happy too – try not to pile the pressure on (even if all you are thinking is 'Hurry up and give me your best swimmers'). Performance anxiety is not conducive to baby making.



5. Regular sex

The best time to conceive is one or two days before you ovulate, which can seem like a tricky task to time. But you don't need to have sex every day – sperm can survive for up to seven days in your body, so every couple of days is fine. Work out when you're ovulating, and so most fertile, with our ovulation calculator.

6. Sperm-boosters

You’re probably staying as healthy as you can, but you can also make a difference to your chances of conception if your partner keeps his sperm healthy. That means a balanced diet, no smoking, cutting down on alcohol (which affects his testosterone levels) and maintaining a healthy weight. 

7. Baby making break

If you’ve been trying for a while and it’s all getting too stressful, take a break. Go on some dates or a weekend away and reboot the romance.

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1. Have regular sex

‘Every two or three days is ideal, as too much ejaculation or prolonged abstinence both have adverse effects on sperm quality and quantity,’ explains Dr Sarah Brewer, author of Planning a Baby? A Complete Guide to Pre-Conceptual Care. ‘Although if you’ve struggled to conceive in the past, it may be worth approaching it differently and holding off for as long as seven days before having sex during your fertile peak – this lets your partner’s sperm count build up.’
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2. Get weight ready

‘If you need to reduce your weight, do this before starting to try for a baby,’ says Emma. ‘Being over or under weight can both have a negative impact on fertility, but if you lose too much weight too quickly while you’re TTC, your body thinks it isn't the optimum time to conceive.’
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3. Maximise your nutrition

‘As a safety net, take a multivitamin and mineral supplement especially designed for pregnancy or conception,’ says Sarah. ‘You’re looking for something that includes folic acid (400mcg daily), which helps to prevent certain developmental disorders in your baby such as spina bifida.’
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4. Put down the bottle opener

‘One study found that women who drink five or less units of alcohol per week were twice as likely to conceive within six months than those drinking ten units or more,’ says Sarah.
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5. Ditch the cigarettes

‘If you can’t stop, then cut right down,’ says Sarah. ‘Women who smoke 10 or more cigarettes a day are three times more likely to have difficulty conceiving than non-smokers.’
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6. Look after your body

If you’re trying to get pregnant, slowing down and taking care of your body is key, as Emma Cannon points out. ‘Over the last five years, I’ve noticed the exercise routines that women are putting themselves through can be really intense and really rigorous. The problem with this is it floods the body with adrenaline, which can tell the body it’s not a particularly good time to conceive. If you’ve been trying for a while and you are struggling, you need to just take a look at your exercise routine.’
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7. Forget the Kama Sutra

‘When it comes to sex positions, missionary with a slightly tilted pelvis (i.e. a cushion under your bottom) can help,’ says Emma Cannon, fertility specialist and author of The Baby Making Bible. ‘But really I think the best advice is just to get on with it. Becoming too obsessive can create tension.’
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8. Don’t forget your relationship

‘When all your attention is on the process of trying to conceive, emotions can be neglected, which can lead to frustration, anger and disappointment,’ says Sloan. ‘So, actively make couple time to do things you enjoy and talk about everything other than conception.’
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9. Focus on the present

‘It’s difficult not to obsess about becoming pregnant and having a baby,’ says life coach and relationship expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams. ‘I advise clients trying to conceive that the best way to reduce this stress is to shift your focus from the end goal to the present – so savouring daily activities you’d usually rush through. When you let yourself live in the moment, things feel less overwhelming for you both.’
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10. Balance your eating

‘But don't be fooled by fad diets,’ says Emma. ‘It's a good idea to cut out processed foods, but don't be tempted to ditch whole food groups or replace meals with juices. And go for foods that are high in antioxidants, omega 3 oils and protein.’ Emma also recommends not to eat raw foods after 4pm, as these can chill the digestion and lower the core body temperature.
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11. Find success stories

‘Athletes look to people who have achieved what they want and recreate it, and in the same way this is a good time to look at tips and techniques that have worked for others and find one that feels authentic to you,’ says Sloan. ‘Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress, and self-hypnosis is good for relaxation.’

 
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Comments

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