Thinking of starting a family? You aren’t alone. The Huffington Post last week reported that sales of home fertility kits and pregnancy tests had soared more than sixty percent in the UK since the Duchess of Cambridge announced her pregnancy.
If you are thinking of starting a family, it’s important to take the right steps to help increase your chances of becoming pregnant as well as of having a healthy pregnancy.
Sparkling juice drink Shloer has teamed up with independent health journalist and psychotherapist Christine Webber to offer tips which may help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. It is of course important to consult your doctor when planning a pregnancy and as soon as possible after you know you are pregnant.
Get the timing right.
You can help your chances of becoming pregnant with a kit to check exactly when you are ovulating – which should usually fall around the twelfth to fourteenth day of your cycle.
Give up alcohol.
For years, medical experts have advised women to cut down on alcohol during pregnancy. But the most up to date advice from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence is for women to stop drinking altogether when planning a pregnancy and while pregnant. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious drinks and cocktails. Try sparkling juice drink Shloer, available in seven delicious flavours. My newest favourite is White Grape, Raspberry & Cranberry.
If you smoke, quit now.
There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. Also, women hoping to become mothers would do well to avoid smoky atmospheres.
Watch what you eat.
Nutritious can be delicious too. Make healthy choices and aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Enjoy foods rich in folic acid, which may help prevent birth defects. These include broccoli, spinach and brown rice. Talk to your doctor about whether it would be right for you to take a folic acid supplement, which is often recommended for women who are trying to become pregnant and up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.
Get into the habit of taking gentle exercise on a regular basis. Walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates are great options for a mother-to-be. As well as helping you to stay fit and making it easier to get back in shape after you have your baby, exercise can help you increase your energy levels and improve your mood.
Give your partner some extra attention.
Christine says, “Men can sometimes feel slightly left out when a woman is very focussed on becoming a mum. Show your man how much you value him for himself – not just as a potential parent.”
Consider taking a short break or holiday just the two of you. It’s important to spend time together before you start a family. It will help you remember who you are as a couple in the chaos and sleeplessness of the early days of parenthood.
Once you become a parent, your life can change beyond recognition. While this is a wonderful thing, it can also be a little stressful and mean that it’s difficult to enjoy some of your favourite activities on a regular basis. So in the meantime, enjoy yourself. See films and shows that you like and read your favourite books. Don’t become so wrapped up in the quest to become pregnant that you forget to be happy with the life you have as a non-parent. As Christine recommends, “Don’t get stressed out. Enjoy this child-free period while you can.”