5 Things You Need to Know Before You Try to Get Pregnant
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Have you decided you want to add a new bundle of joy to your family?
If so, congratulations!
Having a child is always an exciting adventure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stressful. Unfortunately, the stress sometimes starts before you’re even pregnant.
That’s because getting pregnant isn’t always easy. There are things many pregnant women wished they knew beforehand to help ensure a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Whether you’re just embarking on your pregnancy adventure or you’ve been trying for a while and you feel stuck, we’ve got you covered with these five tips.
Talk to Your Doctor About Medications You’re Taking
Some medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, are dangerous to an unborn fetus. When you talk to your doctor before you get pregnant, you can make sure you aren’t taking a medication or an herbal supplement that could negatively affect your unborn baby.
It also gives you a chance to talk to your doctor about other medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, that could affect your pregnancy.
Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Most women start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as they know they're pregnant, but you can give your baby a boost by making sure you take them at least one month before you get pregnant. Just make sure the supplement you choose has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.
Dig Into Your Family History
It's important to be aware of diseases and illnesses that run in both you and your partner's families, but there are a lot of conditions that are hereditary that you may not know about. Find out what kinds of medical challenges your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents have faced.
Don’t think that uncovering potential hereditary problems means you shouldn’t have a baby. It just means you may want to talk to your doctor about what you have uncovered before you get pregnant. You may also decide you want to have genetic testing done after you get pregnant.
Avoid Activities and Behaviors That Decrease Sperm Count
A low sperm count is sometimes the culprit if you’re having trouble conceiving. Things you or your partner can do to keep sperm counts high include:
Avoid overheating the testicles by staying away from saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms
Reduce or eliminate the use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
Find ways to reduce emotional stress and depressive symptoms
There are medical reasons for having a low sperm count, so visiting with a doctor is also a good idea.
Start Paying Attention To Your Menstrual Cycle
Getting more familiar with your menstrual cycle can help you get pregnant. You can keep track of when your last period started and ended, so you are aware earlier if your period is late. You can also learn when you’re ovulating so you can increase your chances of getting pregnant more quickly.
It never hurts to visit with a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant because they can answer your questions and address your concerns.
If you have a condition, like erectile dysfunction, or you have mental health concerns, consider initiating a telehealth visit. A licensed healthcare provider may be able to help you without the need for an appointment at the doctor’s office. They can also recommend the next steps you should take in your pregnancy journey, and what kind of healthcare provider you should see, if you do have to see someone in person.