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How to prep for pregnancy

HealthBy Sunday World
How to prep for pregnancy

Reading the news can be tough if you're a woman with hopes of having a family. It seems there is a constant barrage of information about when the best time to conceive is (an age which has usually passed), as well as a constant debate about whether ladies should freeze their eggs. This is particularly scary because stress is one of the worst things for someone trying to conceive. So what can be done?

Well, quite a lot. Rather than obsessing about what you can't change, it's time to start thinking about the proactive steps you can take if you know you will want a baby at some point. To be clear, there's no pressure here - these are just ideas you should consider if you know your future involves a family.

Consider contraception

Many women opt for a version of the pill to ensure they don't fall pregnant, but the contraceptive can have different effects on different people. If you want a baby in the future you'll need to know your true cycle, and the only way to get to grips with it is to come off the pill. It can take months for your period to return, and that's before we're even considering it being regular. The pill can also mask things like polycystic ovary syndrome, which has an impact on your cycle. Knowledge is power, ladies.

Diet

It's obvious that pregnant women need to concentrate on nourishing food which will give their baby all the nutrients it needs, but you need to start this outlook even before you are expecting. Buckwheat and Brazil nuts, as well as many other foods, are thought to boost fertility, plus there's evidence that eating certain things at set times in your cycle can be beneficial. For example, mindbodygreen.com advises having sweet potato before you menstruate.

Deal with stress

This is a hard one, as none of us like feeling anxious. However, a 2014 study published in the journal Human Reproduction drew a link between longstanding stress and infertility, so if you have a high-powered job and struggle to find downtime you need to readdress things. We're not suggesting you quit, but it could be time to learn about the art of delegation or insist on being non-contactable over the weekend.

Stop the research

This is a hard one, but it's time to step away from the laptop. You can find a study to back up almost anything you're worried about online, so try to resist the temptation to Google information about pregnancy. Many women report struggling to conceive until they decided to lighten up, which is when things happened naturally. This is also the same for apps - some information is good, but constantly checking on your body's symptoms isn't. If you are desperate for a baby and need a little help, consider using ovulation sticks, which tell you when the best time to try is.

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