In the not too distant past, parents would decide they would like to try for a baby without too much thought and pre-planning or they would even just leave getting pregnant to fate – “What will be will be”.
Today, nothing is left to chance
There can be pre-conception planning, vitamins and diet planning, IV treatment and even so called tools to help you choose the best time to ensure either a boy or a girl. The one thing that is really important is making sure you (and the dad-to-be) are as healthy as possible, helping in turn to have a healthy baby. In fact, a baby's organs begin to form in the first few weeks of pregnancy even before you know you are pregnant.
Your lifestyle and that of your future baby
This should be built around being safe, eco friendly and above all non hazardous.
There is a vital connection between physical activity, exercise, fitness and pregnancy. While physical activity is about moving around and avoiding being less sedentary, exercise is a more regular and routine form of physical activity. But both can help with a healthier pregnancy, relieving any stress; maintaining a healthy weight; meaning you sleep better; boosting your immune system; building your stamina so you have strength to carry the baby and to deliver him or her safely.
If you can starting exercising before you are pregnant, it makes it easier to continue long into the pregnancy itself. A mother's obesity can even predispose her unborn baby to heart attacks in the future by causing the first clinical sign of cardiovascular disease before birth. Diet during pregnancy and early childhood have lifelong health effects on children.
Planning to fall pregnant
Following regular sex, most women will conceive within 6 months and almost all will become pregnant within the year. Unless there are special circumstances (for example being over the age of 35) only after a year of trying to conceive would a doctor consider your situation as having trouble getting pregnant. But think about having a pre-pregnancy checkup first to help you identify if there are any factors that might cause problems. There are pregnancy tools and fertility tools to use here.
Fathers-to-be and fertility
In the past, it was left to the female but now, learning about how to become more fertile has become more popular – men are taking an active interest in learning about how to become more fertile along with their partners. Many men take a proactive view that pregnancy and conception is a partnership. Some of the tools for improving male fertility include: selenium rich foods; vitamin C; vitamin E; zinc; calcium; whole organic foods; yoga; and boxer shorts.
- Pay attention to diet to learn to become more fertile.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine – all 3 can cut the sperm count by half while smoking causes sperm to clump together reducing the mobility needed to fertilize.
- Boost fertility with herbs and vitamins. For example 400 IU of Vitamin E has shown increase in sperm count while taking zinc is significant for sperm enzymes. A lack of zinc shrinks testicles and produces unhealthy sperm.
- Wear boxer shorts as excessive tight clothing especially in the groin area can adversely affect semen count and cause an imbalance. Yoga practice, especially with inverted postures, can help with blood flow and increase circulation.
- Avoid long hot showers or excessive soaking baths as this causes slow and sluggish sperm.
Once you are pregnant
Listening to your body's signals, whether it be morning sickness or exhaustion, will help you cope more easily with symptoms of pregnancy.
You will receive advice and guidance from every possible person you come in contact with and there are a host of books, magazine articles and websites adding their own information.
4 additional suggestions you might like to consider
- Premature clamping of the umbilical cord. It is standard practice in hospitals to clamp the umbilical cord as soon as possible after birth. This can be very harmful because at birth, about one-third of a newborn infant's blood is in the cord. Clamping the cord too promptly can mean: iron deficiency anemia; oxygen deprivation; up to a third less red blood cells; lost white blood cells, antibodies and even stem cells. Ensuring the umbilical cord is not cut until it stops pulsing provides a new born baby with such a great start in life – even life saving.
- Vaccines are today a very contentious subject with very vocal parents on both sides of the fence. We have written about it here but would recommend any parent-to-be to do their own research before blindly agreeing to their child being vaccinated.
- Pre-polluted babies. We live in a toxic world and it is said that the majority of babies born today are pre-polluted.
- Breastfeeding saves babies' lives. According to Dr Mercola: “A report from Save the Children calls breast milk "Superfood for Babies." It estimates that 830,000 newborns' lives could be saved each year if they were breastfed during the first hour of life. That simple change is all it would take because the mother's milk during the first couple of days after birth is colostrum, which contains more concentrated nutrients and antibodies, specially made to nourish and protect newborns whose digestive systems are quite small. Colostrum has a mild laxative effect, helping the newborn expel the first stool, called meconium. This stool contains excess bilirubin, which results from the large number of red blood cells produced to help prevent jaundice. It also contains high quantities of white blood cells called leukocytes to help protect the new child from disease. The first hour of birth is referred to as the power hour. Not only does beast feeding your baby early provide a jumpstart to a life of good health, it also helps assure that you'll continue breastfeeding for at least six months”.