Welcome to 2022! This is going to be your year full of success. Yes, I’m an optimist and I always start the year with hope and joy. Try it yourself. What do you want this year? I strongly believe that if you choose what you want and work hard to achieve your goals, then your dreams really can come true.
When it comes to having a baby sometimes things are easy. But some of us may need a little help. Here are my top ten tips for getting pregnant and having a healthy baby in 2022.
Pregnancy Tip #1: See a Fertility Doctor Sooner Rather Than Later
If trying for a baby is not new for you, if you have already been trying for a year or more without a pregnancy, then you need specialist help. Call your local fertility clinic today and don’t wait any longer.
If you’re a women of 35 years or older, the situation is more urgent. Don’t wait a year. You do not have the time to waste. Anyone 35 years or older should be going to the fertility clinic after six months of waiting for a pregnancy.
Sometimes medical conditions or other factors make it more likely you will struggle to conceive. It that’s the case, go to the fertility clinic straight away! No trying six months or a year for you. You need advice immediately.
Pregnancy Tip #2: Take a Multivitamin that Contains Folic Acid
All women should take a daily multivitamin supplement that contains Folic Acid. You need this for the three months before pregnancy, and you should continue taking it throughout the first three months of the pregnancy.
Folic acid is a vitamin found in foods such as green leafy vegetables and fruits such as pawpaw. It is essential for growing a healthy baby, helping with the development of bones such as the spine and skull. Taking your Folic Acid supplements (look for 400mcg equal to 0.4mg) daily is proven to reduce the chance of your baby getting Spina Bifida (defects of the spine and skull).
Men should also use a daily multivitamin supplement to ensure they are getting the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy sperm growth.
Pregnancy Tip #3: Eat a Good Diet
What you put into your body is vital. The foods we eat are the building blocks for everything growing in our body. There is no one diet that has been proven to be better for fertility than any other. So good advice is to eat everything in moderation. A healthy diet contains at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Less junk food and more home-cooked healthy food is ideal.
Avoid artificial chemicals that flavour and colour flood. Choose healthy herbs and spices instead. You do not want vegetables and fruit that have been exposed to large amounts of pesticides. Organic and carefully washed is best. If you choose to eat meat, eat a little less and try to be vegetarian once or twice a week. Fish contains healthy oils, vitamins and minerals and is great in your diet.
Pregnancy Tip #4: Talk to Your Partner!
It takes two to tango! Talk to your partner. A healthy relationship is full of listening and good communication. What do you both want? If you are planning to parent together now is the time to get your relationship strong. Having a baby is hard work, don’t believe anyone who tells you differently. If you have spent time talking together and have similar ideas, then parenting will be a joy and not a battleground.
Pregnancy Tip #5: Don’t Forget to Enjoy Sex!
When you have decided to get pregnant it can alter your sex life. Once you start watching your cycle and deciding when is the best time to have sex, it can become a chore rather than fun. It’s also often unnecessary!
The truth is that sperm live inside a woman’s uterus and tubes for many days. This means that the 48 hours before an egg releases is the best time to have sex. This gives you a full two days to find a time when you are both feeling in the mood. The reality is that sex any time in the week before an egg releases can also lead to a pregnancy. So don’t be hard on yourself. Have a little fun!
Pregnancy Tip #6: Quit Smoking
Everyone, both men and women should stop smoking before pregnancy. Smoking is going to kill you before your time, one way or another, whether it is through cancer, heart disease or damaged lungs. If you’re having a baby, don’t you want to be safely present for your child to grow up and then for their children as well?
If that’s not enough motivation, then remember smoking affects your ability to get a baby. Women should stop smoking to protect their eggs. Women who smoke have eggs that die off more quickly than women who don’t smoke. Quitting smoking is also better for your baby. Women who smoke have higher rates of miscarriage and undergrown babies, as well as more bleeding in pregnancy. Quitting smoking also reduces the chances of losing a new born baby to sudden infant death syndrome (also known as cot death).
Even if the woman does not smoke, if her male partner smokes during her pregnancy, or even in the home with a new born baby, these parents stand a higher chance of losing their baby due to cot death.
And finally, it’s been proven that men who smoke have higher rates of infertility! So, gentlemen, this pregnancy tip is for you (yes we know you’re not the one actually getting pregnant, but still!) quitting smoking will make your sperm more likely to make a baby!
Pregnancy Tip #7: Drink Less Alcohol
Everyone should reduce the amount of alcohol they drink to improve their chance of getting pregnant.
Among other things, drinking alcohol affects the size, shape, and motility of sperm, as well as a man’s actual sperm count. If a man stops drinking within just about three months his sperm will probably improve, so pregnancy chances get better!
Heavy drinking can also affect a woman’s fertility by interfering with hormone levels, the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
The latest research also shows that during pregnancy, it is better to stop drinking alcohol completely for the baby’s safety.
Pregnancy Tip #8: Get to a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight is important both for getting pregnant and for a healthy pregnancy. If you are overweight your chance of getting pregnant is lower. That goes for both men and women. Check your height and weight, then use a BMI (body mass indicator) calculator to see how healthy your weight is.
Women who are overweight, and have a BMI of 37 or higher, confront additional risks during pregnancy. They also have more miscarriages.
You can also have problems getting pregnant if you are underweight. See your doctor to get a review of your body mass index and some advice on how to get to a healthy weight.
Pregnancy Tip #9: Get Vaccinated!
This used to be an easy tip with no controversy. Oh how things have changed! And for no good reason. Vaccines are just as healthy and safe now as they were before COVID came along.
Getting vaccinated will stop some diseases that can really harm you or your baby in pregnancy.
If you catch the Rubella virus (German Measles) in pregnancy it can damage your growing baby, causing brain and other defects. It is easily prevented with the MMR vaccine.
A COVID 19 infection is bad news for pregnant women. The simple truth is that COVID-vaccinated pregnant women are less likely to die from a COVID infection and more likely to have a healthy baby born at the right time. COVID vaccines do not cause any damage to fertility and are safe in pregnancy for the vast majority of women. Talk to your doctor today about becoming COVID-safe with a vaccine.
Pregnancy Tip #10: Drink less Coffee and Caffeine!
Drinking large amounts of coffee (six or more cups a day) may reduce fertility or cause problems in pregnancy. We do not know if it is the caffeine in coffee or something else. The current recommendation is to stay below 250mg of caffeine (one or two cups of coffee) daily and reduce your intake of other caffeinated drinks.
Remember that tea has as much caffeine as coffee. Other hidden sources of caffeine are in soft drinks. So avoid sports drinks and soft drinks containing caffeine, including Coca Cola and Pepsi.
There you have it! Ten simple tips to put you on the road to a happy, healthy pregnancy in 2022! I wish you all the luck in the world.