This journey starts off exciting and exhilarating, as you have decided to become parents after years of trying not to be! The first couple months sex is fun, you think that getting pregnant should be easy. But after each month another period shows up and you start to question the process. So how do you pinpoint the best day(s) to get pregnant? Well… did you know that 1 in 6 couples struggle with getting pregnant. Anxiety starts to set in and you realize that you have less control than you thought you’d have becoming pregnant. Follow these 5 steps to help increase your chances to become pregnant

Understand Your Menstrual Cycle

When I was trying to pinpoint my best days to get pregnant and I had downloaded an Ovulation App to my phone. This can be a basic guide but I wouldn’t recommend it as it probably won’t be completely accurate, as every woman’s body is different. There are many important facts about the menstrual cycle that you should be aware of if you are trying to conceive. Basal temperatures change, your discharge changes, hormones change, moods change. It is really good to pay attention to each detail of your cycle to better understand when it is that you are actually ovulating. Print out a chart or calendar and record these changes and when they occur. If you miss having intercourse around your ovulation then you have just missed your best chance to become pregnant! To learn more about your menstrual cycle and get help knowing when you are ovulating I would recommend talking to your doctor.

Reduce Stress

Each time another menstrual cycle shows up it becomes a feeling of loss and disappointment. With each passing month anxiety levels and stress may go up. According to studies, the higher the stress in a women’s life the less likely she will be able to become pregnant. Studies have shown that higher levels of stress can cause irregular periods, decrease reproductive hormones, increased cortisol levels & divert blood away from the reproductive organs.

What you can do to help overcome stress.

Yoga Stretch the body and release negative energy, take a class or practice at home. Breathe and Meditate  Even if it is for a few minutes, when you feel the anxiety coming on just take a moment to yourself and take a couple deep breaths. We tend to be shallow breathers, so this will feel great getting more oxygen into your body. Make sure to exhale and breathe all the stale air out, so with the next breath you get a fresh lung full of air. Put your attention to your breath to calm the mind. Take time for Yourself Spend 30 minutes doing something you love. Take your mind off your stress and divert it. Need some ideas? Take a bubble bath, go shopping, read a book, listen to music and dance, watch tv, go for a walk, have coffee with a friend… Exercise Exercise is so important just to maintain a healthy, happy life, PLUS it is another great stress reducer! When you look better you feel better, so it is great not only for your body but your mind as well. There are so many forms of exercise, try different things until you find something you really enjoy! Here are some options to try; gym membership, personal training, outdoor group fitness classes, seasonal winter sports or summer sports (kayaking, swimming, hiking, skiing). You want to try to incorporate both strength and cardio training and avoid high intensity or vigorous training. There are some exercises that can help with infertility, therefore look to see if there is an infertility fitness specialist in your area.

Drink Water & Eat Healthy

Staying healthy is really important during the time you are trying to get pregnant. Stay hydrated! Drink before you feel thirsty, and always have water easily accessible. Here are a couple great mixtures that may help you to drink more! Watermelon & Mint, Basil & Strawberry, Lemon, Cucumber & Mint or Cucumber & Lemon. Try to drink 8-12 cups everyday. Many of us eat poorly because of convenience or lack of knowledge, so here are a couple great tips to follow:

Don’t Skip Breakfast, Eat Within 1 Hour of Waking Up and Try to Avoid Carbs.

Breakfast Ideas-Oatmeal & fresh berries or sliced banana, scrambled eggs with salsa and sliced avocado, fruit smoothie with protein powder, coconut yogurt with sliced banana and granola.

Snack More and Eat Smaller Meals.

Try to eat 5 times a day; snack between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner. This way you don’t feel like you are starving and overeat at dinner. Before you dish up seconds wait 10 minutes and try drinking a glass of water before you start eating. Snack Ideas-Sliced apples with all natural peanut butter, unsalted almonds, veggies & dip, fruit salad, bean salad.

Meal Plan & Prep.

This takes time but also saves time and poor eating. Plan your meals for the week, create a grocery list (this also helps you to avoid impulse purchases at the grocery store), take the time to wash and prep fruit and veggies when you get home. This only takes about 30 minutes but will save you time in the end!

Lifestyle Choices

When is the right time to become pregnant? For so many of us we wait until we think the timing is perfect. Maybe our career is booming, a wedding is coming up, or planned vacation, thus you put off becoming pregnant until the exact moment seems right to get pregnant. Then BAM we expect it to happen. Then when you start trying, you start to put things off. As time goes on you get emotional, depressed, and feel like you are the only one going through this and how can this be?? You start to wonder if there is something wrong with you. These are all normal thoughts, most women just don’t discuss them.

Here is a list of common lifestyle situations that may occur and ways to overcome them;

Putting your life on HOLD You delay that vacation, surgery, etc just incase you become pregnant. More disappointment will occur if you do just that; it is much better to carry on and have to make adjustments rather then miss out or put off. WORK You don’t take that promotion with work, change career paths or other things that may arise. Ask yourself, would you have made the same decision if you were not trying to conceive? Weigh the pros and cons of your choices by righting it down on paper. Holidays, Birth Announcements, Baby Showers… you avoid going to friends’ baby showers, a deep yearning overwhelms you when you see other pregnant women, holidays become emotional, guilt may creep in. Every woman handles these situations differently but try to confide in someone you trust and talk about how you feel. Better not to bottle in your emotions, and it is OK to go through and feel these emotions. Relationship Your relationship may struggle, sex starts to feel like a chore, you blame your partner and so on. Try to remember why you decided to have kids, why you fell in love, and enjoy SEX. Make a date out of the night. Buy some sexy lingerie, get your hair done; don’t let the passion fizzle. My son is turning 3 in August 2015. It took me 3 years to conceive him; the month that I stopped ‘trying’ and kind of gave up was the month he was conceived. Enjoy the process, enjoy the sex, and don’t make it about just getting a ‘deposit’. Follow these steps and it will help you through your own journey with becoming pregnant. Please share this with any friends that may be trying to pinpoint the best days to get pregnant. If you want to know more about my journey and struggle with trying to conceive you can comment or contact me through the links provided with any more questions you may have. Best of luck.