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Five Health Changes to Make If You're Trying to Conceive

Five Health Changes to Make If You're Trying to Conceive

If the urge to become a mom is in your not-too-distant future, here are some healthy changes you should make before you even think about becoming pregnant.

  1. Get at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily. This B vitamin helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Great sources of folic acid include citrus fruits, asparagus, broccoli, beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables like spinach. Enriched foods such as cereals and pastas are also good sources. If you're having a hard time obtaining enough from your diet, then take a folic acid supplement.
  2. Work on improving your overall health. Start watching what you eat, get enough sleep, ditch cigarettes if you smoke, and limit your alcohol consumption. Also make sure to start exercising regularly. Doctors don't recommend increasing your exercise routine too dramatically once you're preggers, so it's best to start before the baby is on its way. Regular exercise will strengthen your body and your immune system, and also help you maintain a healthy body weight during and after pregnancy.

To see the other healthy changes you should make


  1. Take steps to control the stress in your life. Stress can affect your menstrual cycle, so if you're having a work-related problem or an issue in your life, ovulation may be delayed or not happen at all, which will make pregnancy impossible. So figure out what you can and can't do so that you're not putting more on your plate than you can handle. Set limits with yourself and others, and remind yourself that it's OK to say no to requests for your time and energy. If you need to seek help in dealing with stress, make an appointment with a therapist or a life coach.
  2. Get checked for hepatitis B and C and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some STIs can affect your ability to conceive, can cause miscarriages and other issues during pregnancy, or they can be passed on to your baby.
  3. Discuss your meds you take with your doc. Go over all the prescription, over-the-counter medicine, and herbal supplements you take to make sure they're safe to use while you're trying to conceive or during pregnancy.


Join The Conversation
cali_student cali_student 8 years
Thanks Spectra! That's interesting info...
Spectra Spectra 8 years
cali_student: dairy cattle are fed a VERY high calcium diet and farmers have to be very careful that their cows are getting enough of it. Otherwise, they can get really sick from low blood calcium levels.
cali_student cali_student 8 years
That's a good point about the calcium! I never thought about it until now, but duh, where does the calcium in breast milk come from? Does that mean drinking cow's milk is contributing to a poor cow getting weaker bones?
kia kia 8 years
I am also in the TTC club within the next year. I just read "What to Eat Before, During, and After Pregnancy" by Judith Brown. Not a bad book and provided a lot of references for the material it went through.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I've never heard that about full fat products, Spectra. I have heard that it's important to get in healthy fats (as always), but not that you had to get those fats from dairy.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've done all these things, and yet i don't know what my problem is trying to conceive. i think that i'm just destined to not have an easy time with things. i've seriously thought about seeing a fertillity dr since i haven't gotten my period in ages either. i'm guessing that's the reason that things aren't going so well.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Thanks for the tips, Fit! My husband and I will be TTC in the next year and I'm trying to prep my body now for having a baby. Another thing to maybe add to the list is to be sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D, both before and during your pregnancy. Otherwise, the baby will rob your body of calcium and you could end up with weaker teeth and possible osteoporosis. Also, has anyone heard anything about full fat dairy products helping with conception? I had heard there were studies done, but I was wondering if anyone else had read about this too.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
Thank you so much for this article! We plan to start trying for our first child after the first of the year and I've been wondering about this very topic.
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