Starting A Family? Your Preparation Guide
When you choose to start a family (if you choose), there are so many things to consider. Aside from financial comfort, adequate lodgings, supportive employment and so on, our health needs to be in tip-top shape. And not just women, even though she will be the carrying the baby, men also need to ensure that his health is at its optimum before the long journey to The Egg.
Do’s and Don’ts for Her & for Him
Deciding to have a child is a life-altering choice. Your time is no longer fully yours, spontaneity becoming a thing of the past. You have extra stress with money, household chores, and The Future. You will find yourself planning things 6 months in advance, and don’t say you won’t, because you will.
✓If you have a social life that includes regular trips to the bar or glasses of wine with friends then you will have to reconsider this. Sure, being a parent doesn’t stop you from living your life, but the first few years should be dedicated to Baby. Baby will certainly be taking all of your energy anyway!
✓Try to find new habits before you conceive. Outdoor activities, exercising, meditation - these are all really good also for preparing the body and mind for the emotionally taxing years to come (exercise especially for her for when labor day comes, and I don’t mean the first Monday of September!)
✓You should be alcohol and cigarette free for at least 6 months before conception (You should stop smoking anyway!) and begin to eat healthily if you don’t already. You want your child in the best health so ensure that the “ingredients” are of the best quality also.
✓Find good childminding facilities and book as early as they will allow. If you both decide to work after Baby is born you will need to have adequate child care. A facility or someone to come to your home. You do not want to do this in a rush. You want someone who will be excellent for the development of your child, but also someone with whom you share the same ethics and child-rearing ideas. The same with kindergartens and schools. Will you go public or private or homeschool? These are decisions that need time and attention, so give it.
✓Stop all contraception about 3 months before you hope to get pregnant, but it could still happen after day 1 so be prepared! Find out what your natural menstruation cycle is and “get busy” from 5 days prior to the window of opportunity opens. The easiest way I found to track my cycle was by using the app Clue
✓Explain to all family members (and in-laws) your plan for your child. If you don’t want your child eating unhealthy food, say it to them beforehand. If you don’t want your child watching screens, say it to them. Communication is very important early on to avoid upset.
✗Don’t party while trying to conceive!
✗Don’t say you want a baby when you really don’t (psychology can play a huge role in his or her conceiving ability)
✗Don’t leave Baby alone with the family pet, no matter how much you love this ball of fur. Animals get jealous, it can take some time for adaption to be fully complete.
✗Don’t place Baby in a situation or with a person if YOU are not comfortable with it. You are the parent after all.
✗Don’t post too many Baby updates on your social media, many people have difficulties conceiving and it could upset them.
Top Vitamins For Her
A woman wishing to have a baby needs to prepare her body for childbearing. That includes its nutritional outfit. While Baby is growing inside s/he will suck all the nutrients. It is common to lose hair, gain dark patches on the skin, skin tags, water retention, swelling, and even loss of teeth have been recorded. Nature can be cruel but just think of these symptoms as little sacrifices to ensure a perfect baby.
You will need about twice the amount of iron than usual while you are pregnant. This is because it is you who are supplying the blood and oxygen to Baby and if you give your Iron (of which you don’t really have a choice) you could end up with an Iron deficiency for yourself. New parents need their energy.
Otherwise known as Vitamin B9 this is an incredibly important vitamin for the positive growth of your baby's brain and spinal cord. It is advised for women to take this vitamin the moment they know they want to start a family. Not every woman does this though, often only taking the vitamin when they discover they’re pregnant.
The be all and end all of vitamins, in my opinion. As a muscle relaxant and cramp reliever, it is great while ovulating to get pregnant, and also during pregnancy, it is good to control mood swings and to relieve those pesky calf cramps. It is also a very smooth anxiety fighter while we suffer pregnancy nerves.
Top Vitamins For Him
To ensure his ‘swimmers’ are in optimal health it is important for him also to be good health, body, mind, and spirit. The man in the situation needs to be a rock for the pregnant woman. He needs to understand that her emotions will be unstable and what she needs most of all is a man who is understanding (even if he doesn't/can't understand) and supportive. Ever heard of dads-to-be doing late-night ice-cream runs? That’s what I mean.
Saw Palmetto is a plant found in the US and was traditionally used by Native Americans of the southeastern United States. In the early 20th-century health practitioners used the berries to treat urinary tract problems and increase sperm production. Also known to enhance stamina and endurance ‘behind closed doors’.
This is a great vitamin anyway. Bone health, immune system boosting, and also encouraging sperm activity! If your swimmers are lazy then consider taking Vitamin C before you plan to have a baby.
This is an incredibly overlooked vitamin important for both men and women. While it is good for her during pregnancy, it is also good for him pre-conception to help balance testosterone levels and to also encourage his ‘member’ if he doesn’t ‘stand up’ often enough.
A good idea is for you and your partner to start your preparation together. That way you both can encourage and support each other in taking your vitamins on time and eating correctly. Of course, there are reasons beyond vitamin deficiency which prevent natural conception. And as always speak to your main healthcare provider when you decide to take this beautiful step in life.