6 things to consider when trying for a baby

Things to consider when planning for a baby

I think we all take for granted the idea that we can start a family when the right time comes. I know that I never really considered the possibility that trying for a baby might not be so easy, and just always assumed that one day I would have a child.

Things to consider when planning for a baby

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And when the right time did come, as it turned out, we were one of the lucky couples who conceived pretty soon after we started trying – so soon in fact that it was a bit of a surprise! However, I’m under no illusion that getting pregnant is always so straightforward and there are certainly no guarantees when it comes to having any more children.

Out of all of our friends who have had children, or who are trying for a baby, at least half of them have had concerns about the amount of time it’s taken/is taking to conceive. A lot of them have had fertility tests and have received fertility treatment of some sort somewhere along their journey to start a family. Others have gone down the IVF route – thankfully with great success. I think on the whole fertility worries are a lot more common than many people realise and I’m sure it must be hard to stay positive when it seems that everyone around you has children or is getting pregnant.

But if you are trying for a baby – whether it be your first, or your fourth – there are many things to consider that may help to improve your chances. Here, Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director of CREATE Fertility shares her advice.

6 things to consider when trying for a baby

1. Get fertility fit

Exercise is a key factor in improving the quality of your overall health and increasing chances of conception. A study in Obstetrics & Gynaecology concluded that women who exercised daily for 30 minutes or more had a reduced risk of infertility due to ovulation disorders.

The single most important lifestyle factor for fertility is keeping your weight within the optimal BMI range of 20-24. Joining a local slimming group or seeing your doctor to start on a weight loss/weight gain regime are useful ways to start working towards an optimal weight.

2. Improve your diet

Aim for a baby-ready body with small changes to your diet which could increase your fertility. Here are five top tips to incorporate into your diet:

  • Choose slow-release carbs (e.g. whole grains, fruit and veg) over fast-release carbohydrates (white bread/rice, cake)
  • Top up your Omega-3 levels with plenty of fish or, if you are vegetarian, include mango, walnuts, flaxseed and hemp seed in your diet
  • Avoid trans fats and refined sugars (found in processed and fast food)
  • Eat organic and vegetarian where possible
  • Opt for full-fat rather than low-fat dairy products to get the beneficial hormones attached to fat

eat a healthy diet when planning for a baby

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3. Stop smoking and reduce your alcohol intake

The most damaging lifestyle factor, apart from being under or over weight, is smoking, so stub out that cigarette! Research shows that smoking can also be linked to early menopause in women and damaged sperm in men. It is also time to cut down on other vices, as it’s recommended that alcohol and caffeine consumption are reduced to maintain optimum fertility levels.  

4. Consider your age

It is important to remember that fertility declines over time, so it is best not to leave it too late. The decline in fertility begins around the age of 32 and becomes more rapid at 35 until by age 40, fertility has halved. At 30 there is a 20% chance of falling pregnant naturally per cycle, this falls to 5% by age 40 and 1% at age 45.

5. Research your family’s medical history

Ask your mum about her age of menopause, as this will be highly relevant to you. If it occurred before 45 years old you should think about getting your egg reserve checked. The best tests are an ovarian follicle count (called antral follicle count or AFC), done by an ultrasound scan, and an AMH blood test, which taken together will give you the information you need.

6. De-stress

De-stress when trying for a baby

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Trying for a baby can be stressful, especially if it’s taking longer than expected. A healthy mind promotes a healthy body, so aim to de-stress and relax. Take part in activities which promote positive thinking, including:

  • Doing light exercise
  • Massage
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Walks in the countryside
  • Bubble baths

If you’re thinking about having a baby, then do start by thinking about these recommended steps before looking into having expensive treatments. For further clarification and a fertility diagnosis, a ‘one-stop fertility MOT’ can help to either offer reassurance of your fertility health or provide direction in what help your body may need in falling pregnant.

Are you trying for a baby? Did you conceive early on or did it take some time? Have you had fertility treatment?

Disclosure: Article written in collaboration with CREATE Fertility Clinic


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25 Comment

  1. Shiv kumar
    July 9, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Wow, thanks I’m Searching for this article

  2. charlotte
    July 9, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    These are all very good points to consider, we took for granted how quickly we fell pregnant with our first, after two weeks we found out we were expecting. It led us into failsafe hope with the next babies, it took 18months to conceive second and 3 years to conceive third. Diet, exercise, weight and general fitness had a large part to play in it #thelist

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 12, 2016 at 11:18 am

      That’s interesting – we were quick to conceive with our first too, but I have a hunch that if we were to try for a second it would take a little longer. I think when you get pregnant quickly first time around you definitely take it for granted that it will be as easy in the future. x

  3. Emilie
    July 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    It took us 2 years to conceive our first child. Now trying for baby number 2 and hoping it won’t be as long. I’ll have to make more of an effort to do some exercise every day! x
    Emilie recently posted…Toddler Tips – 5 Ways to Deprive your Parents of SleepMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 12, 2016 at 11:17 am

      It is hard to make lifestyle changes – especially when you can’t see immediate results! I struggle so much with exercise! x

  4. Leslie Rickerby / Messy Blog
    July 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Lots of insightful stuff here. It took us about a year to conceive last time and I’m now 33 so definitley lots to consider for our next one when the time comes. Thanks for sharing
    Leslie Rickerby / Messy Blog recently posted…Messy Me reviewMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 12, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Glad it’s helpful, and good luck when you try for your next one! We are considering a second but we will have to wait and see I guess 🙂

  5. You Baby Me Mummy
    July 14, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Such great tips. I turned into crazy baby lady when we were trying. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…‘The 90s Tag’ – #VlogStars #14My Profile

  6. Fran Back With A Bump
    July 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    This is a great post. It took me ages to conceive with Oliver, over 6 months, but miraculously it only took about 2 with Poppy. We were both shocked. That said I was probably the healthiest and fittest I’d ever been so that could well have helped. #kcacols

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 20, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Fran. It is strange how it can vary so much for couples

  7. Joanne Mallon
    July 18, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I think that there is really no such thing as the absolute right time to have a baby – there will always be factors for and against at any age. But not leaving it too late is probably the most important. Just because many more women are having babies in their forties doesn’t mean that they are becoming more fertile then – it just means that more people are choosing to have babies then. Fertility really hasn’t changed that much. It’s a social change, not a biological one.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post #KCACOLS
    Joanne Mallon recently posted…Beets BLU Body Composition Smart ScaleMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I do think it is a big risk leaving it too late. I’ve read quite a few articles about it recently so I think people are becoming more aware of the fact. But time (and age) really does creep by fast!

  8. Single Mum Speaks
    July 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Interesting and informative post, although having had IVF, I am a bit of an expert in this area! I didn’t try naturally at all, as I had no partner to try with, although having conceived naturally and miscarried in the past, I knew it was possible. I would love to try for a baby naturally in the future, but will have to keep praying for the elusive partner to come along before it’s too late! #KCACOLS
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…Caravan Holidays: Bucolic Idyll or Hell on Earth?My Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 20, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Good for you for doing it alone! It’s fantastic what IVF can offer today – so glad it worked out for you. I’m sure that elusive partner will come along when you’re least expecting it! X

  9. laura dove
    July 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Very informative post. I underwent years of fertility treatment for my first two children and multiple miscarriages for my third. I think that the most important thing for me was to RELAX, I actually relaxed so much afterwards that I fell pregnant with baby four and five whilst on the pill!! #KCACOLS
    laura dove recently posted…For Joseph, on your 10th birthday.My Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Wow that’s crazy! Other people have been saying that’s been the most important thing for them too. What a journey you had! X

  10. Savannah
    July 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I think this is an excellent article! We were lucky enough to conceive our son on the very first try and I think sometimes I take that for granted. When I was pregnant, there were so many people in my birth group who needed assistance in conceiving their own child that it really shocked me. I had no idea that so many people struggled with fertility, and it truly is a wake-up call. These are some great tips-I know one lady who was told she would NEVER have children. She’d had several failed IUIs, and even tried a round of failed IVF. After a remarkable change in her diet, she’s now conceived TWO children completely naturally-it really is a wonder! Thanks for sharing <3 #KCACOLS
    Savannah recently posted…How He’s Raised Turns OneMy Profile

  11. the frenchie mummy
    July 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

    All your points are so true! People sometimes wonder why it’s not working out and the solution can be simple. The last one is so important. When we were trying for Baba I was so obsessed with it, doing fertility tests all the time. As soon as I stopped worrying about it, it happened! #KCACOLS
    the frenchie mummy recently posted…The Daddy Tag Challenge #TheDaddyTagMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 20, 2016 at 10:51 am

      I hear that from so many people – they decide not to obsess and then suddenly they’re pregnant! It can be so hard to switch off from it though x

  12. The Unsung Mum
    July 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Yep I didn’t have a clue how long it would take. First time round it took a year and a half! The month we did finally get preg was the month we gave up, just went on hols and didn’t take my temp or whatever. We just lived. Best thing we ever did! Second time round I didn’t go back on the pill but I was BF. When gave up when she was 1 but didn’t really think about it. When I did finally find out we where 14 weeks gone! Whoops! #KCACOLS

  13. OddHogg
    July 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    De-stress is one I’d never really considered – but I guess its actually really important! #KCACOLS

  14. Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    July 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Lovely, useful post. I got lucky with both my children and conceived really quickly. I do worry though that, if we do try for a third, it might be harder. Nice to know all these things you can try to give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving. x #KCACOLS
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…Living arrows 28/52 and 29/52My Profile

  15. bread
    July 22, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Good advice. I know it can be hard if not impossible for people but yo can’t get IVF on the NHS until you’ve exhausted all other possibilities. #kcacols

  16. Geraldine
    July 27, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Fantastic post. It’s easy to think galling pregnant is simple but it can be a real struggle for some. Your tips are simple strightforward but very real. Simple changechanges like these genuinely can make all the difference. I’m featuring this post in The Blogging Best tomorrow. I’ll tweet you when it’s up #KCACOLS
    Geraldine recently posted…In Conversation With: Simply Felt IrelandMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

      Thanks Geraldine glad you think it’s useful. Thanks for sharing I’ll look forward to seeing it featured x

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