It is always better for an expectant mother to undergo wellness preparation for conception than not to do so. This means a lot for the health of the offspring. Lack of minerals and vitamins, low immunity, poor health create not only a bad background for conception, but also for bearing a fetus. A child of such a mother can be born prematurely, lagging behind in development, with congenital pathologies caused by a lack of substances during the formation of organs and the nervous system.
The healthier a mother is, the healthier her offspring will be. This statement is as true from the point of view of medicine as it is from the point of view of simple logic. Pregnancy, although it belongs to natural physiological processes, is at the same time a serious stress for the body. To cope with this stress, the female body is created with a certain “margin of safety”. But the lifestyle characteristic of our time, poor ecology, poor quality food from supermarkets – all this at once can negate the very health benefits inherited from nature. Therefore, it is necessary at least six months before the planned pregnancy to come to a lifestyle in which the body is restored, and the woman herself blooms.
Where to start preparing for pregnancy?
There are many opinions and many programs have been developed to prepare women for pregnancy. But not every time these programs touch on the topic of sexual intercourse, although it is directly related to women’s health. Frequent change of sexual partners and sex with them without a condom is likely to bring various sexual infections, which subsequently affect the health of the fetus. The problem lies not so much in the transfer of the infections themselves, but in the suppression of the authentic microflora of the vagina. The introduction of “foreign” microorganisms almost always causes a bacterial imbalance, which in turn leads to a weakening of the immune barrier, which prevents the development of many infections. As a result, a woman who gains experience in changing partners runs the risk of contracting gynecological diseases at the most crucial moment. Therefore, one of the first rules of preparing for the birth of a child is the choice of a permanent partner and the mutual loyalty of the married couple.
Answering the question “where to start?”, It is necessary to touch upon the topic “when?”. It is believed that the most favorable period for the conception of the first child is the age of 18-24 years. During this period, the woman’s body is at the peak of its reproductive capabilities, so pregnancy is more likely to occur, and gestation with childbirth is smoother. But this does not mean that after 24 years, time for motherhood is lost. Unfortunately, the tendency towards late decisions to have children has been characteristic of most of humanity since the end of the twentieth century.
Survey. A very correct, deliberate step for the expectant mother can be a medical examination, which will give an overall picture of the state of her body. To do this, you need to make an appointment with a gynecologist or a children’s consultation. After the conversation, the doctor will draw up an individual examination program, which will take into account the age of the expectant mother, past and chronic diseases (if any), and other characteristics of the body. It is imperative to rule out infections of the genitourinary system in order to avoid treatment during pregnancy, which could harm the fetus. It is necessary to pass a smear for flora, STIs and bacterial culture from the cervical canal, even if there are no manifestations. You also need to have an idea of the condition of the pelvic organs. For this, an ultrasound examination (ultrasound) is prescribed.
It is imperative to donate blood for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C, even if you are sure that you are not sick, as the infection can be latent. The presence of these diseases radically changes the program of preparation for pregnancy. Such tests are repeated before childbirth, but it is much better to know about them in advance. There are techniques that allow you to safely carry out a pregnancy and produce healthy offspring. This applies to both HIV infection and hepatitis C.
How can a couple prepare for conception?
Both parents need to prepare for the appearance of a child. Most of the activities will concern the woman, since she is carrying a child. But the health of the offspring depends on the man to the same extent. The higher the quality of its genetic material, the lower the likelihood of congenital anomalies in the fetus. In addition, conception itself can occur only if there are sufficiently motile spermatozoa with the correct morphology. To determine these indicators, a spermogram is taken.
How the lifestyle should change. Future parents may not change their lifestyle at all if it was previously healthy for them. Moderate physical activity, regular exercise or some kind of active sport, balanced diet, minimum stress, hygiene, cleanliness in sexual relations – that is, in principle, all that is required for health and the production of viable offspring.
Psychological aspect . If a couple decides to have offspring and does everything together, then she has the highest chances of giving birth to a healthy child. When spouses do everything together, then they have an idyll in the relationship. In this case, the woman’s anxiety factor disappears. She does not have to worry about, for example, why her husband is absent for a long time and does not answer the phone. Even such stress is best avoided both in the preparatory stage and during the very gestation. It is known that in women who are carefully preparing to become a mother, psychosomatic disorders practically do not happen, because she did everything necessary, and therefore is calm for herself.
Nutrition. A woman and a man who are planning to have a joint child are advised to change their diet by removing all “empty” foods from it and introducing all that useful that will increase the couple’s fertility and strengthen the parental organisms.
It is important for a woman to stock up on as many vitamins and minerals as possible, strengthen the skeleton, and improve overall immunity. This is for the most part its preparation. Preference should be given not to pharmacy complexes, but to natural products. Moderate consumption of natural juices, as well as an abundance of vegetables and fruits in the diet, raw and processed in a gentle way, will show a positive effect in a few days. On the table must be fish, a variety of lean meat, nuts, herbs, vegetable oils with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids (unrefined olive, flaxseed, canola).
If a woman is overweight, then her diet will require correction towards a decrease in the proportion of carbohydrates. But one diet with weight will not work. Regular physical activity is required. You can’t lose weight dramatically. It is necessary to count on weight loss at the level of 10-15 kg in six months.
A man should also monitor his own weight, as obesity has a negative effect on sperm quality and increases the risk of endocrine disorders. Zinc is very important for enhancing spermogenesis. This trace element is found in abundance in pumpkin seeds, so you need to introduce this product into the diet (it is enough to eat a small handful of unroasted seeds per day). Pumpkin and melon seed oils are also rich in zinc. They can be used to season vegetable salads, which will enrich their taste. Good for men’s health and products such as nuts, sea fish and shellfish, lean meat, bananas, garlic.
Alcohol and tobacco smoking. These two things are definitely harmful to health, and therefore are contraindicated for couples who are preparing to become parents. If the spouses refuse alcohol and cigarettes at least for the duration of the preparatory period and the pregnancy itself, then this will only benefit them. But a very moderate use of high-quality alcoholic beverages at the stage of preparation for conception is still acceptable. Many foreign authors write about this, moreover, in the tradition of a number of European countries, the use of wine, and there is no increase in congenital anomalies associated with exposure to small doses of alcohol. We are not talking about drinking wine every day, but if the expectant mother drinks a glass of wine for the holiday, then nothing terrible will happen from this. Another thing is strong drinks in significant doses and other abuse.
Both women and men are advised to give up cigarettes. The complex of substances contained in tobacco smoke weaken the body, have a bad effect on spermogenesis and the maturation of eggs. These substances are fixed in almost all tissues and biological fluids, including amniotic fluid.
Cleansing the body. This concept is misunderstood by many people. They think something needs to be cleaned. But the body has built-in self-cleaning mechanisms. He just needs not to interfere with doing it. It is impossible to “cleanse” the liver or kidneys with any manipulations or courses of medication. But to create such conditions under which the regeneration of organ tissues will occur qualitatively. This is the true cleansing of the body.
Unfortunately, many popular cleaning methods do not work, and some of them are even harmful. In the preparatory stage for conception, one should not perform dubious procedures, such as taking oil to “cleanse the liver” or prescribing diuretics to “flush” the kidneys. All cleansing activities should be reduced to the organization of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced and varied diet, physical education, walks in the fresh air, a favorable emotional background.
Taking contraception and planning a pregnancy
Modern pharmacological oral contraceptives do not affect a woman’s overall fertility. They prevent pregnancy while taking them. The ovaries recover the ability to ovulate very soon after drug withdrawal. For most, the ability to become pregnant fully recovers within 2-3 months after stopping hormonal contraception. There is an effect when COCs are canceled, when in the first cycles of drug withdrawal, the likelihood of getting pregnant increases due to the hormonal surge. For this purpose, a hormonal contraceptive is sometimes specially prescribed in order to increase the chances of conception on cancellation. But at the present time they refuse it and do not use it because more often there are other reasons for the absence of pregnancy and the use of hormonal drugs turns out to be unreasonable. In rare cases, after withdrawal, amenorrhea occurs – a condition in which there is no menstruation. It can last for six or more months and occurs, as a rule, against the background of hidden pathologies of the reproductive system. This problem is more common in women of early and late reproductive age and affects about 2% of those taking contraception.
To guarantee that the female body can restore ovulatory ability, oral contraceptive drugs should be discontinued 2-3 months before the planned pregnancy. It is advisable to do this sooner rather than later, since these drugs impair the absorption of some important vitamins, in particular C and A, reducing the body’s recovery capabilities during the period of preparation for conception and bearing a child.
Physical and emotional aspects of preparation
You don’t have to be a champion in any sport to have a healthy baby. But women who regularly visit fitness rooms are easier to tolerate pregnancy and childbirth. This is due not so much to their physical capabilities, but to their higher immunity and the correct functioning of the endocrine system. Exceptions may apply only to those women who are involved in strength sports, as well as those who seek to get in shape with maximum relief. Excess muscle mass and lack of adipose tissue adversely affect the hormonal profile, shifting it towards the male side. This can lead to decreased fertility.
Women who are professionally involved in sports and are considering the prospects for having a child should reduce the load during the period of preparation for motherhood. In doing so, they should pay more attention to diet and weight change. Adipose tissue builds up quite quickly, but excess weight cannot be allowed.
Moderate physical activity has a beneficial effect on the emotional background. This can be swimming, gymnastics, tennis, aerobics, cycling, and other activities that combine moderate strength training and cardio.
For the expectant mother, inner peace and confidence in the successful outcome of childbirth is extremely important. Excessive enthusiasm during this period for obstetric and gynecological medical literature can cause states of fear, anxiety, up to neuroses. Therefore, expectant mothers should know the main thing about pregnancy and childbirth, without trying to delve into medical details. Better to enjoy nature, listen to birdsong and good music, take walks in the fresh air, read books.
How to increase the likelihood of conception
All preparatory measures that are recommended to be performed by future parents are aimed, among other things, at increasing their fertility. But even the healthiest couple in terms of reproduction cannot, with a 100 percent guarantee, conceive a child whenever they want. This requires the coincidence of many conditions.
Conception can only occur during ovulation, when a mature egg is in the path of sperm. Accordingly, if you have intercourse in the middle of the menstrual cycle, then the probability of conception will be the highest. In this case, the condition of the sperm plays an important role. With a high frequency of intercourse, the concentration of sperm and the volume of ejaculate itself decreases below the critical norm. The maximum sperm concentration is reached after three days of abstinence. But with daily intercourse or performed every other day, the level of male germ cells, normal for conception, remains. On the part of a man, maintaining high fertility requires consuming enough foods containing zinc and increasing the proportion of protein and vitamins in the diet.
With the help of ovulation tests, you can find out when the egg leaves the follicle. A few days after ovulation is the window for conception. This happens in the middle of the cycle, but there are also deviations in one and the other direction.
It is not recommended to independently resort to medications that stimulate follicle growth and ovulation. The active ingredients of these drugs are female sex hormones. Before taking such medications, you need to make sure that hormone therapy is appropriate and safe in this case. Such appointments should be made exclusively by a doctor, based on the results of a woman’s examination.