9 Things to Do BEFORE Trying to Conceive
Mommy,  Pregnancy Series

9 Things to Do Before Trying to Conceive

This October Mommy Engineering is launching a new series about Pregnancy!  This week we cover the things you should do before trying to conceive with a FREE PRINTABLE! 

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It’s a big decision when a couple decides that it’s time to start a family.  Congratulations!  Family Planning can be an exciting time for both parents-to-be!  My hope is that you have a successful conception with these tips I’ve outlined below because it can be equally exciting and stressful, maybe even intimidating.

9 Things to Do BEFORE Trying to Conceive

9 Things to Do Before Trying to Conceive + Infographic

  • Consult with your doctor: Schedule a visit to your family doctor & Gynecologist and:
    • Get a wellness check
    • Go over your family histories
    • Go over your medical histories
    • Address any other concerns you may have
  • Start taking Prenatal Vitamins every day
    • How to Choose a Prenatal Vitamin: There are several kinds of prenatal vitamins you can take and it’s best to consult your doctor/OB/Gynecologist on the best one FOR YOU.  In general, there are certain vitamins and minerals your prenatal must have (source):
      • 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
      • 400 IU of vitamin D
      • 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium
      • 70 mg of vitamin C
      • 3 mg of thiamine
      • 2 mg of riboflavin
      • 20 mg of niacin
      • 6 mcg of vitamin B12
      • 10 mg of vitamin E
      • 15 mg of zinc
      • 17 mg of iron
      • 150 micrograms of iodine
    • Your doctor would know your medical history and know if you need a prescription prenatal vitamin depending on your body’s needs.  Over-the-Counter prenatal vitamins are the go-to source and your doctor can help you decide on one as well.  There are organic & vegan options for prenatal vitamins as well (Source).  
  • Stop Taking your Birth Control: I’ve researched a few different sources and found that information varies on how long it takes for your body to be cleared of the hormones from birth control.  It varies among birth control methods but on average it takes about 30 days and up to a few months before your body returns to its’ natural ovulation cycle (source).  This is important when you’re trying to determine your ovulation period.  You may not be able to figure out your ovulation period for some time after stopping birth control.

  • Quit Smoking: You might have heard this many times already but studies show that smoking does impact fertility.  Fertility does improve after a person quits smoking and you should quit smoking at least 30 days prior to trying to conceive but some research states you should wait 3-4 months.
    • For men who smoke, they usually have a lower sperm count and also risk damaging their sperm.
    • For women who smoke, it can take longer to conceive (source).
  • Quit Drinking:  For men and women who drink more than the recommended daily alcohol limit can damage your fertility.  Furthermore, during pregnancy there is no safe time period (of any trimester) or safe amount that you can have alcohol.  Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to damaging a baby’s development (source).
  • Minimize your Caffeine Intake: Although there is no conclusive evidence to show that drinking caffeine when trying to conceive affects your fertility, they do recommend that while pregnant, you should not drink more than 200 mg of caffeine a day.  Therefore if you’re an avid coffee drinker, starting to minimize your caffeine intake during the conception period may be helpful (source).
  • Get More Sleep:  Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night when you’re trying to conceive here’s why:
    • Melatonin, the hormone in your body that regulates your sleep/wake cycle, also can help protect eggs from damage.
    • Leptin is another hormone in your body that plays a role in ovulation and low levels of this hormone can cause irregular menstrual cycles (source).
  • Establish an Exercise Routine:  Having an exercise routine in place before actually getting pregnant will help you when you are pregnant and onto labor and delivery.  Your body will undergo many changes and it’s important to strengthen your body.

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  • Quit Taking Certain Prescription Drugs:  There are some prescription drugs that can effect your fertility or your ability to conceive.  Consult your doctor before abruptly stopping any drugs.
    • Drugs that effect male fertility:  Replacement testosterone, anabolic steroids, opiates/narcotics, alpha blockers, some antibiotics and drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, SSRI anti-depressants, and fungal infections.
    • Drugs that effect female fertility or ability to conceive: Prescription or Over-The-Counter NSAIDS (Motrin or Advil), herbal remedies, SSRI anti-depressants, anti-epileptic, thyroid medication, and skin products with estrogen or progesterone.

Make sure to do these things before you start trying to conceive to increase your chances of success!
Don’t forget to download the FREE checklist infographic below!

9 Thngs to Do BEFORE TTC

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Wife, Stay at Home Mom of two boys, and blogger. Friends and family call me Kaye but my personal favorite is "Mom." I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be at home with my two baby boys. As an engineer by career, and stay-at-home mom by choice, I write about how to “Invent. Innovate. Design. Mommyhood” and what that entails.

  • Dada KS

    These advises are really important for anyone trying to conceive! Especially quit smoking and drinking part…and the birthcontrol ofcourse!😊 Our came after three month which is I heard is very normal.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      3 months is normal! It takes our body some time to adjust! Thanks for the visit!

  • Ellen Fowler

    Having had trouble conceiving, these are great tips. I wish I had slowly started weening myself from caffeine intake from the trying stage. I think prenatals are also a great idea to start early!

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      I am so glad I wasn’t too much into coffee when I was TTC! I’m glad you liked these tips and found them useful! How long were you trying to conceive before actually getting pregnant?

  • Chantal

    Very good tips, had my first been planned I would have definitely done these ahead of time.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      My second wasn’t planned and came as a total surprise since it took a long time for me to get pregnant the first time! Thanks for visiting!

  • Tiara Johnson

    These are great tips! Fortunately enough for me (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) I’m pretty sure my husband just looks at me and I get pregnant Lol.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      LOL! That’s so cute! It’s great to have such love your husband <3 Thanks for visiting!

  • Patsy Janette Kilgore

    Before my daughter. I naturally did these things on my own. For myself and her. 💕

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      So glad you did! It’s all good steps in the right direction in better health anyway!

  • Rebecca Timmins

    Great tips. I think Mums to be often forget about the pre conception care and just think about what they will do once pregnant. x

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      I remember only thinking about prenatals when I was trying to conceive and never thought about all the other things that could be effecting my, and my husband’s, fertility! Thanks for visiting!

  • Natalie Popi

    These are all good tips, although personally I didn’t follow them all with both pregnancies. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      I’m glad you found a few useful! Thanks for visiting!

  • Erin

    These are great tips and love your printable graphic, too!

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the printable!

  • The Life of Laura

    Definitely not looking at having a baby for the next few years, but it was honestly nice to read some of the things I would need to think about beforehand. Some fantastic tips!

    Laura || http://www.thelifeoflaura.com.au xx

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      Definitely getting these tips before hand is so useful for the future! Let me know if these help you in the future <3

  • Amanda Wyman

    this was so helpful as my husband and I are currently trying for our first! We’re going into our 3rd month of trying! I’ll have to keep these things in mind for sure!

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      Congrats! I hope you get pregnant soon! <3 Let me know how these tips work for you!

  • Susan Minich

    Cutting back on caffeine was the most difficult thing I did before getting pregnant. I don’t drink so that wasn’t an issue.

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      Did you have any tips on how you cut down on your caffeine intake/weaning? I’d love to hear them! Thanks for visiting!

  • Journa Ramirez

    We’ve waited for six years for our 3rd child to come and I must say, these tips are helpful!

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      6 years! Wow! I’m so glad these tips helped you <3 Thanks for visiting!

  • Kristina Paché

    These are great tips! I always started my prenatal vitamins ahead of time. Not a smoker and I don’t drink often either so didn’t have to worry about that. Rest is definitely important too!

    • http://www.mommyengineering.com Mommy Engineering

      Rest is so important (in general as well as trying to conceive!)

  • http://everydaymadefresh.com Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    These are all really great tips! Some of these things, I’m sure most people don’t even think about. Especially starting to take prenatal vitamins!

  • http://clutterboxblog.com/ Angela Tolsma

    I would never have thought of half of these things. I’ll definitely have to keep it in mind for friends when they are trying next.

  • Nita Okoye

    Great tips! thanks for sharing

  • http://www.ilkasblog.com Ilka

    It’s so important to take care of your body in the years and months before a baby. Great tips for parents to-be!!

  • Carolyn

    Great tips. Those prenatal vitamins are important. I wish I was younger and could have a 4th baby.

  • Roxanne Ferber

    I agree with the prenatals! I took mine for almost a year before I became pregnant. I think it gave me everything I needed to grow two healthy babies (twins). 🙂

  • https://thecoffeemom.blog Jessi Joachim

    These are awesome tips for anyone planning on having a baby. My first was a surprise, but my second was planned.

  • http://www.annmariejohn.com/ AnnMarie John

    Those are very good pointers for people who would like to go and start a family. It’s always important to consult with your doctor, that’s the first step to everything.

  • http://www.ericamesirov.com Erica

    I think many of these are great advice for life…not just fertility. If you take care of yourself and get enough sleep, etc, you’re going to feel better and be a happier person. And the fact that this helps your fertility is just an added bonus.

  • Jeanine @ sixtimemommy.com

    Starting vitamins early is super important. I know lots to know that but it’s something I’ve always done and think why I’ve had great pregnancies!

  • http://sochiclife.com Alison R | So Chic Life

    Great tips for every woman to do – not just when trying to get pregnant. Never underestimate getting enough sleep before baby. I took this for granted and it finally caught up after two kiddos.

  • http://www.tothemotherhood.com/ Lesha

    These are tried and true tips! Many of these tips are also good for everyday life, too. 🙂

  • http://www.primebeautyblog.net Blythe A.

    Great tips. There is a lot to think about before trying to have a baby so this is a very helpful resource for mom’s to be.

  • redheadmomblog

    These are some great tips! I remember starting to take prenatal vitamins and talking to my doctor before I started trying to get pregnant with each of my kids.

  • http://www.briebrieblooms.com/ Heather

    Excellent tips. It took a very long time for me to get pregnant with our first daughter and then another few years after a miscarriage before baby #2 finally arrived.

  • http://kleebanks-freelance-consultant.com Dr. K. Lee Banks

    This is a great list and one a lot of couples should read if they’re working on having a family or adding to their family. I had no idea some of those things (like NSAIDS, herbal remedies, and thyroid medication) could interfere with fertility!

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  • Phaytea’s Pulse

    These are very helpful tips…I’ll be referring to this list very soon

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  • Tamra Phelps

    I’m over 50, so this is not my issue, lol. Still, it is a really good reference list.