Having a family is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. If you fall into this category and have recently decided to try for a baby, there are a few things you need to know.
Although it’s a very exciting time, it doesn’t come without elements of stress and mixed emotion, however, the more aware and equipped you are, the smoother the journey should be.
Here are 3 things you should do when trying for your first baby.
Get adequate levels of folic acid
One of the first things you should do when trying to get pregnant is to make sure that your body is getting the right amount of folic acid. Folic acid aids the healthy development of a fetus and can significantly reduce the chance of birth defects such as spina bifida.
Although it is found in various foods such as brown rice, asparagus, and certain fortified cereals, the only way to ensure you are getting enough is to take a daily supplement. It’s recommended that anyone trying to get pregnant or who already is pregnant get around 400mg of folic acid per day, so if you are not already doing so, start taking supplements now.
Know what to expect
Although it’s important not to become obsessed with trying to conceive, it is worthwhile reading up on the first signs of pregnancy and the changes that your body will go through during this time. There are lots of free online resources and books you can buy that will give you a good overview of what to expect during the 9 months of your journey and beyond.
It is very easy to become so focussed on conceiving that you forget that your partner is also involved so, where possible, discuss these things together and include him or her when you can. It will help to make them feel like they are just as big a part of it as you are, and knowing that they are aware of what to expect will also be a welcomed reassurance for you further down the line.
Conceiving can take time
Once the decision to have a baby is made, you will no doubt want it to happen straight away. Bear in mind that it takes the average couple in their 20’s around 5 months to conceive, so if it hasn’t happened straight away for you, don’t panic. If you are in your 30’s or 40’s, it could take even longer. The more stressed and anxious you become, the more it can interfere with conception, so try to stay calm.
If, after a year, you still haven’t fallen pregnant, go and have a chat with your doctor who will give you guidance on the other options that may be available to you. Trying to conceive is an extremely emotional journey, so try and be kind to yourself and, although it may be easier said than done, don’t let it consume you.