Congratulations on making the decision to start a family. I remember when we decided that we were ready to start a family. Or, should I say, I remember when I was ready to start a family. My husband wasn’t on board for a while. He really wanted me to get further in my graduate school career before we got pregnant. Little did he know that I would finish my Ph.D. and get several years of full-time work under my belt before we conceived!
If you are just starting on your journey to conception, now is the time to really take a look at your lifestyle and that of your partner’s. Now is the time to try and become as healthy as possible. As a woman, being healthy prior to conception will make your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences much easier.
Back in 2005 when we started our journey, our OB-GYN advised us to stop using birth control and wait three months before trying to conceive. She wanted my body and hormones to have time to regulate. We used this time to re-commit ourselves to an exercise plan and really put more effort into eating a healthy, well-rounded diet.
Pregnancy, birth, and the post-partum time period are pretty physically demanding events. If you can get into shape before tackling the parenthood journey you are setting yourself up for success. You don’t have to reach your optimum weight or exercise goals, just taking small steps in improving your health will be beneficial.
Helpful hints as you start your journey:
- Make sure you AND your partner are on the same page. This will probably mean extensive conversations – but better before you get pregnant then during your pregnancy or after baby has arrived. Respect one another during these conversations. I remember trying to convince Nate that we were ready. For a long time I didn’t really listen to his very valid concerns. The result of these conversations will likely involve some compromises. Be open to true communication with your partner.
- Consult your healthcare provider to make sure you are healthy and get any needed advice on conception and early pregnancy.
- With the help of your healthcare provider set some nutrition and exercise goals for preconception.
- Enjoy time with your partner. Enjoy your relationship and the opportunity to get closer.
- If people ask when you are going to have a baby come up with a response you would like to give. One of my favorites is: “We are having fun practicing right now.” That response usually gets the questions to stop and lets you follow your own path to parenthood as a couple.
I hope your journey to parenthood is short and sweet!