How to plan and prepare for pregnancy
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Couples who have just begun their conception journey are usually overwhelmed with many questions, especially if they are trying to conceive for the first time.
“How can we prepare ourselves for pregnancy?”, “What should we avoid doing?” or “How long will it take to conceive?”
Some partners may find it really easy to conceive very early in their journey, while others may not - and this can be an emotional rollercoaster for many who have been trying for some time and have not yet been successful. That’s why it is important to find the right information and learn as much as possible!
Making a plan and taking action
As for any goals one might have in life, a good approach is to create a plan - and take action!
It is significant to create steps and routines to achieve your goal and prepare for a healthy pregnancy, but also reflect; How prepared are you physically, emotionally, and mentally to have a child?
Step One - Prepare
When we talk about getting the body ready for pregnancy, the majority of women begin to think about exercise. Although physical activity is regarded as one of the ways to keep fit and prepare the body, that is not the only way to prepare.
Prepare physically, by having a healthy nutrient-dense diet, taking folate supplements and avoiding alcohol, smoking, and caffeine.
Prepare mentally, by keeping a low-stress lifestyle and not feeling tired, by getting enough rest and sleep.
Prepare emotionally, by talking to loved ones and other people who have previously conceived. Avoid the “toxic” people in your life, those who aren’t supportive of your plans.
Women trying to conceive are encouraged to eat a nutrient-dense diet, eat more vegetables and greens and cut down on carbohydrates (like bread and pasta) as well as junk foods (fried and sugary). Making sure you have good nutrition is important to prepare your body for conception.
The folic acid supplement is recommended for women trying to conceive because they are rich in vitamins the body needs before and after pregnancy to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. Taking folic acid supports the fetus (baby) development, preventing malformation.
Lifestyle and Rest
Rest is very essential for women when they are trying to conceive. Having six to eight hours of sleep keeps the body healthy and improves your chances of conception. Some research has shown that women who rest improve the production of key hormones such as leptin, prolactin, estrogen, progesterone luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormones that are essential for conception. Sleep is also essential to control stress levels, as it regulates your mood.
Maintaining healthy workout routines by performing physical activities a few times per week can improve your chances to conceive. Make sure to go for long walks, breathe fresh air, stretch… but don’t overdo it either! Keep your weight stable. Excessive weight gain or excessive weight loss can be associated with some conditions that can affect your fertility like endocrine disorders that affect women’s cycle and prevent ovulation.
Avoiding Alcohol and Smoking
Women who smoke and drink alcohol are advised to stop when they begin their conception journey because it can cause problems during pregnancy, like birth defects, miscarriages, premature birth, and even infant deaths.
Step two - Plan
Planning for the right time to have sex is a practical step to getting pregnant. Your highest chance to conceive is during your fertile window and therefore it’s important to plan to have sex as often as possible but especially during this time. Keep tracking your period and fertility symptoms (like discharge, tender breasts, etc) with Grace to get your fertile window predictions, and aim to have sex during the predicted time, and as often as possible.
Step Three - Get informed, and take action!
An appointment to see a doctor is always recommended for couples. Women are advised to take their partners along to have both checked-up as part of their pre-conception preparation. This is to help identify medical problems associated with fertility that could hinder conception and getting the right treatment or solution.
Pay attention to your body and practice loads of self-care.
Keep chatting with Grace and stay informed!
Vivian, one of our Kenyan users, told us that Grace can help her to locate the good time for ovulation so she and her husband don't struggle because they are busy, they simply plan for when to meet.
“Since we don’t live together, for us, it might take some time. But I’m okay with that, it makes me feel happy because I don't think a lot about the process, Grace just give us the dates.”