Starting a family is a difficult process. Before you can even begin to navigate the issues of choosing hospitals and birthing methods, making decisions about childcare and maternity and paternity leave, you have to conceive, and conception can be a harder thing to achieve than you might expect or choose.
Today we’re helping you with this tricky issue by advising you on what you need in your conception toolkit, to help you face the challenges that trying to get pregnant can bring with it.
The first thing you need is a means to identify and predict when you ovulate: this is the most important date in your calendar if you’re trying to get pregnant and no fertility kit can be complete without it.
If you have the budget, we would recommend a fertility device that measures your basal body temperature. The best of these devices don’t just take your temperature, they also process the data into predictions for you, so you don’t have to spend lots of time charting your temperature across weeks and months.
Also available are specialised BBT thermometers to make life easier if you are taking a more manual approach to tracking your fertility, and Ovulation Predictor kits, which are convenient to use but you should be aware are less useful if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or other hormone driven conditions.
Whether it’s an app, or a physical calendar in the home, you need to back up your work predicting ovulation by marking out the resulting ‘fertile window’ in a calendar, so both parties in the relationship can plan to make the most of this opportunity to conceive when you’re at your most fertile.
If you’re not consciously trying to get pregnant when sperm have the best chance of surviving long enough then you cut your chances of conception, and could find yourself waiting longer to begin the rest of your pregnancy journey.
There are lots of dietary supplements recommended to pregnant women, and it’s worth adding some to your toolkit, but you need to do your research to ensure you can be confident you’re investing in some that are going to be genuinely helpful to you.
Folic Acid is a supplement that can benefit the majority of women when trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy, as it not only helps an expectant mother with mineral absorption and anaemia, but also drives healthy development in the foetus, specifically reducing the risk of spina bifida.
With these simple things in your toolkit, you’ll give yourself the extra boost you need for a successful conception!