There’s a funny thing that happened to me when my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying for a baby. Even though it was just the beginning of our journey, I felt like a switch was flipped, and I wanted to be pregnant immediately—like the next day.
Obviously, that’s not how it works. It may take some couples one cycle to get pregnant, but it can also take several months—and in some cases, years. Typically, healthy couples trying to conceive have a 25-30 percent chance of getting pregnant during each monthly cycle. However, there is a wide range of factors that can impact success, including your health, your age, your reproductive health, how often you have sex, the timing of the sex, and so on. So even though it’s perfectly normal for it to take six months or longer to get pregnant, each month can feel like an eternity when you finally feel ready to get pregnant and start envisioning your life with a little one.
So if I was doing it all over again, there are certain things I wish I knew and that if I went back in time, I’d do differently. If you’re currently trying to conceive or think you might want to in the future, here are a few things I wish I knew.
Let’s face it, a healthy diet is key for so many elements of our life. While we should eat a healthy and nutritious diet at all times, this becomes extra important when looking at fertility and trying to conceive. What you put into your body is important. I did a lot of research in an attempt to find fertility-boosting foods, and it wasn’t so easy to curate this collection. If I were doing it all over again, I’d turn to Agni as they just launched their Fertility Box.
Agni’s Fertility Box is full of products with key nutrients that support fertility and hormone balance, healthy digestion, and restful sleep, three key functions that can get your body in the best place possible to conceive. Plus, it’s all created by experts on the Agni Medical Advisory Board. Each box is intended to be consumed for one month and can be ordered as a subscription.
There are a few Fertility Boxes to choose from, the standard one includes:
- Thistle Mint Tea (for fertility support)
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (for hormone balance, better periods, and fertility)
- Sesame Nori Seasoning (for immune health and hormone balance)
- Cinnamon Maca Seasoning (for gut health and hormone balance)
Though not currently TTC, I’ve tried the products, and they are so good. If I were TTC again, I’d absolutely treat myself to the subscription. Hey, it’s for your health!
A lot of conception and pregnancy pressure falls on the female. While our bodies are the ones carrying the baby and do carry most of the pregnancy burden (don’t even get me started on how we must always be the ones to birth the children too, how is that fair?), your partner’s health matters as well.
The experts at Agni note that sperm quality is known to be a reflection of nourishment and lifestyle choices from the previous three months. Given that information, it’s important for both partners to make healthy choices. And sperm health aside, your partner should be there to support you on your journey. You’re in this together, and it helps to have both partners making healthy changes.
3. It’s ideal to start tracking your period before TTC
As soon as I decided I was ready to get pregnant, I started to track my period (I used the Clue app.) Over time, the app gets smarter as you input details and helps to keep track of cycle lengths, can observe patterns, and can make predictions based on science. The app can be helpful in predicting when you’re ovulating, but it needs the necessary data to make those predictions. The longer you track, the smarter these types of apps become.
Even if you’re not sure that you’re ready to get pregnant, it doesn’t hurt to start tracking your cycles so that when the time comes, you’ll already have the data built up.
4. Ovulation sticks are great even during the early stages of TTC
It’s not necessary to track your ovulation via an app or to use test strips. You can be trying to get pregnant without really trying that hard. It just might take a little bit or a lot longer. If you want to move things along, ovulation sticks are helpful and fairly inexpensive. You can buy a basic kit for under $20, and you can use these to test your urine to know if you’re ovulating.
For some reason, I felt apprehensive about using these, like it meant things wouldn’t happen naturally otherwise. That’s not the case. These sticks are yet another tool to help you understand your body and your cycle.
5. It’s OK to be open about the experience
When my husband and I decided we were ready to get pregnant, it felt like a big secret. I didn’t talk to many of my friends about trying; it seemed like if I mentioned it out loud, I would jinx the whole thing. Obviously, that’s not how getting pregnant works. I was so worried we’d encounter an issue that I kept quiet about the whole thing until I did get pregnant and was in my second trimester.
Keeping that big secret made the whole thing more anxiety-inducing. Now on the other side of it, I wish I had spoken up about it more with my friends. I have a close-knit group of girlfriends that I lean on for so many things, why should this huge life moment be any different? By talking about your experience, you can feel less alone and can get the support and advice you need throughout all stages of TTC (and during motherhood where so much continued support is needed)!
6. You’ll want to stay up-to-date on all doctor’s appointments
Once you are pregnant, you better believe you’re going to have a lot of doctor’s appointments. It’s one of the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy but a necessary one. My recommendation is to really get on top of your appointments before you are pregnant.
This way you have a good handle on your health and can hopefully address any issues prior to getting pregnant. Tell your OB-GYN you’re TTC, and they may even order some preliminary blood tests. Make sure to go to your dentist, your derm, your primary care physician, and all other appointments at regularly scheduled intervals so they don’t get stuck with a ton of appointments when you’re already overwhelmed with prenatal appointments.
The truth is, there is no singular perfect way to experience the TTC, pregnancy, and postpartum periods of motherhood. However, there are some things you can do along the way to make the experience as low-stress and hopefully, as successful as possible. While I’m happy with my overall experience and of course how it turned out (with two sweet little ones), if I could do it all over again I’d use my learnings to feel more prepared. Hopefully what I didn’t know then can help other women now.
This post was in partnership with Agni but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.