So the idea is growing on you that you want another child?
Whether you have easily fallen pregnant previously, or you struggled with infertility and needed multiple rounds of IVF, like myself, there are many things you can do to improve your chances of achieving a healthy second pregnancy:
1. Manage your weight
Getting to a healthy weight 6 months prior to trying to conceive is well understood to make a significant difference in your capacity to fall pregnant thanks to the relationship between body fat and reproductive hormones. Hopefully all that breast-feeding has gotten you back to where you want to be, but if not, it might be time to start getting pro-active in this area again.
2. Manage your fitness
Any mom will tell you how much harder it can be to find time to exercise with a young one to look after but taking care of yourself through fitness not only enhances your mental health, but also helps set you up for a better second pregnancy.
3. Eat right
Examples of foods which may be unhelpful if you are trying to get, or stay, pregnant include:
- Peas (m-xylohydroquinone)
- Soy (phytoestrogens)
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Nitrates and Nitrites
On the other hand, foods which may help improve your chances of falling pregnant include:
- Complex carbohydrates and grains
While it’s not practical to always eat right, doing so while trying to get pregnant a second or third time is especially important to give you the best chance of success.
4. Supplement your diet
Seeing a Functional Practitioner and having a range of tests for various vitamin and mineral deficiencies can really help boost the hard work you’re doing with your diet and exercise. This is particularly important if you’re still recovering from your first pregnancy.
Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitex, and many other vitamins have been shown to have a potentially beneficial impact on pregnancy; however keep in mind that there are also reports that zinc, along with vitamins A, D, B6, and C can be detrimental to either you or your babies health if taken in excessive doses so it’s best to take supplements under the guidance of a qualified physician.
Likewise, some herbs such as Saint-John's-Wort, Echinacea, and Ginkow Biloba may be potentially harmful to your fertility.
5. Check all your medications
Some non-fertility related medications may impact your fertility. Examples you may not have considered include:
- Vitamin A skin cream
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Immunosuppressants and steroids, such as cortisone and prednisone (asthma medication)
- Some blood pressure medications
- Thyroid medications
- Anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medications
Remember that you can check the safety of any medication you’re on by visiting the FDA’s pregnancy registry www.fda.gov/pregnancyregistries
Best of luck!
Having kids has got to be one of the most crazy, amazing, tiring, and satisfying things we can possibly do as humans. While having successfully had children previously puts you at a higher likelihood of success the second time, it’s not always a cake walk, and taking good care of yourself in the months leading up to your next pregnancy is one of the most generous things you can gift to your next baby.
For additional information on how to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy you can visit my blog at www.SmartFertilityChoices.com.