Planning for pregnancy

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Planning for pregnancy

Basically, there are two types of future parents – those who plan parenthood and those who don't. Those who plan have different reasons to do so. Either they want to have a baby in a specific time of their lives, or they want to feel financially stable, first. Maybe they want their baby to be born in their favourite season, or some might even want to have a little baby Sagittarius or Leo. Whatever their reason might be, they must keep in mind that people may dream big, but nature has its own plans. Always ☺

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Basically, there are two types of future parents – those who plan parenthood and those who don't. Those who plan have different reasons to do so. Either they want to have a baby in a specific time of their lives, or they want to feel financially stable, first. Maybe they want their baby to be born in their favourite season, or some might even want to have a little baby Sagittarius or Leo. Whatever their reason might be, they must keep in mind that people may dream big, but nature has its own plans. Always ☺

Most couples have to keep trying for a baby for several months. Sure, you can get lucky a "score" at the first try, but most people don't. Conception is a complex process. Several conditions must be met. If you feel ready for a baby, we suggest you to start to observe your body and its signs. Knowing your body will help in pregnancy planning. How? Why? What are we talking about? Read on.

Ovulation is the key

You cannot conceive a baby any time you want. As we have already mentioned before, multiple conditions must be met for a conception to be successful. First of all, you must be ovulating. Without ovulation, no lucky stars are enough :). Secondly, your partner's "little swimmers" must be very veeery alive. :). Statistics are surprisingly showing the disturbingly high number of men who have slow and "lazy" sperm. These "lazy little swimmers" are most likely insufficient to fertilise the egg. Thirdly, your "sacred space" must be welcoming. Most women do not know that a woman can be "unwelcoming" inside. Therefore no swimmer (however alive it can be) will survive.. but that is a tale for another time to tell. Now, let's speak about you, your body, and your fertile window – ovulation.

All right, you already know that you can get pregnant only during ovulation. When do you ovulate? How? This is when knowing your body can come in handy. By observing your body and its language, you can notice a certain pattern in your cycle and, therefore, recognise when you are ovulating. Your body is smart. Listen to it. Watch it. Our bodies are made to reproduce. Our bodies are showing us when we are ready, when we are in our fertile window. Which signs can be indicating you are ovulating? Some women feel a sharp sting in one of their ovaries, some feel incredibly sexy and confident, some might experience increased sex drive or literally hear their body calling for some woo-hoo time :)

Ovulation test

What is an ovulation test? The ovulation test tracks your cycle and tells you when is the best time for conception. It takes some of the guesswork out of trying for a baby by showing whether you are or not in a fertile window of your cycle, so you know your chances. How does it work? It tests your urine for a sharp increase in luteinising hormone (LH), which happens a day or two before ovulation. You are the most fertile 12 to 36 hours before an egg is released.

How to use an ovulation test

There are many kinds of ovulation tests to choose from. You can buy a basic one (the one with coloured stripes appearing on the test stick). Or you can pick a digital ovulation kit if you fancy. Whichever you chose, they both work the same.

Collect your wee in a cup, let it sit for a while. Unpack your ovulation test (standard or digital) and hold it according to instructions. Dip the test into the urine (do not exceed the MAX limit indicated on the stick), count to ten. Remove the test from the urine, place it on an even surface and wait (according to instructions, usually from 5 to 10 minutes). You'll see coloured stripes appearing on the test stick. The stronger they are, the more fertile you are.

Symptothermal method

On of natural pregnancy-planning methods is the symptothermal method. What does it mean? The name suggests the meaning – this method is about tracking symptoms of your cycle. Symptothermal method covers two methods - Basal Body Temperature Method and Cervical Mucus Method. You can choose one of them or follow them both, it is up to you. Keep on reading to learn more about these pregnancy-planning methods.

What symptoms does this method track?

  • First of all – basal body temperature. To track your BBT, you measure it every day, in the morning right after waking up. At the same time, ideally. The temperature should remain the same every day until reaching the peak of your cycle. When the temperature rises for 0,2 °C (at least), it is a sign there is ovulation around the corner.
  • Another body sign to track is ever-changing woman's cervical mucus. It keeps changing rapidly throughout the whole cycle.

Basal body temperature BBT

What is BBT? Basal body temperature is your body temperature right after a night sleep (when you have rested, have not done any activity yet, have not eaten or drunk). BBT reflects the hormonal system in your body, which keeps changing throughout your cycle. Ovulation increases the production of progesterone which makes your body warmer – BBT rises. Rising BBT shows that you are in your fertile window. (BBT should be at least 0,2 C higher than the day before). The most fertile day is the first day of your ovulation. Measure and note your temperature daily. It helps to keep the track. The temperature keeps on rising for the rest of your cycle up until your menstruation comes.

Keep notes, study the pattern and … you know the drill, don't you? ☺

How to measure BBT

There are 3 methods of measuring, choose one and keep it. Consistency is the key. Use a digital oral thermometer or one specifically designed to measure basal body temperature. Make sure you get at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to ensure an accurate reading.

You may consider taking your temperature vaginally or rectally if you have trouble determining a pattern or change in your basal body temperature. For the most accurate results, always take your temperature using the same method. Record your daily BBT and look for a pattern.

After a few months of measuring, you will be able to read your cycle pretty well. Start with measuring right after you menstruation ends. What if you are tracking your BBT, your menstruation is late, and your BBT keeps rising? Then you are probably pregnant, do a pregnancy test and if it strikes positive, make an appointment at you doc ☺

Cervical mucus method

The cervical mucus method, also called the Billings Ovulation Method, is a type of natural pregnancy-planning, also known as fertility awareness-based methods. What is it? How can it be done? Cervical secretion changes throughout your cycle. When you are about to ovulate it changes to create ideal conditions which help sperm travel through the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes to the egg. By careful observing cervical mucus, you can learn to see when your body changes and therefore predict your fertile window.

Cervical mucus keeps changing its texture. Generally, it looks like this: No noticeable cervical secretions for three to four days after your period ends. Scanty, cloudy and sticky secretions for the next three to five days. Abundant, clear and wet secretions for the next three to four days — the period before and during ovulation. It begins to thicken, and it changes colour from white to yellowish. No noticeable cervical secretions for 11 to 14 days until your next period starts.

Are you ready for a baby? Say good-bye to alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and pills. Planned parenthood isn't only about observing your mucus or measuring BBT. There is more than meets the eye. You should help your body get ready to grow a baby. Your body should be in top health. Everybody knows that cigarettes and alcohol do no good, so if you are planning a family say good-bye to these vices. These substances are not only extraordinarily unhealthy, but they can sabotage the process of procreation or even lead to a miscarriage!

An overall healthy lifestyle is essential. Not only for women planning to start a family. For everyone. A healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise. Every woman planning her pregnancy should add folic acid to her diet. You should increase the intake of veggies and fruit, consider taking pre-pregnancy supplements (rich in folic acid). Try to avoid stress and lower your caffeine consumption. Get pill-free, being sick and taking antibiotics or long-term medications does not go well with pregnancy-planning. If you, however, need to take pills regularly for whatever reason, talk to your doc about it. There is always a way, your doctor will help you.

A healthy diet, ideal weight

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but bodyweight plays a significant part in a game called conception. No extreme is right – being too skinny or overweight. Both can negatively affect fertility. If you are overweight, consult with a specialist the proper diet and exercise for you. If you are too skinny, consult with a specialist how to help your body healthily gain weight. Unfortunately, this is a long-time project, so if you want to have a family and have weight-related issues, think in advance. Several months, at least. Healthy changes take time. Nothing radical has ever helped in a long-term point of view.

Whether you are a planner or not, stay healthy and safe. We wish you all the best. If you are planning a family - we wish you all the best! Hopefully, you will soon hold your baby in your arms, or even in our beautiful Lenka baby-wraps.

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