Frustrated because everyone around you is pregnant? Annoyed with every pregnant woman you see in the street? And yes we know, you just want to rip off those Baby on Board badges…

So you’ve bought the house, you’ve found the right partner, so why isn’t it just happening?! Baby making can feel like such a rat race when we decide to embark on it, as well as take the pleasure out of sex, and put real pressure on a relationship. Women, contrary to men, don’t have the luxury of “just waiting”, and the cultural and social expectations, not to mention the in-laws giving you that look up and down to check if your belly is swelling can feel like too much to handle at times.

So we’ve put together a little checklist to help you make sure that you are doing everything you can. Click on each point to find out more:

Prepare your body

prepare_your_body_my_beehiveWe really can’t stress this enough. If you are going to plant a seed for it to grow, you need fertile soil. Sounds obvious but it is so crucial to get your body on board. Maybe it’s been exposed to a few toxins over the years, maybe you indulged a bit too much at uni. Forget about that now. Think about what you put into your body from now on, make your body a temple. Think health, think positive. We find this Fertility Checklist really useful

Educate yourself.

Read up on what you should be eating and drinking, with a special focus on your diet. We recommend the following:

Emma Cannon’s “Baby Making Bible”

Emma is an expert in all that is acupuncture and Chinese Medicine so the solution may be as simple as just tweaking your diet according to what “type” you are. There are some great little questionnaires in the book to help you narrow things down and lots of yummy recipe suggestions.

Dr Marilyn Glenville’s “Getting Pregnant Faster”

This book should be read by all women trying to conceive. Dr Glenville also offers a lot of insight into the benefits of nutritional supplements and vitamins, and she claims you can change the quality of your eggs and sperm in 3 months.

We massively undervalue the role of what we eat and drink and the impact it has on our reproductive health.

If you’re trying to conceive and struggling, these books offer you a chance to diagnose yourself before the doctor will. Take ownership of your diet, and get your body ready for conception and pregnancy. Food is medicine. Couples often go to the IVF clinic without even having attempted to make the small changes in their diet that could make all the difference.

 

Connect with your body

prepa_your_body_my_beehiveBegin to understand the effect your menstrual cycle has on you and welcome all the changes it brings about. Some women claim to know when they are ovulating as they can feel the egg releasing! We find The Healthy Womb really useful in helping us to recognise the signs of the different stages of your cycle, as well as answer lots of relevant questions.

Relax

Impossible, we know, but do the best you can to distract yourself. Yoga is really such a good way of occupying time whilst also giving your organs and limbs that stretch and that breath they deserve. Some yoga stretches provide otherwise neglected organs with the energy they need to make sure you are on tip top form. See our TTC pack which includes the optimum yoga poses for fertility and some really great distractions to help keep your mind occupied and calm. If you don’t mind needles, we think acupuncture is really beneficial as it keeps your mind rested and your energy well distributed. A course of Bodyflow reflexology can really help you gain a sense of connection, grounding and help understand how your body is really feeling.

Sex

saskia_icons_11It ain’t rocket science! Unless you’re planning on using the turkey baster you gotta do the deed. Take a look at our TTC pack here to help you on your way and keep a little romance in the bedroom…
Many women go for it like mad around ovulation but there is evidence to suggest that couples should do it every three days, even when not ovulating. This ensures there is sperm present in the right place when that little egg decides to make an appearance.

Position

Don’t pee after sex like you used to! Legs up, hang around for at least fifteen minutes in the same position to ensure nothing trickles out. We know it only takes one swimmer to make it there, but give yourself the best chance.

Take action at home

saskia_icons_15Still not pregnant? Stats again. For an average couple there is a 20% chance of conceiving in every month, which means it should take most fertile couples 5 months to get pregnant. So don’t panic if the test isn’t positive after the first month!

Easier said than done, it’s so hard not to get obsessive about it initially but it is so true that taking the pressure off can help. Thankfully there are things you can do in the comfort of your own home to be sure that you’re on the right track. We found Fertility Matters, a great website that sells all the great kits you need to get testing at home. A good chemist will also sell plenty of all the goodies to get you going. They include:

Ovulation Tests

These little beauties will let you know if you’re releasing an egg every month. Kind of important and an obvious first step in finding out if you’ve the necessary ingredients to get baking. Your local chemist will have these too.

Sperm Test

What it says on the tin. And yes, he is going to have to ejaculate into a pot. Available online.

Treatments

Treat yourself to some reflexology or yoga in the comfort of your own home with Bodyflow. Their therapists specialise in promoting natural fertility and can help with conditions such as PCOS or endometriosis, all their treatments are tailored to the clients needs. More than worthwhile we think.

GP

saskia_icons_19Ok so it’s been six months and annoyingly if you were to see your GP now for advice, he or she will tell you to go home and try again for another six months to a year. You’re thinking, GREAT, more time for panic to set in! But despite that, we think it may be a good idea to go see your GP anyway just to get the ball rolling and see what he/she says. You have every right to insist on getting some STD checks just to be sure you’re all clear down there.

GYNY

saskia_icons_22As women we always wait until we are in huge amounts of turmoil, physically or emotionally, before we seek gynaecological advice. If you are in pain or discomfort, just have a niggling feeling that something isn’t right or simply just want the reassurance, make an appointment now. We can’t urge you enough to find a gynaecologist and throw some money at it. You definitely won’t be the first person to walk in and say “I’m thinking of having a baby soon and just want to check that everything is in working order down there”. You can have an ultrasound on the spot in many private clinics.

Annoyingly many NHS GPs will want to know that you have been trying for a year or two, and do some routine tests before referring you elsewhere. Be pushy, stand your ground, and make a point of insisting. You can get some answers from some simple tests such as an AMH test to check your ovarian reserve, as well as a hysterosalpingogram to check that your tubes are clear.

A.R.T

saskia_icons_26So you’ve done all your tests, and you’re still not pregnant and now those 3 letters (IVF) keep staring you in the face. There is absolutely no harm in making yourself an appointment to have a chat with a specialist at this point. The sad fact is that, for women especially, time is really not on our side so it is completely understandable to feel panicked at this point. For your reassurance (and sanity!) seek support from family and friends if you dare to talk about it with them, or see a counsellor.

Offloading onto someone might make all the difference in the end. And don’t forget, the struggle is part of the story. We suggest BICA as it’s the main association for infertility counselling. But you are really not alone. My Beehive is here to help too.

For more info on IVF generally go to our IVF support page here. If you have been pregnant but suffered a loss go here.

My Beehive can help you too

We’ve put together an amazing little support pack to get you prepare for the journey ahead.

It’s so important to prepare our bodies and our minds before we embark on baby making, and we think our goodies in here meet all those needs beautifully.

Check out our TTC care pack here

There’s also a lot more information available online. Please check the links below for more information and sign up for our mailing list to get updates straight to you inbox.

  • The NHS advice page is a really practical guide to getting started and understanding your body’s reproductive system.
  • Simply fertility produces a guide to AMH testing and what it is.
  • Fertile mind gets you in the right frame of mind to conceive.
  • HFEA put forward some good tips on how to get pregnant, and what avenues to pursue should you be worried about your fertility.
  • Smart fertility choices has decent information on the subject
  • As does The healthy womb