10 Things You Don't Have To Do While Trying To Conceive, Even Though Everyone Says You Do
Making the transition from actively avoiding pregnancy at all costs to actually trying to get pregnant on purpose is one of the adultiest parts of adulting. It's way up there on the list, even higher than "paying taxes" and "buying stuff that isn't just cupcakes and cheese." Once I made that transition, I started reading up and joined a few relevant online mom groups (insert ominous music here) and quickly found myself inundated with acronyms, as well as recommendations for loads of things you don't have to do while trying to conceive.
Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with doing most of the following. For some folks, it can make the process more fun; particularly if you're the kind of person who likes to geek out when it comes to your body, or someone who likes to approach new life stuff like a project. And, of course, folks who are experiencing more difficulty or have identified fertility challenges need to follow the protocols that work for them, or that have been recommended by their health care professionals.
But if any of this trying to conceive (TTC) stuff is going to make you nuts, definitely don't feel like you have to bother with it. Clearly, plenty of people managed to have plenty of babies long before the majority of this stuff even existed. I won't tell you to "just relax and it'll happen," because you're probably hearing that already from anyone you made the mistake of telling about your latest life project, and because "just relax" and "calm down" are the two most stressful phrases in our lexicon. Instead, here's wishing you lots of fun baby dances (BDs) or a successful IUI or IVF, a not-too-torturous two week wait (TWW), and a big fat positive (BFP) before too long.
Download A Bunch Of Fertility Apps
There are soooooo many apps out there for prospective mamas to consider, including some that are pretty expensive. If you're going to be really serious about charting and tracking fertility signals, they might be worth it, but if you don't feel like going there, just don't. It's not a necessity.
Chart All The Things
If you're super curious about your body, or have had some difficulty conceiving and are trying to learn more about why, charting your fertility signals can be really useful. But if you're not, and remembering to take your temperature and check what kind of cervical mucus you have every day ain't your kind of party, don't feel like you have to do that just cause that's what other moms are up to.
Tell Everyone You're TTC (Or Answer Prying Questions)
Unless you're talking with folks you'd normally share your adventures in unprotected sex with — or you're seeking specific support from specific, trusted loved ones because you're stressed or sad about the conception process — don't feel obligated to talk with other people about it. It's really nobody's business. (Also? People really need to stop asking if other people are "trying." It's super invasive, and can be really crushing to folks who've been trying to conceive for a significant period of time and without success.)
Try To Memorize All The Acronyms
If you belong to lots of online groups about TTC, it'll just happen naturally.
Buy Lots Of Equipment
The "family planning" aisle in the drug store has way more than condoms, lube, and pregnancy tests (these days). You don't necessarily need to buy ovulation predictor kits, or special lubes, or anything else to help you get pregnant (again, unless a professional has recommended that you do). Save your money for diapers and all the other stuff you'll need once you have a kid. Like wine.
Turn Sex Into A Clinical Exercise
Just because you're trying for a baby, doesn't mean that all your pillow talk has to revolve around whether or not you're ovulating. Unless you're someone who specifically doesn't like sex but is only doing so to have a baby, try not to turn all sexual activity into a "baby dance." That's kind of a drag.
Only Use Certain Sex Positions
There's no evidence showing certain positions are more likely than others to help you get pregnant, so there's no need to bore yourself or your partner by sticking to whichever positions that one lady from your mom group said were the winners.
Elevate Your Hips After Sex
This makes intuitive sense to a lot of people, but there's no consistent evidence showing that elevating your hips after sex makes any difference. If you're comfortable like that, cool, but as long as your partner orgasms inside you, that's really all that counts.
Eat Certain "Fertility Superfoods"
Eating a healthy diet overall is important because, you know, it's important. After all, nothing in your body works as well as it could if you eat poorly. But there are no specific foods that have been shown to target fertility, so don't go out of your way to spend extra money on something you wouldn't ordinarily eat for that reason, and that reason alone.
Completely Overhaul Your Lifestyle
Though some moms go whole hog and begin acting "pre-pregnant" long before they get a positive pregnancy test, there's no need to feel like you have to swear off your nightly glass of red, or start a totally new workout or food regimen, or anything else just to get pregnant (or out of fear that you're doing something wrong). Eat well, sleep well, and move well because that's always important and because you deserve to feel your best all the time, not just when you're trying to get pregnant. If and when you eventually get pregnant and/or have kids, your lifestyle will change a lot. Enjoy this last chance to live your "normal life" before that baby you've worked so hard for, arrives.