Naturally, once you decide to have a baby, you want to get that show on the road. No one likes to wait. So if you're wondering how to get pregnant on the first try, RedBook covers the basics: quit your birth control, get enough sleep, and obviously, have sex. What else?
Smart courses of action include improving nutrition, properly timing sex, uterine manipulation (not as scary as it sounds), and acupuncture, an energy-medicine modality showing increasing promise in recent studies.
First up: food. "Nutrition plays a big role in women’s fertility and reproductive health," nutritionist Ilyse Schapiro tells Romper, so choose your preconception meals wisely. Now's not the time to cut calories, but do eat lots of healthy fats, including "full-fat dairy ... avocado, nuts and nut butters, and olive oil." If you consume alcohol, now's a good time to stop. "Aim to have something healthy to eat every three to four hours throughout the day to keep your energy up, and prevent you from overeating later."
As for supplements, talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins — especially those with folic acid. Mingxue Yang, MD, PhD, of New Hope Fertility Center also recommends a CoQ10 supplement, but notes in an interview with Romper that not all supplements are created equal. In particular, CoQ10 must be water and fat-soluble to help conception, so ask your doctor about specific brands.
Now, the uterine manipulation. Yang notes that though studies haven't attributed any specific increase in conception rates to these techniques, placing the uterus in an inverted position "may better allow the sperm to settle around the egg it will fertilize." So, after sex, try putting your legs up the wall, or hugging your knees to your chest.
When you have sex also matters. Most women ovulate around day 14 of their cycle, and Baby Center advised having sex a few days before ovulation, as well as during the event. If your cycle isn't regular (or the average 28 days), consider purchasing an ovulation kit to keep track of your most fertile days. If you want to get pregnant, the best, simplest advice is this: have sex, and lot of it.
I promised you acupuncture, and here it is. Romper spoke with Kristen Burris, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M., Dip. Ac, who specializes in helping women get pregnant at Eagle Acupuncture. She writes in an email interview that acupuncture is a preventative as well as curative medicine, so even if you aren't struggling with fertility right now, a visit to the acupuncturist may be helpful — and surprisingly, relaxing. According to Burris, acupuncture reduces stress levels. WebMD reported in 2010 that evidence now backs up the long-suspected idea that stress makes getting pregnant more difficult.
"One wouldn’t think getting acupuncture would reduce stress," writes Burris, referring, of course, to all those needles. But the needles are painless, and the practice "releases natural endorphins creating a calm and almost euphoric feeling people are shocked to experience." Acupuncture also increases blood flow to reproductive organs, according to a study in the International Journal of Women's Health, and may help regulate hormones critical to your fertility.
Nothing you do will guarantee that you'll catch a baby the first time around, but taking care of yourself and improving your overall health pay serious dividends. According to Baby Center, 30 percent of women get pregnant in their first cycle, 60 percent in three cycles, and 85 percent within a year, so if you don't have a medical condition that impacts fertility, the odds are certainly in your favor.