So you’ve decided to have a baby. Congratulations! Of course, trying to conceive isn’t as simple as dropping down to your birthday suit and having sex. Scroll through any parenting message board, and you’ll see just how complicated conceiving a child can be. During your journey to get pregnant, you’ll come across the term “baby dancing,” or “BD’ing” as it’s affectionately known as on the mommy boards. So just what exactly is this? Quite simply, it means having sex when you’re most fertile in hopes of conceiving.
The definition is simple, but the action is not. Or, at least, getting the desired results isn’t. According to the National Infertility Association, about one in eight couples will struggle to get pregnant, and some will have to take extra measures to make their parenting dreams come true. This may be as involved as hormone treatments or, for the fortunate ones, a few small lifestyle changes. I spoke to Dr. Marie D. Werner, a board certified OB-GYN and reproductive specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, to find out what couples should keep in mind as they begin “baby dancing” their way to parenthood. Here are some tips she had for boosting your odds of getting pregnant.
1. Know When You’re Ovulating
It doesn’t matter how much sperm is swimming around — if there’s no egg, you can’t conceive. Many women struggle to get pregnant simply because they don’t know when they’re ovulating, and, as a result, have intercourse at the wrong time. One way to determine how fertile you are is through ovulation kits, which measures a woman’s luteinizing hormone. You should also take into account the amount of times you “dance” during their fertile period.
“If you have regular cycles, you should have intercourse every other day around the time of ovulation,” Werner says. She also advises couples to avoid waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to have a baby, and if they’re thinking about trying, to start as soon as possible, preferably before age 35.
“We see so many couples at RMANJ who were waiting for the perfect time to have a baby,” Werner says. “The problem is, there really isn’t one. We do know that after age 35, fertility tends to decline more rapidly. If you’re thinking about trying, start now. Everyone has different family building goals, we understand. But if you want to try for a baby, the sooner the better. ”
2. Address Any Underlying Medical Conditions
Your health before conception will likely help or hinder your odds of getting pregnant, and affect the health of your future child. So before you try to conceive, ditch and unhealthy habits. Werner suggests losing excess body weight if possible, eating a balanced diet, engaging in healthy exercise, taking a prenatal vitamin, and treating yourself well.
“You really should treat your body like it’s pregnant before you even become pregnant,” Werner says. “It’s a good idea to get your primary care doctor involved, as they may recommend specific testing just for you.”
You should also be aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect the conception process. If you have a history of irregular cycles or painful/long periods, you may suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis, in which case it’s important to work on treating these conditions first, as they can greatly affect fertility.
“In general, conditions like PCOS and endometriosis may impact your cycle, the quality of your eggs, or other factors that can make getting and staying pregnant challenging,” Werner says. “If you are concerned about this, start the evaluation process now to understand your options.”
3. Keep Things Fun
It’s so easy to have pregnancy tunnel vision that many couples may start to see baby dancing as a chore, which can put a strain their relationship. Even though you have an end goal now, sex should still be fun and a way to connect with your partner.
It might be a good idea to try and mix things up a little in your sex life. Different positions, extended foreplay, and a little extra spontaneity can go a long way. Because making time for sex will be only become more challenging once you have kids.
“The most important advice I give couples is to have fun while trying,” Werner says. “Remember to enjoy the journey together.”