How To Boost Your Fertility

5 steps you can take to increase your chance of getting pregnant.

How To Boost Your Fertility

Fertility... It's an aspect of our health that many of us take for granted. Have sex, get pregnant, right? Well, not so fast. Once you are ready to conceive, it's important to prep your body. That's because even minor stressors can throw your body off track, which can make it more difficult to get pregnant. So how do you up your chances of getting pregnant? Track your ovulation and get busy in the bedroom, of course. But also take care of yourself and your body as much as possible.

Here are 5 steps you can take to rev up your fertility.


1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are underweight or overweight, now is the time to remedy the situation by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. Your body mass index (BMI) can be a good indicator of how easy or how difficult it will be to conceive. Research has shown that women with a BMI greater than 24.9 or lower than 19 have a more difficult time conceiving. So keep up with a good exercise routine and follow a nutritious wholesome diet. Protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D are all important nutrients that will help you keep regular menstrual cycles. If you feel that you need help, consult a dietitian to get more guidance in what foods to eat and the ones to avoid.

2. Get your Zzzz. Skimping on sleep has many negative effects: it makes you crave fatty and sugary foods, slows your metabolism down, makes you feel like your emotions are out of control, and weakens your immune system. But it doesn't stop there. Research also indicates that sleep deprivation can directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) -- the hormone that triggers ovulation during your menstrual cycle. Not sleeping enough can therefore throw your cycle out of whack, making it harder to know when you are fertile. So make sure you sleep the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night, and keep your sleep routine as consistent as possible.

3. Limit Caffeine. The research on this is mixed, but some experts suggest that caffeine intake can affect women's hormonal balance, which can then make it more difficult to conceive successfully. What's more, drinking coffee can lure you away from drinking enough water. So try to limit your java fix to 200-250mg per day. Try also to only drink coffee in the morning so as to not disrupt your sleep.

4. Stress Less. Stress can hamper your fertility, too. Chronic stress, in particular, can affect ovulation by altering signals to the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain responsible for regulating hormones that trigger the release of eggs each month. This, in turn, inhibit ovarian function and make your menstrual cycle less reliable. So try to do away with the things that make you anxious or stressed, and focus on activities that will help you relax. Keeping a journal, reading before bed, getting a massage, meditating in the morning or taking a yoga class are all great techniques to manage stress and find serenity.

5. Steer clear of pesticide, solvents and other toxins. Pesticides, the chemicals that are used to kill insects threatening crops, are known to affect sperm count and quality, and it may also disrupt women's menstrual cycles. So if you're looking to get pregnant, now is the time to switch to organic and non-GMO produce. The same goes for solvent and other environmental toxins that are routinely found in household products, hair products and more. In particular, avoid items that contain phthalate, parabens, bisphenol-A, and heavy metals like mercury.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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