6 lifestyle changes to make before trying to get pregnant

Nicola Wyatt Nicola Wyatt Nutritional Therapist and Registered Nurse
For many couples, getting pregnant is not just a desire but an expectation. It's not always easy - here's six things every woman should do to boost her chances of conception.

These tips are designed to help women, but men will benefit from a lifestyle tweak too. Make a plan to engage with these tips together.

1. Make time for sleep

Sleep is vital for the body and essential for balancing hormone levels. A good night's sleep is especially important for healthy leptin production, a hormone that helps regulate ovulation. Get 7-8 hours rest each night.

2. Get active

If you're not getting enough exercise, gradually increase to 30-60 minutes of activity, 3-4 times a week. It contributes to a healthy weight, improved blood sugar regulation and energy levels. It doesn't have to be anything too challenging - I recommend a brisk outdoor walk or a swim. These are great activities to continue with once you get pregnant.

3. Eat well

Good nutrition can be the back bone of a healthy pregnancy and baby. From regulating hormones to improving the health of your uterus, eating the right foods provides a great environment for conception and a developing baby. Read our article - The best nutrients to support fertility in men and women.

4. Give yourself a break

Life can be stressful and trying for a baby can add to stress levels. While direct links between stress and infertility are tenuous, stress can affect your sleep patterns and libido - so it's something you'll want to limit as much as possible during this time. Try yoga, meditation or mindfulness practices.

5. Watch your weight

Being overweight or obese is strongly linked to conception difficulties. It can disrupt hormone balance and, in some cases, stop ovulation all together. Make sure your partner is keeping his weight down too as being overweight can lower sperm count. Being underweight can also affect hormone production and can make it difficult to carry out a successful pregnancy. Speak to your GP about reaching a healthy weight for you.

6. Make time for each other

No one gets pregnant without trying, so make plenty of time for each other and have sex regularly. But don't overdo it - sperm needs time to refresh and mature, give him 2-3 days off between attempts. Make sure the pressure to get pregnant isn't negatively affecting your relationship. Keep making time to enjoy the things you love doing together.

Still struggling? Our Assisted Conception Services can help.

Last updated Friday 14 December 2018

First published on Friday 15 April 2016