Newlyweds who plan to have children have a more arduous journey than they may expect. For one thing, a baby is expensive; as of 2017, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $296,684. That’s roughly $17,500 a year. Considering we have a pandemic today, it can be hard to spend that much money.
But that doesn’t mean having a baby is any less exciting. It’s one of the reasons couples get married in the first place. You just have to be prepared, financially, mentally, and health-wise.
Your preparation starts from getting your body ready. For some women, it takes a real diet-and-lifestyle change to get pregnant. Fertility issues are startlingly common, with cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal issues on the rise. If you think you might have trouble conceiving, this guide is for you.
Natural Ways to Boost Your Fertility
First off, let’s talk about infertility. Many people actually misunderstand what it means. Infertility isn’t an inability to get pregnant. It’s an inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. Some causes of infertility are treatable, and those that aren’t can be resolved through assisted conception or surrogacy. An adoption is an option as well, which more couples should consider.
Furthermore, infertility isn’t necessarily a woman’s problem. Men can have fertility issues, too. Low testosterone levels or poor sperm quality affects many men, making them unable to fertilize an egg cell.
That said, here are ways to reverse both men and women’s fertility:
Eat a Heavy Breakfast
If you have PCOS and normal weight, get most of your calories from breakfast. This can reduce your insulin levels by 8% and increase your testosterone levels by 50% (women need testosterone). As a result, you can ovulate 30% more. Don’t eat a heavy dinner to avoid offsetting the effect of your heavy breakfast.
Avoid Trans Fat
Trans fat is found in deep-fried food, processed food, vegetable oils, and baked goods. Swap them out for healthy fats or monounsaturated fat. Healthy carbs, such as whole grains and wheat, are better alternatives, too. Avoiding trans fat will trim down your weight, boosting the health of your reproductive system in turn.
Switch to a Low-carb Diet
Unless you consume only healthy carbs, reduce your carb intake to avoid spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Consume Plenty of Antioxidants
Antioxidants deactivate the free radicals in your body that damage your sperm or egg cells. Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
Exercise does a lot of wonders to your health, including boosting your fertility. But keep it in moderation. A study has found that women who exercise intensely every day are 3.2 times more at risk of infertility than inactive women.
Preparing Your Mental Health
Pregnancy alters your hormones, so it will affect your mental health, too. But even before conceiving, you can already experience mental health issues because of the pressure and not knowing what to expect. Your spouse can be anxious, too. He must be expecting a lot from himself and is afraid of not meeting them.
Before conceiving, understand your risk factors for postpartum depression (PPD). Visit your trusted OB-GYN to discuss this issue and how to prevent or treat it. PPD can have a significant impact on the health of you and your baby. It’s impossible to predict if you will have it, but you and your doctor can determine your risk factors. For example, if you have a history of depression and anxiety, or PPD runs in your family, you may have high chances of developing it, too.
Thankfully, you can prevent PPD through counseling and having a solid support system. Therapy will help, too. And, of course, knowing what to expect can lift pressure off your chest. Anticipate the weight gain, cravings, and morning sickness. Talk with your spouse to ensure that these changes won’t affect your relationship. Pregnancy isn’t going to be a sweet journey all the time, but if you and your spouse are a solid team, you can make each step bearable and meaningful.
Preparing Your Budget
Preparing your budget is one of the most challenging parts of expecting a baby. Every couple budgets differently, so a one-size-fits-all method doesn’t exist. The key is to identify where most of your money goes and what expenses you can cut down. For example, if you spend a lot on credit card debt, then reduce that expense. Focus on budgeting for prenatal care, your baby’s things, and your birthing and recovery essentials.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You and your spouse probably think of your child’s college education already, but try to focus on the present first. Many blessings can come your way as your baby grows. But for now, your baby’s safe birth is your biggest blessing.