5 Fertility Health Tips to Improve Your Chances of Conceiving

I share a lot about myself, my children, and my family here, and I’ve been very open about our struggles with infertility, including some crazy things we did while trying to get pregnant. I recently talked to a friend who is struggling to get pregnant and the frustrations that come along with it. She asked what she should or shouldn’t be doing. I’m not a doctor, but during after six years of “trying” and then being diagnosed with unexplained infertility, I learned a thing or two about fertility health. I know that there might be other women out there struggling to conceive, so I wanted to share some fertility health tips with you.

Trying to conceive? These fertility health tips will improve your chances of conceiving, and will help you live a healthier lifestyle both mentally & physically!

Fertility Health Tips

Know Your Body – In order to get pregnant, you have to know how your body works! The first thing you will want to do is to learn about what needs to happen in order to have a baby: understand your body’s cycle, fertility rhythms, and timing. There are a lot of menstrual cycle tracking apps out there that make it easy to track your cycle. This article makes it easy to understand your menstrual cycle and what’s going on througout it.

What To Expect Before You’re Expecting is a fantastic book that will thoroughly explain this in great (but easy to understand) detail. And WhatToExpect.com is a one-stop shop for all things related to getting pregnant, being pregnant, and becoming a parent…make sure to check out this site! I was evenn lucky enough to guest post there about infertility shame.

Your Health – Your health is also extremely important to your fertility. All of these fertility health tips will help improve your chances of conception, but there are also many factors that make it difficult to conceive. For example, excess body fat can lead to an overproduction of certain hormones which can lead to irregular cycles, decreased ovulation, and may also decrease your chance of being able to conceive.

Exercise is extremely important, and also helps get rid of the stress you might be feeling. As always, talk to your doctor before beginning any type of new exercise program, but at least get moving!

Your Diet – Of course, eating properly is extremely important all of the time, but it’s even more important when you are trying to conceive. Taking more vitamins (prenatal vitamins) is important. Did you know that protein, iron, and zinc all contribute to healthy menstrual cycles?

The What To Expect site offers lots of ideas and suggestions on this topic, and has an entire page dedicated to your pre-pregnancy diet.

Also, cut back on alcohol. According to the What To Expect site: “Heavy drinking can mess with your menstrual cycle, possibly putting a crimp in your conception plans.”

A month before I started fertility treatments, I really started watching what I was eating and cut out alcohol completely. I lost ten pounds without even trying!

Your Mental Health – “Just relax and quit thinking about it and you’ll get pregnant.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard this statement while trying to get pregnant. It did NOT help! When getting pregnant doesn’t come easy, stress is sure to follow. It causes stress on your marriage, on yourself, and becomes almost an obsession.

De-stress your life! Stress can affect your ability to conceive, so chill like a cucumber, girl! My friend Heather from It’s A Lovely Life blog has 25 easy ways to help you de-stress today. I use most of them!

And again, get some exercise! Exercise (and sex!) is an easy way to help alleviate stress. I love this yoga for stress release DVD…it’s my favorite. It automatically makes me feel better as soon as I sit down to do it.

All in all, make sure you are focusing on your overall health, not just your physical health.

Sex – When trying to conceive, sex becomes a process, one more step to your goal. Don’t forget to have sex just to have sex and enjoy your partner! Sex is an important part of every relationship and sometimes during trying to conceive, it becomes a chore. Don’t forget to nurture that part of your relationship, too!

That being said, when you are having sex to conceive, make sure you are having sex at the right time, during your most fertile time of the month. Knowing when you’re ovulating can get tricky. There are some signs, like the mucus in your vagina may get from slippery or you may feel some cramping. But many women have no idea when they’re ovulating. If that’s the case, you’ll need to consider using (and I highly recommend it) an ovulation kit to help you determine your most fertile days.

And after sex, don’t just hop up and jump in the shower or head to the bathroom…all your hard work may be wasted, literally! Web MD advises: “It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air…your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air…don’t go the bathroom during this time either, by waiting 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix.”

Some studies show that regular sex can help maintain the regularity of the menstrual cycle, which is important to conception. Intercourse every 36 to 48 hours during your ovulation period can also increase your chances of conceiving. I remember after one procedure where my doctor put dye in my fallopian tubes to make sure they were open and not blocked anywhere, he then gave us the advice to go home and “have sex like rabbits” since my tubes were very clear and I was ovulating.

So those are some of my fertility health tips that I learned were important for conception. I think it goes without saying that you definitely want to consult with your doctor (because I am NOT a doctor!) if you are having problems conceiving or fertility issues. I just thought it was a discussion worth having since I know how hard it can be if you are dealing with it.

If you have or are experiencing fertility problems or trying to conceive, what fertility health tips would you add to the list?

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Difference Between the Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression

Just days ago, celebrity Hayden Panettiere sought treatment for postpartum depression. As a mom who also struggled with postpartum depression, I’m always proud of other women who are not afraid to say that they have struggled, too. Why? Because there’s such a huge stigma attached to mental illness. It doesn’t matter that postpartum depression is not a choice; that it’s a biochemical reaction that occurs in a woman’s body that is totally out of our control.

If you mention that you are feeling down after having a baby, you’ll hear more than once that you’re just experiencing the “baby blues” or that you’re just tired and/or that you’re just overwhelmed. And that may very well be true. But it also could be so much more than that. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what the baby blues are and what postpartum depression really is. So I wanted to share some general symptoms of both and the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression.

The Difference Between the Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression

There is a difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. Here are a list of symptoms, as well as places where you can find support if needed.

I have been very open about my struggles with postpartum depression as well as depression. I have a voice, and I use it to try to destroy the stigma that surrounds these diseases. I hope that this information about the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression helps you if you need it.

Symptoms of Baby Blues

You feel like your crying “all the time”. You’re very emotional, very tired, and you may not feel a connection to your baby.

Symptoms last for about two weeks after giving birth.

You may experience mood instability, feel down, sad, irritable, anxious, and/or fear, lack of concentration, you may be afraid to be left alone with baby.

Postpartum Depression

Your symptoms last longer than two weeks after giving birth and interfere with day-to-day functioning.

You may experience all of the symptoms mentioned in baby blues, as well as changes to your eating and sleeping habits (due to feeling exhaustion). There may be a loss of interest in usual activities, or feel that you are unable to cope with your baby.

You may feel hopeless, worthless,  and/or a lack of joy (this was my big one).

You may have thoughts of harming the baby or yourself, rumination, and/or obsessive thoughts, and/or excessive worry about your baby.

Whereas the baby blues last for just a couple of weeks, postpartum depression typically emerges over the first 2-3 months after childbirth but may occur at any point after baby.

I love this article over at The Stir about 9 ways to tell the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. Since the symptoms are so similar, this sheds some light on how they differ.

I am NOT a doctor, and I am NOT offering any medical advice. This is a very general overview of the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call your doctor.

And don’t be afraid to talk about it with your friends and family and ask for help. The longer people treat this as a “bad” thing, the stigma will never go away. Postpartum Progress is a great place to go for resources, help, and support if you’re experiencing the baby blues or postpartum depression. Please visit!

Top 3 Tips To Help You Conceive

Are you trying to conceive? If so, you may be experiencing many feelings. Feelings like excitement, anxiousness, wonder, and joy. Or maybe you’ve been at it for awhile and your experiencing other feelings like frustration, hopelessness, fear (what if it never happens?), or anger. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of those feelings at once! I’ve been there and done that. I know how much work and effort sometimes goes in to trying to conceive, especially if you have been trying for months. But I’ve got 3 tips to help you conceive!

There are a lot of things you can do to get pregnant, believe me, I’ve tried lots of crazy things while trying to get pregnant! And if you talk about it with anybody, you’ll have lots of advice thrown at you: just relax and it will happen, only “do it” in the missionary position, don’t think about it and it will happen. You’ll also have people say things like Oh I just thought about sex and I ended up pregnant! Those are the people you’ll want to punch! But seriously, don’t listen to or think about all of that advice from those types of people. The advice won’t help and the people will drive you crazy. But there are also some easy ways that you can improve your chances of conceiving.

Top 3 Tips To Help You Conceive

Are you trying to get pregnant? I'm sharing my top 3 tips to help you conceive, as well as over the counter products that can help make the process easier.

Understand and Track Your Cycle (and Know When You’re Ovulating) – If you’re like me and it doesn’t “just happen” after the first few months, you’ll need to make sure to track – and understand – your cycle. This is the most important tip anybody should give you!

There are a lot of menstrual cycle tracking apps out there that make it easy to track. This article makes it easy to understand your menstrual cycle and what’s going on througout it.

Knowing when you’re ovulating can get tricky. There are some signs, like the mucus in your vagina may get from slippery or you may feel some cramping. But you may have no idea when you’re ovulating. If that’s the case, you’ll need to consider using (and I highly recommend it) an ovulation kit to help you determine your most fertile days.

Have Sex – Duh, right? But what I mean is that you have to be having sex at the right time, during your most fertile time of the month. And no, position really has nothing to do with it so just have sex and have fun. Don’t stress yourself out about position and what you should or shouldn’t do. Just enjoy it and don’t be thinking “baby” the whole time.

There are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant at this time, like using like Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive.

Are you trying to get pregnant? I'm sharing my top 3 tips to help you conceive, as well as over the counter products that can help make the process easier.

Astroglide TTC™ supports fertility with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality and a consistency similar to your body’s cervical mucus. It also contains galactose, which is found naturally in semen, as well as fructose, the main source of energy for sperm. This is something that you can now buy over-the-counter, but when we were trying, I had to get a similar product from my doctor!

And while you may be thinking this is just a lubricant, it’s more than that. When trying to conceive, it’s vital to provide an environment where sperm has a chance of survival. Environmental conditions are affected by (among other things)  pH levels and the consistency of your egg white cervical mucus. Astroglide TTC™ gives sperm a better chance of survival compared to other lubricants and helps create the perfect environment in your body, which increases the chance of conception.

Relax – No, I don’t mean just relax and it will happen! After sex, don’t just hop up and jump in the shower or head to the bathroom…all your hard work may be wasted, literally! Web MD advises: “It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air…your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air…don’t go the bathroom during this time either, by waiting 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix.”

And by relax I also mean de-stress, but not just in the bedroom. De-stress your life! Stress can affect your ability to conceive, so chill like a cucumber, girl! My friend Heather from It’s A Lovely Life blog has 25 easy ways to help you de-stress today. I use most of them!

What are your top tips be for those trying to conceive?

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine

The Ups and Downs of Trying To Conceive

Trying to conceive is really an amazing experience. Whether you’re like my sisters and just think about getting pregnant and end up pregnant or are like me and spend years trying to get pregnant, you’ll experience a full range of emotions from excitement and elation to fear and doubt. For some, trying to conceive is easy while for others, it’s one of the most stressful experiences they’ll ever go through. Trust me, I know.

I have been very open and honest about what I went through when we were trying to conceive. I shared our story about after years of trying we started to joke about how we just didn’t “do it” right. I was honest about being jealous of pregnant women that I would see out and about. I’ve shared our diagnosis with unexplained infertility and the fertility treatments that we finally ended up using after I tried all kinds of suggestions from family and friends about things that help you get pregnant, and the shame you feel when you are labeled with infertility.

And I finally got to share my most magical moment that I have ever experienced…finding out that after years and years of trying to conceive that we were FINALLY pregnant!

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Ethan, my miracle baby at 2 weeks old

One of the favorite things I’ve shared about that time in our lives is all of the crazy things we did to try to conceive, and we tried everything! It’s fun to be able to look back and think about how badly we wanted a baby and how willing we were to try anything and everything to get a baby of our own. Nowadays, women trying to conceive have so many over-the-counter products available that can help a couple get pregnant; products that we had to pay a lot of money to get from a fertility specialist. Products like Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive.

Are you currently trying to conceive? Astroglide TTC is an over the counter product that supports fertility with all of the things needed to get pregnant.

What is it? Astroglide TTC™ supports fertility with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality and a consistency similar to your body’s cervical mucus. It also contains galactose, which is found naturally in semen, as well as fructose, the main source of energy for sperm.

What does that mean exactly? Well, when you’re trying to conceive, it’s vital to provide an environment where sperm has a chance of survival. If just one part of that environment is “off”, the chances of conceiving is lowered greatly. Sure there are other lubricants out there that you can use, but they may affect the necessary conditions and inhibit sperm motility.

Studies have shown thatAstroglide TTC™ is compatible with sperm, oocytes and embryos and allows sperm to move freely. It gives sperm a better chance of survival compared to other lubricants. It also provides comfort because it temporarily relieves vaginal dryness during sexual activity.  Basically, it helps make your body the perfect environment and makes it easier for couples who are trying to conceive.

Are you currently trying to conceive? Astroglide TTC is an over the counter product that supports fertility with all of the things needed to get pregnant.

Each package of Astroglide TTC™ contains 8 pre-filled disposable applicators that make them easy to use and less messy because you don’t have to fill them yourself. The applicators are used to coat the inside of the vagina which supplements natural fluids while enhancing comfort. Astroglide TTC™ has a retail price of $12.99, the best value compared to any competitor! Visit  Astroglide TTC™ to find out where to buy it.

For more information regardingAstroglide TTC™, fertility support, and where to buy please visit the TTC homepage. And if you are struggling to conceive, know you are not alone. So many of us have been there and there is a lot of support out there. Don’t hesistate to reach out for that support.

What tips can you share with those trying to conceive?

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Teaching Kids About Sex (Because Of A Giraffe!)

How many of you watched Katie the Giraffe give birth at the Dallas Zoo? Did you follow along for days and then miss the actual birth? Cuz that’s what happened here. Luckily, Animal Planet shared the giraffe birth highlights on their website. So in the end, we did get to see the birth of the baby girl giraffe, just not in real time. The kids were so excited when we clicked back on to check on Katie and we saw a baby walking around! But after watching the birth, it also led to a lot of questions. “Why did the baby come out of her butt?” “What’s that string thing hanging out of her butt?” “What’s that string thing hanging from the baby?” “I thought the doctor cut baby’s out of their mommy’s bellies?” Clearly it was time to start teaching the kids about sex. In a very, very general sense.

Now I’ve written before about teaching kids about sex, but I haven’t actually done anything more than explain that their pee-pees are actually called a vagina or penis, that women have breasts because some choose to feed their babies the milk that comes out of them after they have a baby, and they also know that a baby is made from part of the mommy and part of the daddy. They don’t know how the baby gets in the mommy’s tummy, and up until Katie the Giraffe, they thought that all baby’s were cut out of their mommy’s tummy (because I delivered the girls via C-section and they’ve seen the scar). These are all words that we use at home, your words or situations may be different. The point here is is that my kids’ knowledge of sex stopped there.

After the giraffe birth (and the kids’ gross-out when watching it), I explained that not all women delivered babies via C-section, that some babies came out of their moms without her getting cut open. I said that our body has a special place that the baby comes out. I have no idea if that was the right thing to say, but I was put on the spot!

And after a little digging around, I had forgotten that I had bought this book called It’s NOT the Stork!  which helps you know what you need to when teaching kids about sex. It’s for ages 4 and up, though I think that some of it (like the whole how babies are really made part) is a little too much for my 5 year old girls and 7 year old boy. I could be wrong (probably), but I don’t think there’s any reason for them to know what sex actually is. And? I don’t want them telling all of their cousins and friends either.

But we did go through the first section all about bodies and how they work. I kind of skipped over the part showing the mom and dad in bed making love, and just told them that mommy and daddy’s bodies come together and the mom’s body gets some of the dad’s body to make a baby. They seemed fine with that. Then we skipped to how the baby grew.

Is your child asking questions about where babies come from or how they get out of mom's tummy? Teaching kids about sex isn't fun, but it is necessary. Is your child asking questions about where babies come from or how they get out of mom's tummy? Teaching kids about sex isn't fun, but it is necessary.

Enter the questions about the baby coming out of the giraffe’s butt. I explained to them that that was not her butt, but her vagina and that some babies come out of their moms that way. They seemed grossed out, but didn’t ask any more questions. It’s Not the Stork! was actually very helpful and I’m glad that I had it to help me through!

Teaching Kids About Sex

I mentioned that I shared tips for teaching kids about sex before, and I thought I’d share some tips that my friend Dr. G gave me that were really helpful during the conversation that the kids and I had:

  •  Dr. G stresses that this is not one conversation, rather several short conversations. Establish that you are there to listen and answer any questions as best you can. This is what I did with the kids, and it worked. I probably made it sound like one conversation, but this actually has taken place over the last week. I answer what they ask, but not with too many details.
  • Start Young – Dr. G also recommends that you start talking about your child’s body and privacy as soon as your toddler notices a difference between boy bodies and girl bodies. Make sure to use the body part’s real name; a vagina is a vagina and a penis is a penis. Also make sure to explain what areas of your child’s body are private (anything a bathing suit covers), and that nobody should touch them there without their permission.
  • Talk About Sex, But Details May Be Limited Based On Your Child’s Age – I found a great article on Parenting about how much information to give your child about sex based on age. This has helped make the process easier as well.
  • It Gets Easier To Talk About. Once we got through the giggling and embarrassment (probably both theirs and mine!), it was much easier to talk with them about vaginas and penises and anuses (I’m sure that those are incorrect spellings on those last two)  and birth. I won’t say it was fun, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. And they were more interested in how babies grow and eat and sleep and poop in a mom’s body than how the baby got there in the first place.

If you’d like to purchase It’s Not the Stork, click the link below! Of if you would like to read more about teaching kids about sex, you’ll find my original post here.

What tips can you share to make it easier for us first-timers when it’s time to begin teaching kids about sex?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid post for the books mentioned above. It’s simply informational because I figure if I need help, chances are there are other moms out there that need help too!

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