Guest blog by Jenny Silverstone, blogger for MomLovesBest.com.
Are you wondering why you’re finding it so hard to get pregnant with your second baby? After all, if you’ve had one baby, shouldn’t you be able to seal the deal another time?
Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Fertility is a complicated thing and the stakes are high. Wanting another baby can feel like torture when it takes longer than you’d hoped it would.
Sometimes that first baby can arrive in no time flat, but you can struggle getting pregnant a second time. Here are four common reasons that can make all the difference.
A Gap Between Your First and Second Pregnancies
If your first go-round with breastfeeding and all those other great pregnancy moments was in your mid-20s and you’ve waited until your 30s to try for baby number 2, getting pregnant may be more of a struggle. In your younger years, you had a lot of healthy, viable eggs just waiting to be fertilized.
Those eggs aren’t as plentiful in your mid-30s and beyond. If that’s the age bracket you currently find yourself in, don’t panic.
It may be harder to get pregnant at this point, but it can definitely still happen. Here is how to tip the odds in your favor.
- Relax: Being too stressed out about whether you’ll get pregnant is bad for you. It can actually make you less likely to get pregnant.
- Get some sleep: You’ll increase your odds of getting pregnant if you’re getting enough sleep. Shoot for 8 hours a night.
- Talk with your doctor: If you’re past the age of 35, let your doctor know you’re trying to get pregnant. They’ll set a reasonable timeframe for you to try things on your own. If you’re aren’t pregnant by the end of that timeframe, they may want to explore your options with you.
You Have Put on Some Weight
It’s a common occurrence for overweight women to become pregnant in the weeks or months after they start dieting and exercising. Extra pounds can impact both men and women in the fertility department.
For women, it happens because the extra weight can cause higher testosterone levels and insulin resistance, which can mess with your ovulation. Another thing that can impact your pregnancy chances when you’re overweight is that you’ll have lower implantation rates.
The reverse is true for men — their extra pounds can up their estrogen levels. That’s bad news for their sperm counts. So if you or your man has gained some weight between your first pregnancy and your second attempt, it’s not too late to reverse it.
- Start logging caloric intake: Counting calories can be boring, but if you want to lose weight, you’ll have to restrict them. Opt for high-fiber choices along with some protein so you’ll stay full.
- Exercise: Even if you only start with a walk around the block, get your exercise. It will get easier each time you go out there, and as you watch the pounds drop off, you’ll be increasing your odds of getting pregnant.
Scale Back on Your Alcohol Intake
If you’re hitting the bottle a little more than you should, you might be sabotaging your chances of pregnancy. For both men and women, imbibing in too much alcohol can make conception take longer.
It takes moderate or heavy usage to reach that level though. That’s defined as over two drinks a day or more than seven drinks a week.
If you’re trying to become pregnant, one of the first things you should do is eliminate alcohol entirely. It may help you conceive and your baby will have a healthier start because you’ve quit drinking.
Stay Away From Smoke
We all know smoking is bad for us for many reasons. But there’s one more reason you should add to your list — it can increase your risk of infertility. Some studies show women smokers are 60 percent likelier to be infertile than women who don’t smoke.
Smoking is bad for your baby fever because it creates ovulation problems and damages your eggs. For men, smoking should be avoided too — it can damage the DNA of the sperm.
If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, ditch the cigarettes and see if it helps. You should also make an effort to stay away from secondhand smoke.
If you find you’re struggling to quit smoking, try chewing gum, sucking on mints, exercising, or seeking professional counseling to help you kick the habit.
Implement These Tips For Success
While these tips aren’t guaranteed to help you conceive, they can help. At the very least, you’ll be healthier while giving up smoking, drinking, and if you lose any excess pounds you may be storing.
If you do all those things, your body will be in better shape to help foster another life.
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, and a blogger for MomLovesBest.com where she writes about her journey through motherhood and gives tips for new moms to keep fit, healthy and safe during pregnancy.