Sometimes when you’re trying to conceive, that dream of actually getting pregnant and having a baby can seem so elusive. If that’s how you’re feeling right now, don’t despair. There are things you can start doing right now that will increase your chances of having a positive pregnancy test by the end of the year.

I began trying to conceive my first baby at age 41. My journey was fraught with twists and turns, including two miscarriages, a diagnosis of severe Diminished Ovarian Reserve, and a prediction that I had less than a 2% chance of getting pregnant using my own eggs. I was told that my best chance to have a baby was through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using eggs from a donor.

Instead, I did conceive, a month before my 43rd birthday, after just one yearof trying. I did use my own eggs, and I didn’t do IVF.

The question I most often get from other women when they hear my story is, what did you do?

What I did is develop a 3-pronged approach to getting pregnant — I help my clients using this approach, and I recommend anyone who wants to get pregnant take action in each of these 3 areas every single day.

1. Understanding your menstrual cycles and fertility signs.

It’s absolutely imperative to have at least a basic understanding of your cycles if you want to get pregnant. Knowing when you ovulate, when you’re in your fertile window, and what’s normal for you is essential information that gives you immense power in taking charge of your fertility.

2. Taking back your physical health through a healthy lifestyle.

Top physical health, including a well balanced, whole-foods based diet, moderate exercise and sufficient sleep, is vital for keeping our hormones balanced and ovulation normal. Issues with ovulation are the number onecause of female infertility. Make sure you’re also taking a good prenatal vitamin.

3. Cultivating a mindset to set you up for success.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. Trying to conceive can be an incredibly overwhelming and emotional process. It can also be long, taking months or even years. For this reason, having a mindset of complete trust, faith and confidence in the process is a key ingredient to finding success on the fertility path. Meditation, breathing, journaling or visualization are just a few tools that can help you with this.

Now that I’ve laid out the building blocks for you, let’s put it all together. The daily wellness plan outlined below will allow you to take purposeful action toward your goal of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby, without the stress and obsession that can take over on this journey.

This was a typical day for me while I was trying to conceive.

6:00 am: Wake-up

· As soon as you wake up and before getting out of bed or doing anything else, take and record your basal body temperature on an app on your phone (thermometer and phone are right next to your bed).

· Do 10–15 minutes of quick journaling or visualization to set your intention for the day.

6:30: Breakfast

· Go-To Fertility Smoothie — watch a video showing just how easy it is to make a yummy, fertility-boosting smoothie!

· 1 glass of water with ½ lemon squeezed into it

· Prenatal vitamin

Purposeful Commute to Work

· If you commute to work via public transportation, you can squeeze in a quick meditation or visualizations on your way to work.

· If you drive, you can do affirmations (without meditation) in the car.

· Keep drinking water during your commute (yes, I try to drink ½ my body weight in ounces of water every day).

9:00: Mid-morning snack and fertility signs check

· Apple slices dipped in almond butter. Plus more water!

· First cervical fluid check. After your period concludes, check your cervical fluid several times a day (it changes throughout the day).

· If at any time during the day you see fertile-quality cervical fluid (clear and watery/very wet, or egg-white quality), this means that you’re in your fertile period.

11:00: Mental break and fertility signs check

· Go for a brisk 20-minute walk around the block. Walking helps you move your body, get a quick mental break and get some Vitamin D from the sunlight! Vitamin D has been linked to higher success rates in IVF. Make sure you also drink water during your walk.

· After your walk check your cervical fluid again.

11:30 am: Lunch

· Awesome Autumn Soup, and more water!

2:30 pm: Mid-afternoon snack and fertility signs check

· Handful of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds — almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts are all great choices. Make sure you wash them down with some water!

· Check your cervical fluid again. Have you noticed any change since the morning?

· If you’re past Day 9 of your cycle, break out an Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK). These tests let you know if ovulation is near by detecting a surge in your Luteinizing Hormone. They’re sometimes hard to read and not reliable, so I don’t recommend relying on them; however, since you’re tracking your fertility signs, they’re useful as a backup and can corroborate your other signs.

5:00 pm: After-work restorative yoga class

· A more meditative, restorative approach to yoga gives your body the movement it needs while helping you let go of the stress and anxiety of trying to conceive.

· During final relaxation, try to envision your baby, calling him or her to come to you. As you breathe, repeat your affirmations: I am fertile. I will be a mother.

6:30 pm: Dinner

· Grilled salmon topped with cubed avocado dressing, side of cooked quinoa, water.

· Invite a good friend to join your for dinner. We often get so wrapped up in the process of trying to conceive that we forget to make time for the people we love. The simple act of connecting with a loved one gives our soul the nourishment it needs.

9:00 pm: Pre-bedtime ritual

· Take a soothing bath or enjoy a cup of red raspberry leaf tea.

· In your journal, jot down 3 things you’re grateful for in your life today. Practicing gratitude opens your heart and brings more abundance to you in every aspect of your life.

You could also try a brief meditation before bed to call the mother within you.

9:30 pm: Lights out

· As you drift off to sleep, think again about the abundance in your life, repeat your affirmations, and visualize yourself as a mother.

I hope this quick look at a purposeful day on the fertility journey is helpful. It can take up to 3 months for some of these actions to positively affect your fertility. But if you start now, and take consistent action every day, you could see your positive pregnancy test by Christmas.

Best wishes and baby dust to you!

Want more tools and step-by-step guides to help you improve your fertility? Get more info here!

 

[Originally appeared at Thrive Global, 9/26/17]

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