Fertility

Getting pregnant can be an exciting time. For some, getting pregnant seems to happen simply by talking about it. For others, getting pregnant takes patience and perhaps a bit of luck.

Understanding when you're most fertile can make getting pregnant easier. It's also important to consider simple do's and don'ts of conception. For example, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet and have sex regularly — especially near the time of ovulation. Don't smoke or drink alcohol. Of course, healthy sperm counts, too.

With frequent unprotected sex, most healthy couples conceive within one year. If you have trouble getting pregnant, don't go it alone. A fertility specialist or other health care provider might be able to help. Infertility affects men and women equally — and treatment is available.

Parental health

Parental health is key to a healthy pregnancy. After all, healthy parents are more likely to have healthy babies. Start with parental health basics, such as updating your vaccines, eating healthy foods, taking prenatal vitamins and exercising regularly.

Parental health takes on additional significance if you have a chronic medical condition that might affect your pregnancy. Work with your health care provider to manage your condition both before and during pregnancy. Remember, taking good care of yourself is the best way to take care of your baby.

Parental health includes considerations about age, too. If you're older than 35 and hoping to get pregnant, understand the issues older mothers face — and know what it takes to have a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy symptoms

If you're experiencing pregnancy symptoms, you're probably eager to know if you're actually pregnant — whether you've been trying to get pregnant for months or your pregnancy symptoms came as a surprise.

Early pregnancy symptoms such as tender breasts and fatigue sometimes indicate pregnancy. In other cases, these classic pregnancy symptoms might be due to something else — such as an illness or the start of your period. Often, the easiest way to know what's behind pregnancy symptoms is to take a home pregnancy test.

If your home pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. You might also want to try a pregnancy due date calculator. If you're pregnant, estimating your due date is an important part of your prenatal care.

Apr. 05, 2014