Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Things To Do Before You Start Trying For a Baby

7 Things To Do Before You Start Trying For A Baby |

Trying for a baby is a bit of an odd season of life to be in. For me it was, anyways. It's just before you (hopefully) fall pregnant so you're feeling quite adult-ish but it hasn't really hit home yet. It also feels weird because suddenly you learn more about making a baby than they ever taught you in school. It's almost like they missed out a few details. Or maybe I wasn't quite paying attention.

In any event, trying for a baby actually starts a few months BEFORE you even start trying. As weird as that sounds, it's true. So I've put together a list of things to do before you start trying.


Birth defects of the brain and spine, like anencephaly and spina bifida (do yourself a favour and DON'T look those up - you WILL freak yourself out! Just trust me), occur in the first 25-29 days of pregnancy - before most women even know they're pregnant. This means that starting folic acid after you find out you're pregnant is a good idea, but you've missed the crucial time where it's most needed. Studies have also shown that women who took folic acid up to a year before they fell pregnant had less chance of delivering early. The great thing about folic acid is that it's also water-soluble so anything your body doesn't need, you'll simply wee out. 


This is something that's super easy to do but is only checked after you fall pregnant. Once you fall pregnant, your doctor will run blood tests at your first scan to check a whole bunch of things. One aspect of those tests is to check that you're still vaccinated against certain illnesses - especially Rubella. Rubella is also known as German measles and if contracted by someone who's pregnant, can be fatal for the unborn child. It's great that your doctor will check that you're still vaccinated, but if you aren't vaccinated anymore and you're already pregnant, they can't do anything about it because to re-vaccinate you would mean putting live cultures of Rubella into your system, which they obviously can't do if you're pregnant. It's therefore better to have yourself checked before you fall pregnant so that if you aren't vaccinated anymore, you can go and get yourself re-vaccinated.


I am by no means a financial person, but this was crucial for me. I needed to see just how much having a baby would cost us in the first few months (i.e. adding up all the initial costs to have a baby, not just the monthly costs after baby comes) and if it was something we'd be able to afford. Drawing up a budget puts things into perspective A LOT and can also help you see what all you'll need, what you'll be getting from the baby shower and what, if anything, you'll be getting from friends and family. A budget will also help you determine what is most important for you and your partner and what you'd want to buy immediately or closer to the end of the pregnancy. 

On a side note to this, I was told when we were trying, that it's best to look carefully at your list of things you'll need to buy and decide what can wait to be bought in case it's something you might not need. You don't want to buy a breastfeeding pump (R2000 for an electric one!!) only to discover that you can't actually breastfeed. Somethings can wait until after baby is born.

A budget will also help put boundaries down as to how much you're prepared to or can spend on certain times or on things in general. 


In school, and from our parents, we're all taught the birds and the bees. We all know how a baby is made, but realistically, making a baby isn't as straight forward as one might think. Do your research, track your menstrual cycle, know what ovulation is and when it takes place for you and how you can maximise your chances of falling pregnant naturally. Some women don't ovulate and they go months without knowing it. Taking a simple ovulation test will immediately ease the stress, or make you aware of a problem that you can then address, instead of going months of trying and you're actually not ovulating. 


Saving is always a good idea, so it should definitely be something you do before you have a baby. They say when you fall pregnant you should start stockpiling on things like nappies, and the same principle applies to saving. Saving means you'll have a decent stash to buy baby goodies when you do fall pregnant and it means you don't have to run around trying to find the moolah when you find something you need or really want. It also means less stress because you know that you have the stash and you don't have to worry about it.


This may be an obvious one, but sometimes stuff happens and when it does, you may not be on the same page. Chat to your partner about trying, how much effort you want to put into trying, how long you'll give it before you go see a doctor, if you'd both want to try something more like IVF or if you'd both just go straight to adoption. It can also be a good idea to chat about the chances of defects and what your approach to it would be. Things don't always go according to plan, and although most couples fall pregnant naturally with in 3 months to a year, if it does end up taking longer, you need to know how far you both are willing to go.


Chat to your parents about their history. If your family has a history of miscarriages, find out why and if its something that can be prevented. It's also wise to find out whether anyone has previously struggled and if the cause is genetic. Knowing what you're up against can help your health in the long run - both in general and in terms of your pregnancy.

And finally, once you start trying, go to the gynae and get a good checkup. He/she can make sure everything looks good and healthy and that you're good to go, and then head home and enjoy the ride ;)


  1. These are great tips my friend, and all of great value! One thing we have learnt being parents from the baby stage is that babies aren't that expensive, children are! Schools and uniforms and doctors etc all go up once the nappies and formula stop...

    1. Thank you lovely! Yep! So true! That's what really hit home when I was doing the budget - all the monthly costs after baby is born don't stop like the initial costs do and they actually get larger! The baby part is the most affordable part ha ha!

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