How to Make a Baby: Tips from a Doctor

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How to Make a Baby: Tips from a Doctor

You may have spent your entire young adulthood trying to avoid a pregnancy. But now, you really want to start a family. If you’ve been “trying,” for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that making a baby isn’t always as simple as jettisoning the condoms, scheduling the time, and getting together. Here are some of the finer points.

First of all, reduce your stress. The chances of conception decrease if you are both under stress. Frequent travelling, major life changes, a long illness, working a gazillion hours weekly, and staying tied to some smart device are terrible for sex drive and intercourse. Remember, the stressed body is in its primitive “fight or flight” mode, and not thinking about reproduction. So, decrease your stress level by eating well, getting plenty of sleep, disconnecting from devices, exercising, and generally treating your body right. If you are overworked, take breaks – take short walks after lunch and cherish the weekends. If this isn’t possible, force your body to relax with exercise, yoga, massage or acupuncture. Also, stop smoking, drink no more than two glasses of alcohol daily, and avoid hot tubs and hot baths (showers are fine).

Like with most things in life, timing is everything. Most men (80%) know exactly what to do to conceive but have little idea when to do it. Eighty percent of pregnancies occur when sex takes place before or at ovulation, the time when a woman’s ovary releases an egg for fertilization. But figuring out when ovulation occurring is the real problem. The old-fashioned at-home method is to pay attention to her basal body temperature. To do this, she takes her temperature first thing in the morning, for a string of consecutive days during the middle of her monthly cycle. When there is a dip in her temperature, followed by a rise, this indicates ovulation. A more accurate way is to use an “ovulation predictor kit” purchased at any drugstore. Like a pregnancy test, it uses urine to determine if ovulation is about to occur.

Once you know that the egg is on its way, sex is best when done every other day. Most men need time between ejaculations to “reload” their sperm counts, and every other day is optimal for most of us. As for sex itself, studies have shown that no particular position is best. You can bend yourselves into pretzels, if desired, but it won’t make a difference in your chances of conceiving.

Baby making is special. As Woody Allen said in the movie Annie Hall, ”…sex is the most fun I ever had without laughing.” So, make it a habit to take great care of yourselves and each other, as you prepare to take great care of your child.

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