Parenting Lesson 1 - Getting ready to try for a baby

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. Understand all about child conception

  2. What are the Physical Parameters for being best fit for Conceiving

  3. Ovulation calendar to conceive

  4. Best Sex positions to conceive?

  5. Is there a way to conceive a boy, a girl or twins naturally?

1. Understand all about child conception

Raising a child is one of the most beautiful experiences in human life so let’s understand the process where it all begins – The conception which means the very beginning of parenthood journey.

Conception occurs when during sexual intercourse a male ejaculates semen in female’s vagina and a sperm from the semen swims up through the vagina and into the uterus of a woman and joins with the woman’s egg cell and then the fertilized egg travels down one of the fallopian tubes from the ovary to the uterus.

As the fertilized egg continues to move down the fallopian tube, it begins to divide into two cells, then four cells, then more cells as the division continues. About a week after the sperm has fertilized the egg, the fertilized egg has travelled to the uterus and has become a growing cluster of about 100 cells called a blastocyst.

The blastocyst then attaches itself to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). This attachment process is called implantation. Release of the hormones estrogen and progesterone causes the endometrium to thicken, which provides the nutrients the blastocyst needs to grow and eventually develop into a baby.

As cells continue to divide — some developing into the baby, others forming the nourishment and oxygen supply structure called the placenta — hormones are released that signal the body that a baby is growing inside the uterus. These hormones also signal the uterus to maintain its lining rather than shedding it. This means that a woman does not have a period that month, which may be the first way a woman knows she is pregnant. And that my friend is conception!

2. What are the Physical Parameters for being best fit for Conceiving

While there are no set rules in terms of physical fitness or biological markers to get pregnant for both male and female.

However it is always suggested that getting into shape when you're trying for a baby can make a big difference

Exercising while you’re trying for a baby will also help reduce your stress levels to have a positive impact on fertility. Studies have found that high stress levels can have an impact on sperm count, ovulation and your sex life – and it can be hard to get in the mood for baby-making sex when you’re completely stressed out.

Plus, it will make it easier to stick to your workout regime when you’re pregnant and make carrying around your bump that little bit easier.

Have a pre-conception checkup to avoid any nutrient deficiency in your body especially things like folic acids, which would help a lot in having healthy pregnancy. Ask your doctor about starting a multivitamin to keep right nutrient intake in body.

During pregnancy, you’re more susceptible to colds, the flu, and other illnesses. Give your immune system some extra help by eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, getting vitamin C, and resting.

While you’re getting all your checkups, it’s best to stop in to have your teeth looked at, too. During pregnancy, the hormones in your body may affect your gums and teeth. Good brushing habits before pregnancy can help ward off pregnancy gingivitis and cavities.

3. Ovulation calendar to conceive

Did you know that there are only few days in a month when a female could get pregnant? And Knowing the days you are most likely to be fertile can increase your chance of getting pregnant.

As you know that the typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but each woman is different. There are about 6 days during each menstrual cycle when you can get pregnant. This is called your fertile window. These 6 days are based on the fact that female eggs can survive for up to 24 hours wherein male sperm can survive in the female body for even 5 days so making the whole cycle as 6 days.

However the day the female's ovaries release eggs varies a lot, 54% of females have it around 12-13th day of their menstrual cycle. The best way is to use an ovulation calculator or an ovulation predictor kits to see which days you are most likely to be fertile.

You could also pay attention to the physical signs of ovulation. Some women can tell when they're ovulating by looking at their vaginal discharge. Directly before ovulation, cervical mucous becomes like raw egg whites in consistency (you could stretch it between your fingers). And your basal body temperature will rise about a half-degree when ovulation has taken place, so some women chart their temps each morning before getting out of bed. The catch there is that when you see the rise in temperature, you've already ovulated — so time is of the essence!

You can also get a rough idea of when you're due to ovulate by recording the first day of each menstrual period. This works best for women with regular cycles.

4. Best Sex positions to conceive?

There have been a lot of debates over the sex positions for pregnancy, but it’s not scientifically proven yet. Some position can turn-on couples and increases their fertility. Female orgasm that occurs just before, during, or sometime after the male partner ejaculates has been considered as a factor in some studies to boost pregnancy rates.

With hundreds of millions of sperm released in each male orgasm, any unprotected sex around the time of ovulation could result in a pregnancy. If sperm enter the vagina, you have a chance to conceive. Some research has shown that sperm have better quality when collected after a 2-3 day period of abstinence. Studies have also shown that higher rates of conception are seen in couples who have sex every 1-2 days.

Few best and most common sex positions are

● Missionary Position: The missionary position is one of the most popular and common sex positions for getting pregnant. It can be said that most babies in the world are born because of this sex position. That’s because the sperm is deposited closer to the cervix in the upper vagina, facilitating easy access to the uterine and cervical canal.

● Doggy Style: The doggy position increases the chances of pregnancy as it involves deep penetration. It requires both partners to be on their fours. The man penetrates the woman from behind. This position opens the cervix and makes it easy for the sperm to fertilise the egg.

● Anvil Position: The anvil position is a variant of the classic missionary pose. In this position, the woman must raise her legs above her head. It offers good chances of conceiving because of deep penetration. The raised legs help in stimulating the woman’s G-spot, as well.

● Spooning Position: This is a romantic and effective position, in which the woman lies to her side and the man spoons her from behind. Spooning allows the woman’s cervix to be angled at 90 degrees and provides better accessibility to the sperm.

5. Is there a way to conceive a boy, a girl or twins naturally?

No, there is no way you can decide the gender of your child. There are many anecdotal solutions which claim to do so but none of those is scientifically proven.

An interesting fact is that women who naturally conceive twins tend to live in areas where sweet potatoes/yams are a major part of their diet. Yams are supposed to increase the fertility of a woman and improve the ovulation process as well, thereby increasing the chances of getting twins. Also, being an older mother tends to make twin babies more likely as just before a woman enters peri-menopause, her ovaries start releasing more than one egg each month. This 'fertility spike' is also influenced by a surge of estrogen.

It goes without saying that women who go through fertility treatment, such as IVF and who are producing prolactin and breastfeeding are more likely to conceive twins.