graphic of birth control pills and fertility mobile app
profile picture of Cassie Kreitner
Cassie Kreitner
Senior Editor

Ready to Start Trying for a Baby? Do These 5 Things (Watch!)

Prep for pregnancy with these important to-dos.

Deciding you’re ready to have a baby is an exciting milestone, no question. But before you start picking out potential names and pinning super-cute nursery inspo, there are a few things you can do to help improve your fertility odds and maximize your chances of conceiving a healthy baby. Watch the video above to get our top pre-TTC tips, then read on for more info.

1. Get familiar with your cycle: While you’re most likely to get pregnant during your “fertile window,” it can be tricky to pinpoint exactly when that occurs.

  • Stop using hormonal birth control, as it can take a few months for your cycle to regulate.
  • Start charting your period, so you know the typical length of your cycle.
  • Determine when you’re ovulating by learning to recognize ovulation symptoms.

2. Review your family history: Have some basic knowledge of your family’s history regarding infertility, miscarriages and genetic disorders.

  • Talk with your parents, siblings and your partner’s family.
  • Consider an at-home carrier screening test like Invitae. It’s a convenient saliva test you can do before or during pregnancy that screens for up to 288 conditions to determine your risk of passing a genetic condition on to a baby.

3. Evaluate your diet and exercise: Cutting back on certain foods and establishing healthy habits can help boost your odds of getting pregnant.

  • Start taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Consider limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Being significantly underweight or overweight can affect fertility, so check with your doctor to make sure you’re in the right range.

4. See if you’re up to date on vaccines: Some have a waiting period before you can try to conceive or aren’t safe to get during pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to check your immunization records now. Here are the vaccines to get before pregnancy:

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella)
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

5. Try to relax: For some people, getting pregnant can be a stressful process. Building some of these stress-management techniques into your routine now could help down the line.

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Practice yoga or meditation.
  • Have a strong support system.

Learn more about carrier screening and its benefits, and find out how to order your own comprehensive test from Invitae.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.