Importance of planning for pregnancy

Amanda, 26, and husband Judd, 29, from Essex, adopted a healthier lifestyle when planning to have a baby. They now have a daughter called Shelbie.

Couple Amanda and Judd with daughter Shelbie

We got married in August 2017. I have polycystic ovaries (PCOS) so I knew starting a family could be a challenge. I knew I would need to get my body ready to fall pregnant and carry a child.

In the past I’d had lots of problems with irregular periods, so I knew that getting pregnant could be pretty challenging depending on how big the cysts were at that time of the month.

I just knew that there were no guarantees for us, I knew I had to do lots of planning if we were going to have a child and I wanted to do everything I possibly could.

I’m from a big family, I have nieces and nephews and I’d reached the point where I felt I wanted to be a mum. It was my time.

Planning for pregnancy

I went to see my GP and he recommended I take pregnancy vitamins. I was also prescribed a drug called metformin.

My husband started taking Wellman tablets with the aim to start seriously trying in the New Year.

I bought ovulation tests and downloaded an app, which really helped. It allowed me to monitor how long my periods were each month and gave me a guideline as to when I was fertile and I used the ovulation tests then.

At the beginning, every month was different, so it was a great way to keep track.

Every time my cycle started, I ticked a box on the app and listed symptoms, it would then calculate a certain day and ping a notification to me.

Healthy lifestyle

I really believe that, for me, preparing my body was the most important part of planning for pregnancy. I think if I hadn’t taken that preparation so seriously, we’d probably still be trying.

I don’t really drink tea or coffee, so staying away from caffeine wasn’t really a problem but I tried hard to eat healthier. I did have the odd takeaway, but my husband is a bit of a health freak, which really helped. His support kept me going.

The other big lifestyle change was losing weight. I’d always found it really difficult, a struggle. I ditched regular coke for diet zero and had a much healthier diet. Once we got ourselves into a routine, I felt much more in control.

Getting myself ready, the vitamins, the weight loss, all of it, was a lengthy process, but it really was worth it. It meant that I felt healthier physically, but also, I felt healthier psychologically.

Support from my husband

I think the knowledge that we were doing the best we could to prepare made us feel more optimistic and excited about the idea of falling pregnant.

I’ll admit that, at first, I did feel worried about all the steps I was having to take.

There was a level of doubt in my mind about the challenges we faced. I would ask myself, ‘Will I ever fall pregnant?’

For me, one of the most important things was trying to stay open minded and letting my body do what it needed to do which took the pressure off.

I’m also incredibly grateful for Judd’s support, I can’t tell you what that meant to me. He took the tablets with me every morning, committed to healthy eating and came to all my appointments. Without him, I don’t think I could have done it all.

Within two months of trying I fell pregnant.

Our daughter Shelbie is now 21 weeks and she’s doing really well. She makes all of the planning, the effort, more than worth it. 

Tommy’s in partnership with Clearblue is running a Planning for Pregnancy campaign to raise awareness of what can be done before conception to increase the chance of a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Clearblue advert for Clearblue ovulation test with the words 'Double your chances of getting prgenant'

Tommy's does not endorse specific brands or products.

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