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You're trying to get pregnant? You know all about folic acid and using an ovulation calendar, so it is time to talk about what not to do when you are trying to have a baby.

Cigarettes and drugs

Cigarettes affect a baby's birth weight, lungs, and according to some research even their IQ. A cigarette contains over 4000 different chemicals, many of which cause cancer. You already knew that smoking kills, and if you are still doing it than that fact has not scared you so far. Trying to conceive is a wonderful reason to finally quit that filthy habit. Drugs are no good either there are too many different illegal drugs to list them and their effects. We have written about this topic before though, so feel free to do a search on this blog. The bottom line is don't do it.

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is not quite as clearly condemned as cigarettes and drugs. Some studies show that having a drink now and again during pregnancy is not harmful, while other research shows that having as little as a drink a week can lead to the dreaded Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The fact remains that no amount of alcohol has been proven to be safe during pregnancy. Women who are trying to conceive have a great reason to say no to a drink those first two weeks after your egg was fertilized are crucial. You never know whether you may be pregnant during the time between ovulation and menstruation, so do not drink any alcohol. Save that for the first half of your cycle, if you must.

Unhealthy food

Junk food addicts should really better their lives before they ditch the birth control and start trying for a little one. Junk food is called that because it contains too many saturated fats and sugar, and too little actual nutrients. When you are trying to conceive, it is best to be at a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and to eat a balanced diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy and meat products for those who eat them.

A lazy lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle obviously contributes to overweight which we just discussed. That is not the only thing wrong with a lack of physical activity, however. Women who go into a pregnancy in poor physical condition with no stamina are likely to experience being pregnant as exhausting and difficult. Being fit when you get pregnant encourages a mobile and enjoyable nine months. Decent abdominal muscles also contribute to your chances of having a flat belly again after you give birth.

Extreme sports

Bungee jumping. White water rafting. Paragliding. Diving off a cliff. Parachute jumping. Rodeo. All dangerous, extreme sports that are quite risky at the best of times. Don't engage in them when you are pregnant, and don't do them when you are trying to get pregnant either. A good rule is to refrain from anything that could kill you. Being a work-out junkie can also be considered an extreme sport. Evidence does suggest that being ultra-fit, as professional athletes are, can result in menstrual-cycle disorders and can stop ovulation. Those women who would like to become mothers who are bodybuilders or just work out a lot may like to cut down a little until after the baby is conceived, and born.

Sex with different people

This is right up there with not doing drugs and steering clear of that parachute jump you have been dreaming off. You may get sexually transmitted infections. Or get pregnant, and not know who the father is. Or you could just ruin your relationship. Splitting up with your partner is not the best way to start a family.

Stress

On a more serious note, stress is a great thing to avoid when you are trying to get pregnant. Science is not clear on whether stress can stop you from getting pregnant at this point, though some studies do suggest this. One thing is clear, however: stress is unpleasant and can harm your health and your relationship. Do you find that the very adventure of trying to get pregnant is causing you stress? You wouldn't be alone, if that describes you. You may feel pressure to have a baby, either from others or from within. Being aware of this and working on ways to reduce this stress may increase your chances of conceiving, but it will definitely make you feel better.

  • Infographic by Steadyhealth.com
  • Infographic by Steadyhealth.com

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