Last spring my husband and I decided to try for a second baby. I was really self-conscious about the fact that since becoming a Mum for the first time, my lifestyle had changed and I was nowhere near as fit or generally healthy as I had been when we conceived our first child. My worries were further exacerbated when, after a couple of months of trying, we conceived only to suffer an early but distressing miscarriage. I decided to tackle a few of the lifestyle issues and later that summer, managed to fall pregnant again. These are the changes I made.
Cut down caffeine
My husband and I both drink too much coffee for our own good. In addition to my two strong coffees every morning, I was drinking between 2-3 cans of fizzy drink at lunch time and I knew this had to change. We both made a conscious decision to drop the numbers of caffeine drinks we consumed in a day - I had heard that this was particularly important for women when trying to conceive.
The most successful way I found for weaning myself off caffeine was a surprising side effect of a self-hypnosis podcast that I downloaded. It was meant to have helped me lose weight but in fact helped me to drop the fizzy drinks!
Trying to conceive a baby can be a very emotional and stressful experience in itself so any additional stress just adds to the worries. I am convinced that nature knows that stressed people are not best placed to become mummies and daddies and so rewards chilled out couples.
Online, I am known as the Mellow Mummy for my relaxed approach to motherhood but in the weeks after my miscarriage I was anything but mellow. My busy job was certainly contributing to my stress levels and a toddler who had just reached the 'terrible twos' wasn't helping matters.
I found that taking some time during my lunch break to get some fresh air and go for a walk helped to clear my head and contributed, in a small way, towards a healthier, less stressed me.
Save alcohol for special treats
I am sure that the stress was probably the cause of my high intake levels of both caffeine and alcohol. I don't think I was drinking a lot of alcohol but I made the decision to reduce it anyway and I more or less cut out wine, beer and spirits even before I fell pregnant.
I have no scientific evidence to suggest that these three things contributed to the conception of the child I am expecting next month but I know these steps helped me feel better about myself and that alone may have been the deciding factor.