In this post, I’d love to share with you healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy.
Yes, we’re trying for another baby! We’ve been trying for 4 cycles so far!
This post will focus on the healthy things you can do to get your body ready for a second pregnancy, and is especially relevant if you’re a breastfeeding or older mum.
I hope you’ll find this post really helpful!
In another post, I’ll also talk about my worries and fears, and how I can overcome them. They’re worries shared by virtually all pregnant women – I’m sure you mamas can relate! I will link to that post once it’s completed.
Some backstory: it took 15 months for my fertility to return after Jonah. I do think it’s awesome that for many women, breastfeeding controls fertility. Our bodies know whether or not we’d be able to cope physically with the demands of another baby. When the time is right, the cycle of hormones and fertility fire back up.
The average time for the return of menstrual periods is 14.6 months. KellyMom
Since before we married, we intended to have 2 children. We’d absolutely love a brother or sister for Jonah. I think Jonah would love a sibling to care for and play with.
So let’s jump straight into the healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy!
Here are the healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy
Why is it important to prepare physically? Pregnancy really is one of the most physically demanding things you’ll ever experience. This is especially true if it hasn’t been long since your last baby.
It’s really important to make sure you prepare so that you’re well and healthy.
One of the great aspects of preparing is that it can improve your chances of conception! You can do this by monitoring your cycle, improving your nutrition, taking helpful vitamins and herbs that support fertility, and exercising gently.
Drink more water
This is one of the easiest and most healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy.
As a breastfeeding mum, you’re probably drinking more than most to support your breast milk production. But it’s also really important for egg health, too.
Lack of hydration can increase the thickness of the blood, reducing the ability to easily flow around the body. Ideally, you should aim for 2 litres/8 glasses of water per day. ConceiveBaby
Clean up both your diets
Diet is a huge factor in fertility. What you eat now can affect egg and sperm quality in 3 months time. So a healthy diet is really important. We’ve filled our diets with these 6 fertility friendly foods.
We both love biscuits, bread, and pasta – but there’s not much nutritional value in them, so we’ve cut down on those. We already eat plenty of veggies and fish, so we’ll keep up with that.
I find the fertility diet advice on Natural-Fertility-Info.com to be simple and helpful.
Be mindful of caffeine and alcohol consumption
If you spend any time whatsoever in mom circles, you’d be lead to believe that we’re all caffeine swilling addicts, unable to get through a single day without caffeine. But it can be done!
I gave up caffeine before I fell pregnant with Jonah, but once he was born the odd cup snuck in at breastfeeding groups. Before you know it I’m chugging back 4+ cups of coffee a day again. Yes, even though I’m breastfeeding! Well, I don’t routinely drink alcohol, so it’s been my only vice!
Two weeks of headaches and exhaustion and I’m finally off caffeine again.
But am I right to give up caffeine? Can drinking caffeine really affect fertility and increase the rate of miscarriage? There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there.
To be on the safe side, I’ve given it up completely. But don’t believe the scary warnings that caffeine causes miscarriage helped reassure me that a little caffeine should be okay.
Monitor your cycle
Monitoring your cycle can help you pinpoint your most fertile days.
There are several ways to chart your fertility:
- Using an ovulation predictor app
- Monitoring cervical mucus
- Temperature charting
- Using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK)
For some women, monitoring can increase their stress around conceiving. If this is you, definitely steer clear. Otherwise, monitoring your fertility could really help you conceive!
I use the free Glow app to pinpoint my window of fertility. Then I use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) to confirm I’m actually approaching ovulation. Cheap OPKs are my favourite because the price is amazing and they work really well.
How to use OPKs
Once you enter your fertile window (that is, the five days before ovulation), shown as green days in Glow, then start testing.
Take your OPK test every day at approximately the same time. I find early afternoon works well for me. Don’t drink much in the two hours before using one, as this waters down your result.
A faint line does not mean you’re ovulating. It means the test has started to detect a surge in luteinising hormone (LH). Only when the test line is as dark, or darker, than the control line, is the OPK positive.
Once my OPK is almost positive, I start testing twice a day. Once at 1-2pm, and again around 8pm. I find my OPK stays positive for around 24 hours.
I love this post on natural fertility planning from American Pregnancy for more in-depth information.
Use the right kind of lube
Okay – so not the most obvious of healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy. I dislike using the phrase TMI here, because you’re here to hear about this, right? But this may need a TMI.
Before Jonah, I really didn’t need lube. I swear breastfeeding has dried up my cervical mucus. Or maybe it’s because I have a baby now, and I’m somewhat waiting to hear his cry while we cuddle up.
Either way, as a breastfeeding mum trying to conceive, I need lube in my sex life.
Not all lubes are created equal. Some can damage sperm and hinder their path to the cervix.
We use Sliquid Organics Oceanics which is absolutely amazing! Even the best natural lubes still contain phenoxyethanol, but this one is totally clean and natural.
We really can’t recommend this organic lube highly enough for breastfeeding mums trying to conceive. The aloe-based lubricant is pH balanced to respect both semen and egg, and contains seaweed extracts rich in vitamins and minerals.
Take prenatal vitamins and supplements to support fertility
Ideally, our diet would give us everything we need. But taking vitamins can cover our bases. It’s peace of mind that our body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
As mentioned previously, because eggs and sperm have a maturation cycle of 3 months, it’s important to start 3 months ahead of planning to TTC.
Additionally, if you’re taking prenatal vitamins when you do fall pregnant, you can be sure your tiny embryo gets everything it needs right from day 1.
As for me, I’ve switched from Pregnacare Breastfeeding to Pregnacare Conception. My husband is taking Wellman Conception vitamins also. They come in a dual pack which is super-handy.
The women’s formula contains inositol, l-arginine, n-acetyl cysteine, and selenium, as well as regular vitamins you’d expect from a multi-vitamin. The men’s formula contains co-enzyme Q10, ginseng, and maca. Both contain zinc, which is essential for fertility.
We take Swanson Ubiquinol, as several studies point to ubiquinol’s ability to improve the quality of both sperm and egg. It protects DNA at cell level, which is especially important for those over 35.
It’s quite expensive but I see it as a really worthwhile investment for us – as an older couple trying to conceive.
Find out how to use ubiquinol to improve egg and sperm quality.
Any supermarket bought omega 3 is fine, but make sure the source of the oil is fish body, not fish liver, as fish liver can be harmful to the developing embryo.
With Jonah, we both took green powder, maca powder, and I took bee products as well. I’m not going to take these while I am nursing Jonah, just to be on the safe side, since there’s not much research about how these supplements affect breastfeeding children.
Too much intense exercise can actually be detrimental to women trying to conceive. Walking and gentle stretching are key in my exercise routine.
I’ve never been one for getting sweaty in a gym and much prefer a brisk walk outside.
How have you found my healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy?
I hope I’ve given you some good ideas for healthy ways to prepare for a second pregnancy – trying for a second baby is an emotional and exciting time!
If you drink more water, cut down on caffeine and hopefully give up booze, clean up your diet, and take healthy supplements to cover your bases, you can’t go far wrong. Think of it as insurance that you’re giving your little one the very best start in life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are you trying for a second baby? What healthy lifestyle changes are you making? Let me know in the comments!