Trying for a baby soon? Here’s a timeline for your year leading up to conception

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Kiindred
Brought to you by the Kiindred Editors. Our team are committed to researching and writing on all the things we know you will want to know about, at each stage of your pregnancy and parenthood journey.
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 · 5 mins read

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We’ve talked all about what to do during pregnancy, breastfeeding, the toddler stage, and more. But what about the preconception stage? If you have ample time to plan and prep, you might feel like you should be doing something… but you’re not really sure what to do! That’s why we’ve put together this straightforward timeline. We answer what you should do at 1 year, 6 months, and 3-4 months preconception. Remember: these are guidelines, not hard deadlines. It’s okay if you’re a bit ahead or behind.

Get off birth control


Many factors can have a negative impact on fertility, the most obvious one being birth control. If you’re currently on a form of birth control, such as the pill, IUD, implant, patch, or shot, now is a good time to get off those. If that makes you nervous about conceiving before you’re ready, don’t worry! Barrier methods, such as condoms, can still be used and they are 98% effective.

Visit your healthcare provider


Even though it’s early, a good idea at this point would be to visit your doctor. You can go over any early concerns, personal and family medical history, and evaluate your overall health. Additionally, if you’re on any prescription or over the counter medications, remember that many medications can affect fertility and pregnancy. Check with your doctor about those, and make sure you make any necessary changes.


General health 


Eating healthy and exercising regularly is always important, now more than ever! You’re about to put your mind and body through a whole lot, so give yourself the best experience possible by treating yourself well. Make sure your diet is well-rounded: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and healthy fats are all important. Maybe try some exercises that will carry well into pregnancy, such as yoga, swimming, long walks, stationary cycling, or pilates.


Evaluate your financials


As much as the decision to have a baby is made with our hearts, it’s a financial decision as well. Now is a great time to evaluate your situation before taking on the financial burden of a baby. Save up! Not only is it essential for baby products, but also for prenatal care, ultrasounds, childbirth and childcare classes, daycare, unexpected medical expenses, and more.

Six months preconception


Genetic testing for you and your partner


6 months before you and your partner try for a baby, consider genetic testing. Genetic tests can reveal any disorders that you didn’t know about, which is important as they can be passed to your little one. Even if a genetic disorder does present, it’s better to know now than to wonder about it. That way, you can better prepare to have a child with a genetic disorder.

Fertility testing for you and your partner


You don’t want to start trying for a baby in 6 months, only to realise you or your partner have fertility issues and end up scrambling for a solution. Luckily, fertility tests are quick, easy, and well worth it! They usually involve a simple blood test for a mother and a semen sample from a father. Some women may also be required to go for an internal exam to check their follicles – this test is slightly invasive and uncomfortable, but well worth it for peace of mind. If it does come back that there’s a problem, you can start to explore possible solutions for a positive outcome, such as IVF.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine, smoking


As we know, drinking alcohol and smoking are extremely harmful to pregnancies, and it’s also best to limit caffeine. But did you know that changes should be made even before pregnancy? Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and nicotine all reduce fertility, and could increase the risk of birth defects and complications. Now is the perfect time to cut down on these.

3-4 months preconception


Track menstrual cycle 


Sometimes it can take a bit for your cycle to stabilise, especially if you’re recently coming off of birth control. It can be hard to properly plan intercourse if you’re just guessing when you’re ovulating. Consider downloading an app to help track your menstrual cycle. There are so many options out there!

Take Natalis


Prenatal supplements are a good idea prior to conception, as they can provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs and that you may not be getting from dirt alone. Natalis Pregnancy Multivitamins and Minerals can be taken months before conception, as well as throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. Natalis includes folic acid, iron, and iodine, all of which are recommended to support a growing baby.

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Support your parenthood journey with Natalis Pregnancy Vitamins and Minerals
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Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Natalis is a proud supporter and in a paid partnership with Australian College of Midwives.

Insurance Plan


This one has a due date! If you want to go private with your health insurance, it must be done at least 12 months before you give birth. Start looking into your insurance plans now, and make sure there aren’t any changes you want to make. Take a look at your plan’s policies surrounding pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

Work Policies


Look into your company’s policies on maternity/paternity leave, as well as any additional parental benefits they might have for you. It’s best to do it early, because if they are more or less supportive than what you had in mind, it will alter your carefully made plans. Be sure to communicate with your partner about their work policies too, that way you can plan around each other’s situation.

Relax! Be positive!


Take some time for yourself. Your life is about to go through some major changes, and soon it will be difficult to find time for yourself and your partner. Take a vacation, spend extra time together, meditate, whatever you need to do! And remember to stay positive throughout the process. Also keep in mind that it’s very normal for conception to take a few months, even if you follow everything in this article to a T. So, try to enjoy the process, and if you have any concerns, reach out to your friends, family, or your healthcare provider.

This is a paid partnership between Kiindred and Natalis Pregnancy Support. 

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