Early September is one of the most common times of year for childbirth because it falls 9 months after the holidays.

Here are 4 tips to be aware of as you embark on the first leg of the journey that is parenthood:

1. Your Menstrual Cycle

The first and most obvious tip when a woman is looking to get pregnant is the monitoring of menstrual cycle. A woman’s period will either come the same number of days apart every month, which is considered to be regular, or, her periods may be irregular, meaning her cycle lengths vary from month to month. By tracking this information on a calendar, a woman can better predict when she might be ovulating, the time when her ovaries will release an egg every month.

A woman’s egg is only fertile for about 12 to 24 hours after its release. However, a man’s sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for up to 6 days.

Women generally ovulate two weeks before the arrival of their period. There are several methods women can use to determine their most fertile days of the month. These include urine tests, body temperature tracking and cervical mucus tracking. Find out more about these methods here.

2. Strive for a Healthy Body Weight

Research has been carried out indicating that a woman who is overweight can take twice as long to become pregnant. Furthermore, a woman who is underweight might take four times as long to conceive.

Having too much body fat produces excess oestrogen, which can interfere with ovulation. Women who are underweight might not be getting regular periods or could stop ovulating altogether. So in order to create the most ideal circumstances for pregnancy, a healthy body is very important and that leads us to our next tip.

3. Healthy Eating

Although a specific fertility-promoting diet may be a myth, eating a variety of healthy foods will supply a woman’s body with stores of critical nutrients to help prepare the woman’s body to get pregnant. This means eating a selection of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, dairy and healthy sources of fat. These foods will provide an adequate supply of calcium, protein and iron.

While trying for a baby, steer clear of certain types of fish that are often found in sushi. Examples of these fish are swordfish, shark, mackerel, tilefish and albacore tuna. These fish, in particular, contain high amounts of mercury which is a toxic metal.

Do not drink an excess of caffeine. Consuming more than 500mg of caffeine a day has been linked with a decrease in fertility in women. For reference, a standard cup of coffee typically contains on average 100mg of caffeine.

4. Fertility Testing

If you’re going to get pregnant naturally, it’s very likely to happen within the first six months of having planned unprotected sex with your partner. After that, how long you should keep trying before you seek help from a fertility specialist depends in large part on your age.

LetsGetChecked provides a range of personal fertility tests that you can take in the comfort and convenience of your own home. All of these fertility tests require a small blood sample.

To find out more about female fertility problems, watch our short video with Dr. Dominic Rowley:

Read more: Tips For Getting Pregnant

Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director Dominic Rowley