How do you have a baby is a question that may sound crazy for some, but do you really know how to successfully make one?
Not all couples are lucky enough to get pregnant so easily. Thus, learning the right way or ways of how have a baby is key.
Having a baby makes a lot of difference especially in a couple’s lives. Babies bring a certain kind of joy – that kind that transcends any other kind of happiness. They bring good vibes. In fact, they can turn your blues into rays of sunshine.
While it is easy for some couples to make babies, some do have a hard time conceiving. There are so many factors that result in a couple’s inability to conceive. No, not entirely because of infertility. Sometimes, it has something to do with lifestyle and the like, which is one of the things that we are going to tackle later on.
But before you think about how to have a baby, it is important to understand first how a man and a woman are able to make one.
HOW DOES A WOMAN’S EGG DEVELOP?
A potential pregnancy all starts with the woman’s ovaries. Ovaries are two almond-shaped glands that are attached to both sides of the uterus. It basically is stocked up with eggs.
You might get amazed knowing that a woman is, in fact, born with 1 to 2 million eggs! Yes, that’s typically more than a lifetime supply of eggs. However, the eggs begin dying off immediately until no more eggs are produced.
Over the course of a woman’s reproductive years, she approximately releases 400 eggs. When we say reproductive years that basically pertain to when a woman has had her first menstrual period until she’s menopause, which usually happens between ages 45 and 55.
As you know, women go through a monthly period. And most often than not, sometime between the 9th and 21st days of women with a 28-day cycle, an egg reaches maturity coming from either of the two ovaries. The egg is then released and is quickly sucked up by the opening of the nearest fallopian tube, which refers to the two 4-inch canals that lead from the ovaries up to the uterus.
The release of the egg to the fallopian tube is what we call as ovulation. Once ovulation happens, the conception clock starts to tick. The egg does only have a 24-hour life span after ovulation. Thus, it has to be fertilized by a sperm as soon as possible for conception to materialize.
Fertilization happens when a man’s sperm and the woman’s matured egg join together. The successful meeting of the egg and the sperm is actually the beginning of conception or the creation of a new life.
Now, if the egg is not fertilized, it goes down to the uterus and is either dissolved or absorbed by the body. It’s actually interesting knowing that once pregnancy does not happen, the ovary will automatically stop producing estrogen and progesterone – the hormones that are responsible for maintaining a pregnancy. Meanwhile, the thickened lining of the uterus is shed off and comes out as part of a woman’s monthly period.
HOW DO MEN MAKE SPERM?
As mentioned earlier, in order to be able to conceive, a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg needs to successfully meet. But how does a sperm is made in the first place?
Interestingly, a man’s body is regularly at work in producing millions of microscopic sperm. Yes, sperms cannot be seen through the naked eye. Anyway, apparently, the sperm’s sole purpose or the only reason why it exists is to penetrate a woman’s egg.
While women are born with millions of eggs, unfortunately, men are not born with a ready-made sperm. Quite interesting, right? They are, in fact, have to be produced on a regular basis. For a sperm cell to be developed, it takes 64 to 72 days.
Meanwhile, the lifespan of an average sperm is only a few weeks inside a man’s body. You will probably be surprised knowing that in every ejaculation, a man is able to release 250 million sperms, which basically means, new sperm cells are always in production.
Sperm cells develop inside the testicles, which refers to the two glands in the scrotal sac that is situated underneath a man’s penis. The testicles basically hang outside a man’s body as they are sensitive to temperature.
Now, to be able to produce a healthy sperm, which is what the egg needs for conception, testicles have to stay around 94 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about a four-degree cooler that the usual body temperature. To be able to keep the sperm healthy, it is stored in a certain part of the testicle, which is called epididymis before it is mixed with semen before ejaculation happens.
It is quite amazing that in order to have a baby or produce an offspring, out of the millions of sperms released, the egg only needs one to get fertilized. Yes, even with identical twins, that’s just one sperm cell.
One more interesting fact, the sex of your baby will actually depend on the type of sperm burrows into the egg first. Basically, a sperm with a Y chromosome is what makes a baby boy, while a sperm with an X chromosome makes a baby girl.
HOW TO HAVE A BABY?
In this day and age, there are already a lot of options on how have a baby. If a couple is having a hard time conceiving, they have the option to go through different processes like in vitro fertilization and other choices with scientific intervention.
However, ultimately, nothing beats the natural way of human conception. When we talk about “natural conception,” we basically refer to when a woman’s egg is successfully fertilized by a healthy sperm.
But the question is, how does one ensure a successful conception? Although we though much is required from women to have a successful natural conception, we cannot deny the fact that men do have their share of importance. After all, no conception will manifest without a man’s sperm, right?
With that said here are some tips on how to be able to successfully conceive:
Get ready for pregnancy.
By readying for pregnancy, we mean:
– Make an appointment with your healthcare provider, and talk about your overall health and well-being particularly if you are capable or healthy enough to conceive.
– Start taking prenatal vitamins particularly folic acid. This helps prevent spinal tube defects in your little one. Apparently, experts say that taking prenatal vitamins prior to pregnancy makes it more effective.
– If you are taking birth control, you better stop as soon as you decide you are ready to get pregnant.
Decide on your conception plan.
Every couple is different, while some would just do it, and if it happens, then it did. Otherwise, that’s fine. However, once you decide to have a conception plan, it is essential to understand the woman’s menstrual cycle. That will help you allot in knowing when it is safe and when you can possibly conceive.
Keep a record of your menstrual period.
The woman plays an important role in the process of natural conception. The success of pregnancy relies on how well you know your menstrual cycle.
If you really are serious about getting pregnant the natural way, one of the best things to do is to keep track of your menstrual period. By recording, it means you should monitor whether your first days of periods do have the same number of days apart each month. If so, that is considered as a regular monthly period.
On the contrary, monthly periods may be irregular, which means a woman’s cycle lengths differ on a month to month basis. By keeping a record of your monthly period on a calendar, you can better predict when you might be ovulating or in other word, fertile. A woman’s fertile window is usually five to six days long, which usually happens in the middle of your cycle.
So, if you have a 28-days cycle, your ovulation happens on the 14 days. Charting is key to help identify your one of a kind fertile days.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, once an egg is released from the ovaries to the fallopian tube, it will only survive for 12 to 24 hours. Thus, it has to meet the sperm within that period of time to be able to get fertilized.
Basically, the trick is that you have to ensure that both the egg and the sperm are alive and well in your body at the same time. By the way, healthy sperm can survive in a woman’s body for up to five days! So, yeah, that means, they can meet within those five days.
Monitor your ovulation.
In relation to item number 3, monitoring when you ovulate is one of the keys to having a successful conception. Basically, women who have regular cycles ovulate about two weeks before their monthly period occurs.
Unfortunately, women who have irregular cycles may have difficulty in predicting ovulation period. However, it usually happens 12 to 16 days before the next monthly period begins.
To help you determine your most fertile days, there are several methods available that can help you with, which include the following:
– Cervical mucus, which is the normal vaginal discharge. It usually progresses throughout your cycle. When it has this egg-white consistency, it basically means you are fertile. Furthermore, according to the March of Dimes, before ovulation happens, when a woman is considered as most fertile, the number of mucus increases. It also becomes thinner, clearer, and the texture becomes more slippery. Now, when the woman’s cervical mucus is more slippery, it helps the sperm makes its way easily into the egg.
– The drop-in basal temperature usually happens when you are nearing ovulation. When your basal temperature is lower than usual, take that as your cue that you can get pregnant.
– A cervical position requires you to do your own vaginal exam. You would know you are fertile when your cervix is higher, softer, and more open. In addition, you may also experience breast tenderness, spotting, pain or cramping, and an increased interest in sexual intercourse.
You may also ask your OB gynecologist to understand more these natural methods. But apart from these, there are also other ways to check when you are ovulating, and this includes:
– Home Ovulation-Prediction Kits, which you can also use to spare you from guesswork – figuring out yourself when you are ovulating. These kits are sold at drug stores. Basically, what it does is test your urine if there luteinizing hormone is present. Luteinizing hormone refers to a “substance whose levels increase each month during ovulation and cause the ovaries to release an egg.”
– Ovulation apps may also be helpful for you. Instead of doing a manual count, and ovulation app help you identity right there and then when it is best to try conceiving. There are so many ovulation apps available out there that are free for use.
Should you get a positive result using this kit, according to the American Pregnancy Association, the next three days are the best time for you and your husband or partner to have sex to increase the chance of getting pregnant.
Make love every other day during a woman’s fertile window.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the fertile window spans a six-day interval. It refers to the five days prior to ovulation and the first day of your monthly period. It is during these days that women are most fertile, which also means it is the best time to work on getting pregnant.
According to some research, it has shown that there has not been a big difference when it comes to pregnancy rates of couples who had sex every day during the fertile window and those who did it every day. Having sex every day just seems to be easier for couples to pull off compared to doing it on a daily basis.
Keep a healthy body weight.
According to research, women who are overweight may have a hard time getting pregnant compared to women with normal body weight. More so, women who are underweight may take four times as long to conceive.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, having too much body fat produces extra estrogen, which can affect the process of ovulation. If you are planning to be pregnant, losing five to ten percent of your body weight will greatly help increase your fertility.
Meanwhile, in a study conducted in 2017, obese couples may take 55 to 59% longer to become pregnant compared to non-obese couples.
Take prenatal vitamins.
Taking prenatal vitamins greatly helps women who are trying to conceive. It helps so a woman can find the one that is more acceptable to her system, and then stick to it during the pregnancy period.
A daily multivitamin will also help as long as it contains at least 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of folic acid, which is a B vitamin that is very important to help prevent birth defects, particularly in baby’s brain, as well as spine.
Women are urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take at 400 mcg of folic acid daily for at least a month prior to getting pregnant for the same reason – to help prevent birth defects in your baby.
Taking folic acid even prior to pregnancy is actually a good idea as the neural tube develops into the brain and spine three to four weeks after the process of conception happens, which is way before a woman realizes she is pregnant.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE A BABY?
Apart from knowing and understanding how have a baby, it is also important to know how much does it cost to have a baby. And we must say, having a baby does not come cheap.
In fact, in the United States alone, the average cost of having a baby is $10,808. This amount though can increase up to $30,000 if you will factor in the care provided before and after pregnancy.
One of the main factors affecting the cost of having a baby is a kind of birth. For obvious reasons, mothers who delivered through vaginal birth spend less than those who go through the caesarian section.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 says that there were 2,684,803 mothers who had given birth through vaginal birth in the US. Meanwhile, there were 1,258,581 mothers who had undergone a C-section. Well, if you come to think about it that is a lot of maternity cost that goes into the healthcare system.
Take note also that the cost depends on where you are located. Yes, how much does it cost to have a baby differs on where you are giving birth.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO HAVE A BABY
Honestly speaking, having a baby is no easy feat. It requires a lot of work form both the man and the woman. You are lucky if getting pregnant is not a big deal for you. But it is a different story if you are one of those who find having a baby hard.