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9 ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant
Increase your likelihood to conceive by applying these nine tips. - photo by Hannah Rose
Every woman grows up dreaming of having children one day. Starting at a young age, you rock your baby dolls and tinker with future baby names in your spare time. Creating and loving a family of your own is a thought that constantly consumes your mind.

Our society paints a picture that getting pregnant is easy and a given, but for several women it is not a walk in the park. If you and your spouse are looking to welcome a sweet baby into the world, try applying these nine principles into your daily routine.

Watch your weight

Women who are significantly underweight or overweight can increase the time it will take for them to conceive. If you are planning on getting pregnant within the next year, doctors suggest men and women understand the effects weight has on fertility.

If the mother is underweight, she is at risk of causing hormone imbalances that effect her ovulation cycle and chances of conceiving.

If the mother is overweight, she increases the risk of pregnancy complications, miscarriage, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, blood clotting and labor complications. Babies born to overweight mothers are also more likely to become obese children and adults.

Moderate caffeine consumption

Beat the morning buzz or caffeine addiction by cutting back on your coffee consumption. Research has proven drinking more than five cups of coffee a dayor consuming about 500 milligrams of caffeinehas been linked to lower fertility.

If cutting off coffee seems nearly impossible, have no fear. William Gibbons, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Baylor College of Medicine, suggests staying under 200 to 250 milligrams of caffeine per day. This amount is healthy and completely safe for expecting or future mothers.

Quit smoking

Men and women both should abstain from lighting a cigarette when trying to get pregnant. Smoking directly affects whether a womans uterus will be receptive to released egg. Also, smoking damages DNA and can reduce sperm production.

Understand your ovulation cycle

Take advantage of your fertile window, or the six days that mark the end of your ovulation cycle. Doctors suggest pregnancy will most likely occur three days before ovulation, and suggest a woman is more fertile before her next ovulation cycle instead of the days following just after.

Avoid harmful exposures

Be aware of your exposure to pesticides, certain landscaping and lawn care products; these can affect both a mans and a womans fertility. Stay away from certain solvents and toxins contained in common cleaning products as well.

Take prenatal vitamins

Doctors from the Fertility Associates of Memphis suggest women seeking to have a baby should take prenatal vitamins prior to conception. Prenatals contain higher levels of folic acid and iron as well as many other vitamins and minerals that help promote the development of a healthy baby.

Moderate your exercise routine

Think you are interested in having a baby? Do not plan to train for a marathon while you are trying to conceive. Going to exercise extremes can cause stress and problems on your body. Keep your exercise routine constant and predictable.

Avoid stress

Relax! It may take time. Stress affects more than your heart rate; it can cause your body unnecessary complications while trying to conceive. Enjoy the journey and get to know your partner in new ways. It will help you as you embark on your fertility journey.

Abstain from alcohol

High intake of alcohol should be avoided when trying to get pregnant. In a Swedish study, researchers have found that women who drink two alcoholic beverages a day decreases their chance of fertility by nearly 60 percent.

Keeping these guidelines in mind can help you and your spouse bring a beautiful baby into this world. As always, please consult your doctor before changing your diet and exercise routines.