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Five Ways to Ease the Path to Parenthood

Attain Fertility Centers offers aspiring parents-to-be its "Top Five Suggestions to Prepare for Successful Parenthood."

Attain compiled the list as a result of tracking trends in behavior and information it has received through its Web site (http://www.attainfertility.com), blog and Facebook pages.

Here's the list:

Step 1: See a specialist. A recent survey indicates that 30% of patients wait more than two years before seeing a fertility specialist. Attain recommends such appointments for patients under 35 who have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for more than 12 months, or for patients 35 or older who have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for more than six months. The sooner issues are discovered, the easier they are to treat.

Step 2: Create a support team. It’s important to have people to talk with during the journey to parenthood. While family and partners are very important, Attain suggests also including people who can remain objective while providing support. Joining a support group or seeking the help of a therapist or counselor will help prospective parents to cope with the known and unknown joys and anxieties that are bound to crop up. “You can’t do it all on your own; none of us can,” says Andrea Braverman, clinical psychologist at the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, part of the Attain Fertility Network. “The sooner individuals and couples seek counseling, the easier the emotional journey of trying to get pregnant will be.”

Step 3: Update diet and exercise routines. This is important for both men and women. Alcohol and drug use are known to have a negative impact on fertility levels as are poor eating habits. Eating a healthful, balanced diet and getting a moderate amount of exercise not only keeps people well physically, but also helps alleviate stress and depression.

Step 4: Learn about the options. From assisted reproductive technology (ART) to sperm and egg donation and intrauterine insemination used to treat male infertility, it’s important to work with a fertility specialist to learn about unique fertility issues. With all the options available today, couples need to find one that will allow them to conceive and have a baby.

Step 5: Create a de-stresser toolbox. While the stress is real that comes from dealing with fertility issues, it does not have to be debilitating. Of the many ways to decompress and de-stress, it’s important to find those that work best. It may be taking up yoga, working with a certified acupuncturist, learning to avoid or walk away from uncomfortable situations and conversations, or calling a timeout to get away to do something fun and out of the routine. Finding what allows a couple to maintain their balance and sense of calm will make the journey to parenthood much easier.


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