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How to put the fun back into trying for a baby

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Ahh baby making. Let’s be honest, it can be a bit all-consuming and even stressful at times. Suddenly it feels like that just-for-fun thing needs to be planned, timed and scheduled, which can make things decidedly… less fun! Here’s how to push the reset button.

Even when you – and your partner – are in the ideal age bracket for conception and your health’s in tip-top shape, sometimes getting pregnant is difficult or will take longer than you anticipated. 

And when you’re constantly tracking your menstrual cycle and calculating your ovulation window, the process can be stressful - for both you and your partner. Here are five suggestions to ease the pressure and put the fun back into trying for a baby. 

Be realistic.

Okay, so this isn’t particularly fun in and of itself, but giving yourself a reality check about how long it typically takes to get pregnant can be a great way to take the pressure off. Bear in mind that even for couples where both partners are younger than 25, it still takes an average of five months to get pregnant. In fact, when you’re under 35 and in good health, it’s perfectly natural for it to take up to a year to conceive. So don’t panic. 

Plan fun things for each other.

In other words, start (or keep!) dating again. Go out for dinner, plan a weekend picnic, buy tickets to a sporting event, organise a weekend away, see a movie together – the options really are endless, but it’s all about having fun together and remembering that your relationship is about more (much more!) than simply trying to conceive, no matter how all-consuming that can feel at times.  

Relax together.

What’s the antidote to things that are stressful? Actively practising relaxation. Different people find different things relaxing, but you could try grabbing a massage together, hitting the gym together, trying couples yoga or going for a bushwalk.

Don't make sex all about conceiving.

In order to get pregnant you need to have sex during your cycle’s ovulation window. But focusing solely – or even too much – on that window can quickly make sex feel like something you have to do rather than something you want to do. If you’re then getting negative pregnancy tests month after month, that can take the shine off your sex life even more. Keep in mind that even when you’re actively trying to get pregnant, sex is still as much about connecting as a couple as it is about conceiving. When you remember that, continuing to have unscheduled sex purely because it’s enjoyable suddenly seems important, too. 

Check in with each other regularly.

Even though this is something you’re doing together, you and your partner will likely have quite different experiences – and even expectations – of the pregnancy journey. And if you don’t share that with each other it could even become a bit isolating. So, make the effort regularly to find out how you’re both feeling, coping with and (hopefully!) enjoying the process of trying to conceive. And, if necessary, consider if there’s anything that’d make it less stressful and pressured, and more fun.