Pre-Pregnancy Bucket List

Saying that a baby changes everything is pretty obvious, just ask any parent! A recent article on Celeb Baby Laundry  talked about 8 things you should do before getting pregnant. It was a pretty good list, talking about a number of important areas of your life to evaluate before you embark on the adventure of parenthood. Some of the high points:

1). Get a pre-pregnancy checkup

2). Get your finances in line

3). Talk with your partner

4). Start saving

Couple Using Digital Camera in Front of Eiffel TowerAlong the same line, I’ve come up with my own light-hearted pre-pregnancy bucket list. My list is a compilation of things my hubby and I did do before we had kids and some of it is what I wish I would have done.

1). Travel…go to as many places as you can. While traveling when you have kids is possible, it’s so much harder…lining up sitters, missing their sweet faces, etc.

2). Go on lots of dates…long gone will be the days when you can just up and go to dinner without paying out the nose for a sitter.

3). Pick up a hobby…if you don’t already have one, find something just for you. Once a baby comes, you feel like you lose part of your identity, so having a hobby that’s just for you will help you keep your sanity.

4). Strengthen your relationship…trying to keep another human being alive will consume both of you. If you go into having a baby with a strong relationship, it will be better for you both and especially for the baby.

If you’re thinking about having a baby, check off your own bucket list, then check out ToConceive to help increase your chances of conception each month!

Exercising while pregnant

images-1I am a group fitness instructor and I am frequently asked by pregnant women in my class how they should change their exercise routine during the pregnancy. You too may be wondering what changes you will need to make to your exercise routine when you find out you are pregnant. During my first pregnancy I had read about not doing any abdominal work and not lifting my hands over my head among other things. These restrictions have since been proven as myths and now most in the health and fitness world would encourage pregnant women to keep up their pre-pregnancy routines with only a few modifications. However, it is always important to first see your healthcare provider before beginning or continuing any excercise program when you become pregnant.

Generally, the only suggestions I have for my participants concerning changes to their routine are the following:

1. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard.

If you are like me, pushing through the pain is part of nearly every workout. No pain, no gain, right? Well not when you are pregnant. The goal of exercise during pregnancy is not to chisel your body or loose weight, but to benefit yourself and your baby. If you are in pain or are feeling unwell while exercising during pregnancy, stop! Give yourself a few days rest and check in with the doctor. If he/she gives you the green light and you are feeling up to it, then give it another shot. Maybe your routine is too vigorous for your pregnant body and you may want to try something new like swimming or yoga.

2. Don’t do anything that is uncomfortable for you, even if it is considered safe

I planned to keep running through my entire second pregnancy but by 6 months I was already  big enough that it was uncomfortable due to the bouncing. I also noticed jumping jacks and jump rope motions were almost unbearable. Generally bouncing is not unsafe for healthy, pregnant women, but it wasn’t worth it for me. If you find anything uncomfortable, find another routine that works for you. For example, from 6 months on I stopped running, but continued to do high impact aerobics with several modifications and a lot less intensity.

3. Drink more water than you think you need

Drinking water during exercise is always important, but staying hydrated while pregnant is vital! Drink more than you think you need and make sure to stop if you feel dehydrated- lightheaded, dry mouth, unusual weakness.

4.  Expect to be worn out after exercise

Although overall exercise gave me more energy during pregnancy, the mornings after I worked out my energy was gone. If I had anything planned for the rest of the day, I would have to skip the exercise in order to save my energy for that event. Not everyone may feel this way, but with your body working overtime, don’t expect to be able to keep up the same non-stop working days that you had before baby. Try and get extra rest, and if at all possible, plan a time to sit and relax on the days you work out.

Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits for both mom and baby. The key is finding the right routine for your body and making sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. For more in depth medical information concerning exercise during pregnancy, there is a great article on Webmd. Take a look and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy!

Unexplained Infertility

While researching the topic of unexplained infertility, I stumbled across an interesting article on To illustrate all of the things that “must happen perfectly in order to get pregnant and have a baby,”  they made an oversimplified list of the science involved in a successful conception.


What must happen for a successful conception:

  • The hormones that stimulate egg development must be made in the brain and pituitary and be released properly
  • The egg must be of sufficient quality and be chromosomally normal
  • The egg must develop to maturity
  • The brain must release a sufficient surge of the LH hormone to stimulate final maturation of the egg
  • The follicle (eggs develop in structures called follicles in the ovaries) must rupture and release the follicular fluid and the egg
  • The tube must “pick up” the egg
  • The sperm must survive their brief visit in the vagina, enter the cervical mucous, swim to the fallopian tube and “find” the egg
  • The sperm must be able to get through the cumulus cells around the egg and bind the shell (zona pellucida) of the egg
  • The sperm must undergo a biochemical reaction and release their DNA package (23 chromosomes) into the egg
  • The fertilized egg must be able to divide
  • The early embryo must continue to divide and develop normally
  • After 3 days, the tube should have transported the embryo down into the uterus
  • The embryo must continue to develop and expand into a blastocyst
  • The blastocyst must hatch out of its shell
  • The endometrial lining of the uterus must be properly developed and receptive
  • The hatched blastocyst must attach to the endometrial lining and “implant”
  • Many more miracles in early embryonic and fetal development must then follow…

A weak link anywhere in this chain will cause failure to conceive

The above list is very oversimplified, but the point is made. There are literally hundreds of molecular and biochemical events that have to happen perfectly in order to have a pregnancy develop.


Wow! The way I see it is that those suffering with unexplained infertility should not be considered “unfortunate,” but that each time a baby is successfully conceived should be considered a miracle! This reminds me of my college biology class. I remember being completely blown away by the many “miracles” that have to occur in order or a baby to be conceived, carried through pregnancy and then delivered. Among other things, it definitely strengthened my faith in my Creator God!

All of this to say, there are many factors involved in conception and pregnancy, and if any one of them does not function properly, infertility occurs. Unexplained infertility simply means that the doctor cannot find that “weak link” that is not properly functioning. During his studies and through years of experience, Dr. Thompson, founder of ToConceive, found that sexual arousal and inadequate normal vaginal lubrication are probably main causes of unexplained infertility. This is because of the lack of optimum sperm support and the lack of adequate sperm capacitation necessary for ovum fertilization. ToConceive is a natural and inexpensive product that is designed to do just that- increase the female’s sexual arousal and aid the body in producing an adequate supply of vaginal lubrication.  It also aids in male subfertility issues (oftentimes also unexplained) as it capacitates the sperm to allow it to fertilize the ovum. Before heading down the road to IVF, why not give it a try and see if your diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be cured!

For a much more in-depth explanation of the science behind conception, please visit

Overusing IVF: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Since its creation in 1978, in-vitro fertilization has helped millions of couples achieve the dream of having children. Initially, scientists created IVF to help women with tubal disorders conceive and over the years, doctors started using it to treat other infertility problems like male subfertility, endometriosis and even unexplained infertility.

But too much of a good thing may turn out to be a bad thing. Dr. Esme I. Kamphuis of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and his team recently released a study that looked at the potential overtreatment of IVF.

While IVF can help couples achieve pregnancy, it also comes with negative side effects. In a 2012 study, researchers from UCLA found that IVF has a higher risk of birth defects. The IVF process circumnavigates the genetic natural selection process that prevents eggs with defects from fertilizing. IVF often leads to multiples, which can cause issues like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes in the mom. The University of Amsterdam study also referenced studies that showed long-term negative effects in IVF children including high blood pressure, high glucose levels and more heart problems.

test tubesThe study did not discredit the effectiveness of IVF for it’s original purpose—tubal blockage and several male factor infertility. It did, however, draw attention to the use of IVF for other subfertility issues, especially unexplained fertility, which can often be solved using other methods. As the study states, “[IVF’s] early pioneers persevered in opposition to scientific, societal, and religious dogma. [But] similar determination is needed in attempts to evaluate the extension of IVF to new indications.”

Nearly 30 percent of couples face unexplained infertility and for these couples, more effective infertility treatments exist that don’t come with the risks of IVF. Sometimes, no treatment at all is needed. Numerous studies published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health have found that between 10 and 20 percent of women who attempt IVF, whether they are successful or not, conceive all on their own within three to four years.

Not only can IVF be risky, it’s also extremely expensive and out of reach for many couples. One IVF cycle can cost between $15,000 and $20,000 and most insurance companies do not include IVF as a covered procedure. Couples are going into debt trying to achieve the dream of pregnancy.

If not IVF, then what for couples facing unexplained infertility or other types of infertility? Couples have other options before jumping straight to IVF. One option is simply to wait it out for a few years. For couples wanting a baby now, that is easier said than done. Women can also become educated on how their bodies work. In the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Mary Lee Barron explored how out-of-tune women are with their bodies and how basic reproductive education can help women conceive easier. Along with education, apps like Kindara help women track their periods, basal body temperatures, sexual activity and cervical mucus and show them how to use that data to determine their most fertile times.

Another option is ToConceive, which helps a woman create her own natural conception lubrication, which is the key to conceiving. Natural conception lubrication is necessary for sperm capacitation, the key process that prepares the sperm to fertilize the egg. Without suitable natural conception lubrication, the sperm cannot be capacitated. Without sperm capacitation, the sperm cannot reach the egg or properly fertilize it and pregnancy cannot occur. Often with unexplained infertility, a woman is not producing enough of her own natural conception lubrication and the sperm is not being properly capacitated, which is why they cannot get pregnant.

Before jumping straight to IVF, couples can use education, fertility apps and products like ToConceive as a first step in a step-therapy program of infertility treatments. Unlike IVF, these solutions have no ill side effects, are easy to use and effective for many couples experiencing unexplained infertility. Additionally, they are a fraction of the cost. ToConceive, for example, costs just $39.95 for a one-month supply, compared to thousands for IVF.

For some couples, other step-therapy methods for infertility still may not help and in those cases, IVF is an excellent solution. But couples don’t need to go directly to IVF; other easier and less expensive options exist. IVF is a viable option for many couples, but it’s not the answer for all couples. As the University of Amsterdam study states, “we need to evaluate which couples have a reasonable chance of natural conception” and look for other more effective,  less invasive and less expensive methods to help them achieve pregnancy.


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More Than Just a Lubricant

natural-conception-lubrication-bottlesThe ToConceive product is a gel that certainly has lubricant properties to it and feels like other lubricants, but it is much more.  Our product stimulates a woman’s body to increase the production of transudate, a natural lubrication that dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme to allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum. This process can only be achieved with transudate and is called Sperm Capacitation. This essential capacitation step is inadequate or missing in many couples due to the women’s limited production of transudate. In 2010 the Nobel Prize in Medicine for In Vitro Fertilization emphasized the importance of Sperm Capacitation for successful conception.

Learn more about ToConceive and sperm capacitation at

ToConceive is Patented and FDA-Approved

ToConceive Retail PackageDid you know that ToConceive is US patented (200602545970) and FDA approved (021125)? You can trust that our product to help you on your journey in trying to conceive. It’s also clinically proven to increase a women’s production of transudate, a natural conception lubrication necessary to capacitate the sperm. Sperm capacitation is an essential step in the conception process and the key to conceiving.

Check us out at to learn more about the science behind conception.

10 Indications You Have Had Too Many Snow Days

If you have noticed an inconsistency to my  blog posts in the last couple of months, you are right. I can sum up the reason in two words: Snow Days. Here’s a little snow day fun for those of you who are in the same boat!

Ten indications you have had too many snow days:

1. Normally fun, special indoor activities such as play-doh and painting become as mundane as setting the table.

2. When the phone rings at 5:30am you don’t even listen to the recording, but silence the phone and go back to sleep.

3. Rainbow Loom rubber bands or bracelets can be found in every room of our house.


4. Your 7 year old is almost in tears because he knows how many days he will have to be in school in June instead of at the pool.

5. The same 7 year old tries to perform a triple axel off the couch and is now missing 1 square inch of skin on his back from the landing.

6. You have watched the “SchoolClosings” You Tube video at least 13 times now. It really is funny… see it here:

7. You hand the kids rags and send them to dust off all the ridges in the woodwork on the doors.securedownload

8. Screen time has gone from 1 hour a day to “play until the batteries run out.”

9. The Soundtrack from Frozen has become the soundtrack to your life.

10.  The kids’ Valentine’s Day cards for the class are done 10 days before Valentine’s Day.