Desire to have a baby:
planning for a healthy pregnancy

Do you wish to have a baby? And would you like to get pregnant being in good health and well-prepared? The health and lifestyle of you and your partner influence getting pregnant.

Did you know that the organs of the child are being developed in the first few months of the pregnancy? This process is already in full swing when you find out you are pregnant. Therefore, it is important to already live as healthily as possible before getting pregnant. Below we give you the most important information and tips.

Frequently asked questions


Do you have the desire to have a baby and get pregnant? Some women become pregnant quickly, while others take longer. It’s impossible to say how long it takes for you to get pregnant. Sometimes you can get pregnant after having sex once, but most of the time it may take a few more times. Do not worry if you do not get pregnant straight away. Try to keep sex fun and relaxed.

Kinderwens Utrecht30% of the women who want to get pregnant and are trying will get pregnant within 3 months. 80% of those women will get pregnant within one year, and 90% will get pregnant within two years on average. After the age of 35, it takes longer to get pregnant on average.

Are you having regular periods? If you have a cycle of 28 days, you are most fertile at the time of ovulation, which usually occurs 2 weeks after your last period finished. Are you having a longer or shorter cycle, then ovulation usually occurs 14 days before your next period starts.

Following ovulation, the egg is capable of fertilization for about 12 hours. Sperm cells will stay alive 2 to 3 days. If you want to get pregnant, it is recommended to have sex 24 to 48 hours before your ovulation. You can also buy an ovulation test, which will show you on which days you are most fertile.

Still not pregnant after one year? Then schedule an appointment with your GP for advice.

Take a folic acid supplement

Folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a spina bifida, cleft lip or cleft palate. It takes about four weeks for your body to build up enough folic acid. We therefore advice you to start taking folic acid one month before stopping contraception.

You should take a 400 micrograms supplement of folic acid every day up until you are 10 weeks pregnant. If you do not get pregnant quickly, you can continue taking folic acid as it is not harmful. You can buy folic acid at a drugstore or pharmacy.

Alcohol, smoking and drugs

Alcohol, smoking and drugs can make you less fertile. This counts for both women and men!

Alcohol, smoking and drugs are also bad for your (future) child. It increases chances to have a miscarriage and it can lead to premature birth or a low weight at birth.  

You can already get pregnant as soon as you stopped contraception. It is therefore recommended to stop smoking, drinking or taking drugs if you have the desire to have a baby and you want to get pregnant. 

Quitting alcohol, smoking or drugs can be hard. You are not the only one! Ask your GP for help or schedule an appointment at the ‘Desire to have a baby’-consultation hour. 

Eating healthy and be active

Zwangere dame in bos sportenA healthy, varied diet and a healthy weight can help to get pregnant more easily. Are you overweight or underweight? This may influence your fertility. A high or low BMI can also bring additional risks during pregnancy. We recommend you to aim for a healthy weight well before pregnancy. A nutritionist can provide you with proper guidance in this.

It is healthy to move for 30 minutes every day. This helps you to stay in shape and healthy.

Risks at work

Do you work with chemical substances or radiation? Harmful substances and radiation can make you less fertile. 

Examples of risks:

  • work where you have contact with solvents, pesticides, cancer medication or heavy metals
  • work involving radiation, for example X-rays
  • work where you can get an infection   

Set up a plan with your occupational physician if you have the desire to get pregnant. Perhaps you can do other work or get extra protection. Don’t you have an occupational physician at work? We´d be happy to think along.

Do you have a (chronic) disease and/or do you take medication?

Do you have a (chronic) disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or epilepsy, and do you have the desire to have a baby? Your condition can influence your pregnancy. And your pregnancy can influence your symptoms. Together we can determine which (additional) care you will be needing during pregnancy.

Some medicines may affect your fertility or the health of your future child. Ask your GP for advice or schedule an appointment at the ‘Desire to have a baby’-consultation hour.

Hereditary disease

Rood hart in handenDoes a hereditary disease run in your family or in your partner’s family? Some diseases can be passed on to your future child.

For a number of hereditary diseases, it is possible to have tests done before pregnancy, for example a carrier screening. For other conditions, the baby can be examined early in pregnancy.

We recommend you to discuss this with your physician or to make an appointment at the consultation hour where you can further discuss this. You have more time and more options to make choices now than during pregnancy.

Previous pregnancy

Has a previous pregnancy or childbirth been difficult for you or did you experience complications? This can influence your desire to have a baby for a second pregnancy. This can sometimes cause symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Did you have a premature birth, a number of miscarriages, or do you have diabetes or a high blood pressure? Sometimes testing or treatment is possible to lower the chances for the same problems to occur in a subsequent pregnancy. Schedule an appointment at the consultation hour so we can give you some personal advice.

More information



Personal advice

Would you like to start your pregnancy being healthy, well-prepared and left without any questions? Do you have the desire to have a baby? Would you like to receive more information and personal advice? Then schedule an appointment at the ‘Desire to have a baby’-consultation hour at one of our locations. Together we will then take a look at your situation and give you tailor-made advice.

Appointment consultation hour

Have you been pregnant before?
Do you have any children?