Sure, you’ve heard of polka dancing and line dancing—heck, you even read an article once about pole dancing. But have you ever heard of baby dancing (and we don’t mean that creepy Internet meme from early 2000s)?
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant this year, you just might know what BD’ing—as those in the know call it—is all about.
Baby Dancing (BD’ing) is a term used to describe having unprotected sex with the intention of getting pregnant, ideally when you’re most fertile, to improve chances of conceiving. You and your partner get to “dance” your way to pregnancy—and you don’t even need any music to make it work.
Sounds easy, right?
The fun name conjures images of sex as carefree as a night on the dance floor at your bestie’s wedding, but the choreography involved to make a baby is really akin to the hand jive (or a tango with a happy ending, perhaps?). In other words, making a baby often requires planning, coordination, and a whole lot of timing. It’s like Dancing With the Stars without TV cameras and those silly judges.
Step One: Planning Your Baby Dance
Here’s what couples should keep in mind as they prepare for BD’ing to improve their chances of getting pregnant:
Schedule a checkup with your physician: “You really should treat your body like it’s pregnant before you even become pregnant,” Dr. Marie D. Werner, a board certified OB-GYN and reproductive specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, told Romper. “It’s a good idea to get your primary-care doctor involved, as they may recommend specific testing just for you.” If there are any pre-existing medical conditions that might affect fertility— like polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis—you can work with your doctor to treat your condition before trying to get pregnant.
Optimize fertility: Your baby-to-be needs you to be in fighting condition, so both mom and dad should make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise, minimizing (or cutting out altogether) drugs and alcohol, and get to an ideal weight. Experts also recommend you embrace eating a balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins to improve outcomes for both mother and child.
Determine when you’re ovulating: When you’re ready to get pregnant, the first thing for the woman to do is track her menstrual cycle and figure out which are her most fertile days. To pinpoint when you’re ovulating, you need to begin by tracking your menstrual cycle for a few months and take into consideration factors like the length of the period, cervical mucus, body temperature and hormones in urine. Many couples rely on ovulation predictor kits (OPK) to help them figure out when is the best time each month to get down on their baby dancing (wink).
Count your sperm: While there seems to be a lot of focus on the ovulating part of conception, ladies aren’t the only ones who need to monitor their fertility game. Guys might want to look into just how fertile they are, too. SpermCheck is an easy-to-use at-home kit that lets you test your sperm count and see where you are. With an OPK and a SpermCheck test, you’ll know you’re good to dance the night (morning, afternoon) away.
Step Two: Timing is Everything
The internet is filled with advice when it comes to figuring out the best time to baby dance. Here’s some guidance:
The right time (of the year) for making love: Interestingly, wintertime seems to be one of the more fertile times of the year. In the UK, January 2 has been dubbed National Baby Making Day, which squares up with September 26 as the most popular birthday there (the U.S. is a month behind, with December apparently the most fertile month).
The colder weather seems to encourage baby dancing season, and winter time in general is a good time to snuggle up with someone you love and see what happens. Colder temps are also conducive for sperm production, and researchers found that sperm morphology—or the size and shape of sperm—tends to be highest during the winter months.
Baby dancing after positive OPK: If you receive a positive result on an OPK, you are at your highest fertility level. A positive ovulation test tells you that that ovulation will occur within the next 12–36 hours. Time to start dancing, baby. Have sex the day your get your positive result, and over the following 3 days.
There is no “perfect time”: “We see so many couples at RMANJ who were waiting for the perfect time to have a baby,” Werner says. “The problem is, there really isn’t one. We do know that after age 35, fertility tends to decline more rapidly. If you’re thinking about trying, start now. Everyone has different family-building goals, we understand. But if you want to try for a baby, the sooner the better. ”
Step Three: Practice, Practice, Practice
Let it go: Let’s be honest—the anxiety you can feel over wanting to make a baby so badly can cast a wide shadow over what should be a fun activity. Experts agree that being relaxed can improve your odds of getting pregnant and some suggest booking a vacation around your most fertile days. “The most important advice I give couples is to have fun while trying,” Werner says. “Remember to enjoy the journey together.”
Give it time: As with anything you want to get good at, you need to put in the time to achieve success. But, it turns out, not too much time. It you’re younger than 35 and haven’t been successful getting pregnant after about a year of unprotected sex, it’s time to visit a fertility expert. Those over 35 should give it about six (6) months before consulting an expert.
Of course, once you decide you want to have a baby, you want it right now. You don’t want to wait for everything to come together. But just like learning to tango, the joy is sometimes in learning to dance, one step at a time.