I want to get pregnant
The decision has been made and you're planning to start a family. Or add another child to your family. Regardless your situation, you can’t wait to welcome that little bundle of joy. And now that you’ve set your mind on it, it can’t happen quickly enough. Time to start planning for your baby!
5 questions on becoming pregnant
- When do you ovulate?
The average cycle lasts 28 days. Ovulation occurs 12 to 16 days prior to the first day of your next menstruation. The exact date of ovulation can only be determined retrospectively.
- What time of the month are you most fertile?
If you know when you ovulate, then you can also calculate your 'fertile window'. You’re most fertile on the day of ovulation and the 2 days preceding it. You’re also fertile 3 to 5 days prior to ovulation, however there’s less chance of getting pregnant at this time of the month. And your chance of conceiving the day after ovulation is extremely small.
3. Can you test whether you’re fertile?
If your cycle is regular, then you can easily calculate when you’re most fertile. If your cycle is irregular, then an ovulation test will provide more certainty. This test displays a positive result approximately 2 days prior to ovulation.
You can also measure your temperature just before getting up in the morning, throughout the duration of your cycle. It will typically be 0.3 to 0.5 degrees higher after ovulation. The composition of your cervical mucus also serves as a good indicator: when you’re fertile, it's clear and transparent (at the beginning of your cycle it's thicker, white and sticky).
4. Should you undergo a medical examination before pregnancy?
Visiting a gynaecologist and/or doctor before you start trying for a baby is certainly a good idea. The doctor can check your general health (fitness, weight and blood pressure), vaccination records, and your immunity to toxoplasmosis and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Do you take medication? Notify your doctor of your wish to become pregnant and discuss which medications you can and can't continue to take.
Certain illnesses or complaints require additional consideration during pregnancy, such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and epilepsy etc. Always discuss your baby plans with your doctor in advance.
The risk of a hereditary disorder is relatively small. However, you should always discuss any hereditary diseases in your family or of your partner with your doctor.
Tip: maintain a healthy lifestyle
Enjoy a healthy, varied and balanced diet. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are a no-no. Make sure your diet contains sufficient quantities of folic acid. Good sources of folic acid include leafy vegetables, cabbage, whole-grain products, cheese and eggs. If you want to increase your chances of conceiving, then take a folic acid supplement (400 µg per day) as soon as you stop using contraception. And continue taking this supplement during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
You can find more information on a healthy road to pregnancy at
What if your attempts to get pregnant don't (immediately) succeed?
No matter how badly you wish to get pregnant, nature always has the final say. For some couples, conceiving a child is more difficult than it is for others.
If you’re under 38 years of age, have a normal menstrual cycle and are also having regular sexual intercourse, just be patient. If you’re still not pregnant after one year of trying, then you can make an appointment with your doctor and a fertility centre. They will discuss the various treatment options that are available.
If you’re older than 38 years of age and have been trying unsuccessfully for six months, then it’s advisable to visit a gynaecologist.
If you have an extremely irregular cycle, then it’s best to make an appointment with a gynaecologist straight away.
The Vzw De Verdwaalde Ooievaar association provides support to those who are unable to have children. Their website contains a wealth of information on fertility treatments and features a number of testimonials. It can also put you in touch with those in a similar situation.
You’re pregnant - hurray! What now?
The moment that you’ve longed for has finally arrived: there’s a real living being growing inside you. You and your partner are over the moon. Yet at the same time, you also realise that there’s a lot to organise before your baby’s due date. Below are some of the things you can arrange before you start drowning in nappies.
Every child born in Flanders is entitled to the Growth Package, which comprises a starting amount and a basic monthly amount. Those living in Brussels and Wallonia are also entitled to a baby bonus and a monthly allowance. You need to apply for this allowance in order to receive it. This can be done quickly and easily via our handy online tool.
You needn’t wait for the birth of your child: you can already submit your request during pregnancy. You will consequently receive the starting amount 2 months prior to your due date.
Nursery or childminder
Don't wait too long to register your child in a suitable childcare facility. Demand is high!
Maternity and/or parental leave
Notify your employer. Make all the necessary arrangements pertaining to maternity and/or parental leave with your employer's HR department.
Health insurance provider
Don't forget to notify your health insurance provider. They’re responsible for paying your maternity benefit throughout your maternity leave. After giving birth, supply them with a copy of your child's birth certificate to enable them to calculate your maternity leave end date.
Check that your hospitalisation insurance is still valid! Particularly if you’re planning to give birth in a hospital. It’s also advisable to register in advance at a hospital of your choice.
Declaration of parentage
If you’re not married and you want your baby to receive the father’s surname, the father needs to formally acknowledge your child. To arrange this, you both need to visit the town hall together at some point during your pregnancy.