There are some of us that would never leave things to chance, fate or destiny.
We prefer to have a planned process starting with a Dr check-up, some blood work, pre-natal vitamins and some fun in the bedroom. We assume things will happen relatively quickly because we’re young and healthy, but when nothing happens in those first few months, we start to wonder if there is something more that we could be doing to ensure that BFP (Big Fat Positive).
Quickly the “plan” you started with turns into more of a project of sorts and the first port of call is of
course good ole’ Dr Google. You reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake, start eating cleaner and get your partner taking a men’s fertility multivitamin. After baby dancing you awkwardly throw your legs up the wall or cycle them to help the little swimmers on their journey… but still nothing.
Every month that goes by you feel a mounting level of pressure, sadness and grief as that unwanted visitor arrives. It feels so heavy and even though your partner consoles you in the best way they know how, you feel incredibly confused and alone in your journey especially when others around you seem to be falling pregnant so easily.
Does this sound familiar?
Convinced there is still more you can do, you continue on with your previous protocol but throw in some sperm friendly lubricant, step up your lifestyle changes to include cutting out toxins from your home, you cut out alcohol completely and start booking appointments with alternative health providers and an OBGYN to run a new range of different tests to rule out any underlying issues. Your calendar is filling up fast, you feel like you’re spending a fortune on pills, potions and appointments. This causes you to become less productive at work as you need time off and aren’t as focused as you once were and to top it off you’ve thrown your back out from all that awkward leg work!
Sound about right? So, what is going on?
Whilst there is nothing “wrong” with getting healthier and seeking help and support from others, planning the biggest event in your life to date, perhaps one that you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl has now become next level pressure! Research has shown that women going through infertility and IVF have depression and stress levels similar to those with heart disease, AIDS and cancer.
This stress is not a great friend of fertility. Stress in the body kickstarts a chain of events to save us from primitive life threats such as the sabretooth tiger by slowing or shutting down unimportant functions such as digestion and reproduction. Putting mounting pressure on yourself means you could be repelling the very thing you want the most. Yet it is the one thing that health professionals don’t take into
consideration when seeing a patient going through infertility. I understand first hand that attempting to get out of this cycle feels incredibly difficult, so I’ve put together my top tips to help you increase your fertility and bring back the joy in your life!
Kate’s Top 10 Tips to reduce the stress & improve your chances of getting pregnant
1. Be Kind To Yourself
Know that you are not alone, you haven’t done anything wrong, you are not to blame, you are not broken and in time, this too shall pass. “Surrender to what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be”
2. Get Curious
Vibe Marie Kondo and ask yourself if all the things you are doing to fall pregnant are sparking joy or causing more stress. If it is not enjoyable then give it a rest. Are there other emotional blocks at play? What are the stories you’ve been telling yourself about your ability or inability to conceive, give birth or be a parent?
3. Reduce your stress
Take some time to think about different areas of your life that could be adding to your stress levels and how you can reduce the burden on yourself. Areas to look at might include work, finances, health, lifestyle, friendships, family, romance (or lack thereof), your physical environment where you spend majority of your time.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important for proper rest and repair of our bodies. If you are lying awake at night thinking about your fertility journey then make sure you have a consistent night time ritual to wind your body down for the night. Things like a bath or shower, journal writing, no tv or electronic devices and turn the dimmer down on lights in your home.
5. Self Care
Make an effort to schedule in a good dose of rest and relaxation. Get regular massages, float tanks, lie on the beach, meditate, long hot bath with some candles and aromatherapy, take a nanna nap, go for a walk in nature – whatever floats your boat.
6. Take time off
How many times have you been told by a well meaning relative or friends to “just relax” or “go on a holiday” it’s frustrating and even angering, I get it! I’ve been there myself, however taking time off from all the stresses in life can be just what the Dr ordered and a great way to divert your focus.
7. Talk to someone
The emotional toll for someone going through infertility is unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. It is crucial to have a good support network around you and process the loss and grief that you are feeling whether it be with a friend, family member or counsellor.
8. Redirect Control
I personally found this was the toughest part of the journey… I put my whole life on hold till we fell pregnant. Big holidays, job opportunities, new car, music festivals and concerts because “what if I’m pregnant?”. The truth is none of it matters, you’ll figure it out if and when it happens. My best advice is not to say no to things or plan things “in case”. Instead create new and exciting plans and goals and start working on them. Take that need to control and redirect it into something else. When those obsessing thoughts come to you, simply say hi and goodbye, repeat a supportive positive supportive affirmation to yourself and think about that new goal and the next step toward achieving it.
9. Have Fun
Look after your relationship and spend quality time together doing things you both love. Spend time with friends and family that enrich your life and put a smile on your face. Learn a new skill or explore your creative side and bring more playfulness and fun in.
10. Fertility Coaching & Hypnosis
Fertility Coaching and Hypnotherapy probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when trying to conceive because it’s a relatively new thing however the benefits can be life changing.
A Fertility Coach will usually have their own personal experience with infertility and have credible training in their field. It is their job to support you in your journey by being someone to talk to, teach you tools and techniques to reduce your stress, release the fear, reframe your situation, plan those next steps and have you enjoying your life again.
Hypnosis for fertility has shown to double the success rate of IVF patients and reduce stress significantly.
If you can create a renewed sense of self love, balance and fun in your life you will be more likely to invite new life in and enjoy the process while you are at it versus creating a deterring energy of stress, control, overthinking and obsession. Start by implementing a few of these tips into your life today and see how they make you feel.