02 Dec Relaxation Tips During Fertility Treatments
Pursuing fertility treatments is exciting – and possibly terrifying – which means it’s almost impossible to not stress out.
Unfortunately, stress is the last thing your body needs because that fight/flight/freeze response to stress sends cortisol and adrenaline through your system, which can impede the beneficial hormones we want to flood your system instead.
7 Tips to Relax and Stay Calm During and After Fertility Treatments
The following relaxation tips will help you stay as centered and calm as possible, both during and after your fertility treatments.
1. Reach out to others and get some support
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to get the support you need from others. Whether you join a local infertility support group in your area, find solace in well-written fertility blogs, or contact a licensed therapist specializing in infertility, you’ll feel better about connecting with others who understand what you’re going through.
We have a wonderful clinical psychologist, Kristy Koser, PhD, who works with many of our couples.
For those in the Lynchburg region the Motherhood Collective is an excellent resource for support: www.themotherhoodcollective.org
2. Eat well, focusing on anti-inflammatory foods
Hopefully, this tip’s a given. Eating well and nourishing your body and its reproductive system supports your fertility journey and ensures a freshly implanted fertilized egg or embryo gets all the nutrients s/he needs to grow healthy and strong.
3. Use a mindfulness app
You’re going to need daily – and possibly hourly – reminders to breathe deep and stay centered. Mindfulness apps are incredible tools that offer a range of relaxation options, from chimes that remind you to breathe or take a peek outside to guided meditations and visualizations.
4. Consider using acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used to support fertility for thousands of years, although it was mostly considered a sideline anecdote in the U.S. Now, more physicians are paying attention to acupuncture’s benefits.
While acupuncture may not have a direct effect on fertility treatments, multiple studies have shown that acupuncture is successful at reducing stress and inflammation, and this has positive implications for overall health and wellbeing – including fertility. Make sure you only work with licensed, experienced acupuncturists with solid credentials.
5. Get some exercise – preferably outdoors
It can feel like you need to treat your body like it’s made of glass during fertility treatments, particularly after IVF. However, unless your doctor states otherwise, mild to moderate exercise is beneficial. In addition to venting excess (stress) energy, exercise also helps you sleep better, oxygenates the blood, and supports the maintenance of your target weight.
If you’re able to exercise, walk, hike, or spend time outdoors – all the better. Mother Nature is often the most effective soother and de-stressor of all.
6. Spend a day of relaxation at the spa
This year, let everyone know the best birthday or holiday gift they could possibly give you is a gift card to your favorite day spa or masseuse. All those fertility appointments, the ups-and-downs of a diagnosis, the continuous poking and prodding required for testing and treatment, and the wear-and-tear of repeat treatments takes its toll.
Treat your body like a temple and give it the gift of experienced, healing touch. The more you can get into a regular massage groove, the better when it comes to supporting long-term relaxation.
7. Head out on a date night (sans any talk of babies/treatment/(in)fertility)
It’s not easy to keep the love light burning when all the love seems to be funneled into timing, shots, mood swings, and fertility treatment appointments. However, you and your partner are creating a family out of a deep and loving connection – and that flame deserves to be tended.
Head out on a date night (it doesn’t have to cost much), and set the ground rule that there is to be NO talking of babies, future family, (in)fertility, or anything else connected to that world. Date nights are dedicated exclusively to the two of you. And, the practice will come in handy when you are parents and need a night out to rekindle the romance all over again…
Are you having a difficult time remaining relaxed as you navigate fertility treatments? Make sure you’re working with the right fertility specialist. Accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment are the cornerstones of fertility treatment success. Contact the Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Center of Virginia if you’re ready for a change or suspect you need additional support getting pregnant.