Self-care is hard when your mind is focused on everything else, except yourself. Juggling appointments with your doctor, tracking your cycle and ovulation, and turning "getting pregnant" into a full-time job, on top of all of the demands of your everyday life and relationships it's a lot.
That stress can pile up and have a serious impact both on your health in general and on your ability to become pregnant. In fact, studies are showing that stress may contribute to at least 30% of cases of infertility.
With so much to worry about, it’s so important to take good care of yourself while trying to conceive, not just physically but mentally as well. If you set up a regimen of relaxation, mindfulness, and self-care, you can fight back against the stress of your fertility journey.
Self-care is: To Make Plans
You have to wait about two weeks between ovulation and taking a pregnancy test, so you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. You will almost certainly spend it worrying about whether or not you are pregnant unless you fill that time with other activities that are relaxing and fulfilling.
Plan to spend time with the people that care about and want to support you. That could mean going on a date with your partner and just enjoying each other’s company. Or you could plan a night out with your friends, have a good meal, and share a few laughs. Just go out, have fun, and remember that the rest of your life is still there while you try to conceive.
Check out: Acupuncture for Fertility
Self-care is: To Meet Your Body’s Needs
With so much on your mind and so many demands on your time, it’s easy to fall out of healthy habits. But you need to keep your body in the best shape you can to ensure the best chance of getting pregnant.
Your doctor may have given you diet recommendations and even prescribed nutritional supplements. Make sure you follow those directions and choose healthy options whenever possible.
Also, watch what you drink. Alcohol, of course, can have an effect on fertility. Some studies suggest high amounts of caffeine may as well. Even chemicals in drinking water - including lead - can harm your chances of becoming pregnant. Staying hydrated is important, though, so get a water filter if you can - and use it!
Finally, get as much quality sleep as you can. Getting a good night’s sleep will give you energy and make dealing with stress easier. Lack of sleep can affect your hormone levels and lower fertility, as well. Keep to a regular sleep schedule, avoid TV or computer screens before bedtime, and get daily exercise.
Check out: Detox Your Life
Self-care is: To Do What You Love
You have hobbies, but you may be putting them off during this time because there’s just so much going on. Don’t! You used to do those things because you loved them. Taking them away is only going to make you feel worse.
Do you enjoy running or biking? Hit the trail. Moderate exercise is good for fertility, so not only will it make you feel better - it could increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Play a game. Read a book. Work on crafts. Whatever you used to do to relax, you should be doing those things now.
We know that worrying about fertility and trying to conceive can take a toll. By focusing on taking care of yourself physically and mentally, you can keep that stress at bay and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Check out: The Guide to Exercise and Fertility