Small changes implemented consistently will create big results. This applies to all your goals, including conceiving. Here are some resolutions you can make today that can put you on the path to expanding your family this year:
Keep Stress at Bay
Dealing with infertility is stressful. To manage the stress that accompanies it, get help if you need it. If you are under 35 years of age and have not been able to conceive in 12 months or more, consult a fertility specialist. If you are over 35 and have not been able to conceive in more than 6 months, consult a fertility specialist.
Getting help from reproductive specialists can remove a lot of stress. There is a lot of fear in not knowing what is going on, especially with our bodies. When you and your partner complete reproductive testing, you will not only have an idea of what is preventing you from conceiving but you will also have a plan.
Having a plan is also a major stress reducer. Think of how much smoother your day runs when you have appointments in your calendar and a to-do list (or success list as we like to call it). The same goes for developing a fertility plan.
Part of your plan will likely include developing other healthy stress management techniques. These can include yoga, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating foods that fight feelings of stress and depression such as antioxidants. Support groups can also be great outlets and keep stress at bay.
Get Your Body Ready
Another part of your fertility plan may include changes to your lifestyle. One of the key ones is to stop smoking. Smoking is directly linked to impaired fertility as it causes damage to a woman’s eggs and fallopian tubes as well as put you at risk for a miscarriage.
You also want to limit your alcohol consumption as well as your caffeine intake. Caffeine slows blood flow to the uterus as it constricts blood vessels. This hurts your chances for an egg to attach to the uterine wall. Consuming less than 200-300 mg of caffeine per day is a good level to strive for.
Achieve and maintain healthy body weight. Being overweight or underweight can lower your chances of getting pregnant as both extremes impact ovulation.
Unplug From Social Media
Scrolling through baby pics and birth announcements will usual make you smile but can trigger depression if you are struggling with infertility. Additionally, “scrolling” has been found to be an avoidance technique, which ultimately snowballs into procrastination, anxiety and an increased change of depressive episodes.
Make an effort to unplug. iPhones have a useful “Downtime” feature in Settings > Screen Time. You can set specific hours of downtime during which you will only be able to use apps you choose to allow and make phone calls. Try to set the start of your “downtime” at least 1 hour before bedtime and stay away from any other “blue” screens such as TVs or computers. This will help you fall asleep easier. Instead, read a book or enjoy a coloring book for adults – another great stress reducer!
Share with Your Partner or Support System
Infertility can feel isolating. Share your worries and excitement with your partner, who may be afraid to upset you by sharing his or her feelings. Be patient, encourage honesty, and create an open exchange. A counselor who specializes in infertility can help bring your relationship together and keep the stress from creating a wedge.
If you are going through this journey without a partner, consider sharing your journey with a support group, a close friend or family member who has been consistently supportive.
Island Fertility is your partner in fertility. Call us at (631) 638-4600 to make an appointment.