When you first start trying to start a family it can be a very exciting time. All of the “trying” can reconnect you as a couple as you think about a nursery, little feet, and baby names.
But then nothing happens…and you give it another month…and another…
Anxiety and depression start to occur as time passes and your friends and family members announce their due dates and showers are planned. You may experience feelings of dread and fear and wonder “will I ever get pregnant?”
When I work with clients we address these issues no matter where they are in their journey to conceive a baby. You may be just starting to think there is something wrong, just starting to visit specialists or your kitchen table is filled with medications and you feel like a pin cushion.
While it is important to work with doctors it is just as important to take care of yourself…and your stress level. Dealing with infertility can be exacerbated by anxiety and stress – so take some for self care and couple care with these suggestions:
- Exercise. There is something magical about exercise. Not only does it make you physically stronger and healthier but it allows you time to clear your brain and reduce stress that can build during the day.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol – while drinking coffee and caffeinated soda can be a daily ritual for many, it can also give you the gitters, heighten anxiety and cause nervousness. Alcohol may initially make you feel relaxed but it can interfere with getting a solid night’s sleep and that is extremely important while you are dealing with infertility.
- If possible, try to get away. Get out of your familiar surroundings and expand your experience. Traveling can be an effective distraction while you are dealing with the stress, fear and frustration of infertility.
- Have important parenting talks with your partner such as savings, who is going to take care of the baby, are you both going to continue working? It is also important to talk about your feelings should your attempts at conception be unsuccessful. This is a very difficult topic but you may find that in being open an honest about your fears, you may relieve some of the stress that occurs from holding in uncomfortable feelings.
Stress and anxiety can be ugly sisters and wreak havoc on your life while you are trying to conceive. Take time to relax, take care of you and your significant other, and explore your options for making this a more holistic process. There are many things to consider and contend with while you are trying to conceive so remember to engage with your partner on strategies to help you both cope during this stressful time.