Dealing with the struggle of infertility is often one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting ordeals of a person’s life. The feeling of losing control over your body and your future can be extremely stressful. This is also very harmful because stress is one of the biggest risk factors to avoid when you’re trying to get pregnant. To break the vicious cycle of stress and infertility, here are a few coping strategies every couple should know about.
1.Vocalise Your Feelings
Many people dealing with infertility try to suppress their emotions and carry on like nothing is wrong. However, the more you try to push down your thoughts, the more they will threaten to resurface. Instead of staying in denial, speak about your emotions openly so you can start confronting them head-on. Vocalising your feelings will help you understand what you’re going through and might even help you tackle irrational thoughts. Getting these feelings of negativity out of your system is crucial to managing your stress levels.
2.Be Honest With Your Partner
The fear of not being able to have a child of their own can put unimaginable stress on a couple’s relationship. Feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anger and resentment are not uncommon when dealing with infertility. You and your partner might also deal with your grief in different ways, further widening the rift between you two. But, however difficult the journey to conception might be, it’s important that you and your partner remember that you’re in this together. Encouraging an open conversation with your partner and learning to support each other can make this entire ordeal a lot easier to bear.
3.Ask Questions to Clear Up Your Doubts
Nothing can worsen your stress more than misinformation and uncertainties. To make sure you get accurate information, it’s important that you don’t hesitate to ask your doctor questions. Keep a notebook to write down any doubts you have as soon as they cross your mind. Being fully informed about your condition and treatment options available helps you prepare yourself emotionally.
4.Don’t Feel Guilty About Your Emotions
Have you ever felt resentful about a friend’s pregnancy announcement only to feel ashamed of your reaction? Feeling guilty about your emotions can compound your stress to a huge extent. Instead, be honest with yourself about how you are feeling and accept your inner thoughts. It is completely normal to experience resentment, anger and jealousy while dealing with infertility, so don’t try to ignore these emotions. Don’t hesitate to remove yourself from situations that can trigger negative thoughts if it helps you maintain your emotional balance. Many women even find it helpful to go off social media to avoid seeing pictures of their friend’s babies.
5.Write Down Your Thoughts
A journal can be the perfect way to vent your feelings in private, without fear of hurting anyone or being judged. Your journal can also help you keep track of important dates, medication and nutritional guidelines, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Whenever you feel the stress creeping in, pen down your thoughts in your private journal to get them off your mind. Many therapists recommend writing a little every day, so you don’t repress any negative emotions.
6.Build a Strong Support System
Dealing with infertility is not a journey anyone can undertake on their own. Infertility treatments take a toll on your body and your emotional well-being. Having a strong support system in place is essential to help you cope with the stress. Communicate openly with your partner, your family and your close friends to help them understand infertility and exactly what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid to ask them for support when you need it because they want the best for you.
7.Find a Hobby You Love
When you are undergoing treatment, it can often feel like your life is revolving around the issue of infertility. Everything you do, from what you eat to the medication you take is related to your fertility struggles. You might not feel like you have time, but it’s very important that you do something just for yourself that makes you happy. Things like dance classes, yoga, and even pottery can give you something to look forward to every day.
Taking just a few minutes of each day to sit in silence and meditate can go a long way in improving your state of mind. Meditation helps you gain perspective and keeps you feeling positive. You can choose a guided meditation if you have never done it before or just sit in complete silence for at least 15 minutes. After doing this every day, you will be surprised to feel your stress levels drop.
9.Take Care of Your Diet
When you are dealing with infertility, it can often feel like everything is out of your control. However, your diet is one thing that you have complete control over. A healthy diet is not only important to support your treatment, but it can also play a significant role in improving your mood. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, healthy fats and whole fibres to reduce your stress through your plate.
These coping strategies can help you manage your stress levels when you are going through fertility treatments. At Motherhood, we understand the emotional impact infertility can have on your life. This is why, in addition to the latest advancements in infertility treatment, we also offer prenatal counselling to make this journey easier.