Dr Devora Lieberman’s advice on taking care of yourself
When the dream of becoming a parent does not easily turn into a reality, many couples find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster.
Women in particular often feel frustrated, out of control, isolated, angry and guilty about their ‘failure’ to conceive. For many women starting a family and becoming a mother is incredibly important. And when it does not happen as quickly or easily as you might like it can be incredibly stressful.
Genea fertility specialist Dr Devora Lieberman says: “By the time people come to see me they are ready to get off that rollercoaster ride and many find that simply asking for help gives back a sense of control.”
And while stress itself is not a cause of infertility, there is evidence that stress reduction is beneficial to fertility.
Dr Lieberman adds: “It’s becoming more and more clear that while stress doesn’t cause infertility, infertility causes stress.”
So, whether you are trying to conceive naturally or through assisted reproduction technologies, like IVF, it’s important to try consider your emotional as well as your physical wellbeing.
There’s also good evidence that lifestyle changes – such as weight loss – can improve the chance of a successful pregnancy and keeping fit and as stress-free as possible can reduce the risk of ovulation disorders that can affect fertility.
Here are some strategies and tips to help you to take care of yourself while trying to conceive.
Meditation and yoga can help with relaxation and managing stress. Genea yoga coach, Ana Carina Crnkovich, says: “Yoga can support your emotional wellbeing and keep your mind and body healthy and strong.”
While more robust research is needed into whether using acupuncture during IVF leads to increased pregnancy rates, women often report improvements in physical and mental health including better sleep, a heightened ability to cope and improvements in mood and self confidence.
“It has also been shown to increase resilience and the ability to cope with ups and downs of trying to conceive,” Dr Lieberman adds.
Seek out emotional support. Dealing with fertility problems can be isolating and lonely. It’s not uncommon for partners to react very differently and this can put a strain on relationships. Having someone to confide in – either a friend or relative or counsellor can be a big help.
Sometimes just finding out about how other people cope and realising your feelings are ‘normal’ can alleviate some of the anxiety.
Dr Lieberman adds: “Online forums are also an increasingly popular way for women to find support by being able to connect anonymously to others who are going through a similar journey.”
Seek expert help. “Start with a GP who has an interest in women’s health,” Dr Lieberman says. “If there is a medical cause for infertility the sooner it is identified, the better.”
Genea Holistic provides optimal complementary healthcare and consultations with an experienced GP for couples trying to conceive or going through IVF – to give you the best possible chance of a healthy baby.