Rob Charteris RMN, BSc (Hons), CBT Practitioner
Stress is the body’s reaction to fears and anxiety. It is a complex system involving chemicals and hormones that that you can read more about here.
For now we just need to know that stress is not good for those trying for a baby. To start with, feeling stressed is not good if you and your partner want to “get in the mood”. But stress affects the body as well as the mind and studies have found that stress significantly lowers the likely-hood of conception.
Baby-Arabia.com have looked into some of the ways doctors recommend you deal with stress when trying for a baby.
The first thing you need to do is remember conception requires 2 people. You and your partner need to relaxed and happy together. If you are solely focusing on sex as a process to make a baby, it will cease to be fun and actually become a “job”. We advise couples to act as if you were dating again. Set aside time during the week to go to a movie. Take a dance class together. And put a time limit of 20 minutes or so on pregnancy discussions. Fertility talk that goes on and on can make matters worse, so put some fun back into making a bay!
Thinking “everybody else gets pregnant so easily” only causes distress. If getting pregnant was so easy, there wouldn’t be fertility clinics. Be realistic about getting pregnant and stop punishing yourself if you don’t conceive straight away. Give yourself realistic expectations and you will start to feel less pressure.
Setting down on paper how you feel can help in all sorts of stressful situations and it also helps you to recognize bad thinking. A diary or a journal detailing how you think and feel about becoming pregnant is an excellent way to learn about yourself and identify the sources of stress.
Continuing activities you enjoy is critical. Getting pregnant should not be your sole focus. Take pictures, plan special meals. Whatever your passion – indulge it. Doing something enjoyable also boosts serotonin, a mood-enhancing brain chemical. That’s an added bonus.
The benefits of the “relaxation response” include a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. If a specific kind of technique is preferred, there’s no shortage of choices. Meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation are just a few. Here’s an excellent breathing technique for when things just get too much!
Walking, swimming, yoga, or other moderate exercise may take the edge off stress, and it has additional advantages. Overweight women who trim pounds through physical activity benefit, for example; extra body fat produces excess estrogen, which interferes with ovulation. Higher-energy workouts like running or jogging stimulate the release of feel-good endorphins. But be careful though, exercise alone will not make stress go away. It is better to tackle stress at source and use exercise as boost to feel good hormones.
If things get too much you might try counseling. Counselors are trained to empathize, which is a skill that allows them to share your feelings. Knowing that someone understands and knows how you feel, can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to seek help.