TIPS TO HELP YOU STOP STRESSING OUT ABOUT INFERTILITY
The desire to have a child for many hopeful parents can be all-consuming and stress-inducing. Some women might battle conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and poor egg quality, while others may find themselves asking, “Why can’t we conceive?”
For decades, scientists have tried to determine if the worry of infertility causes stress, and therefore infertility, or if the everyday stress of our daily lives causes infertility. While there is still no clear answer, researchers agree that managing stress levels may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Here are three holistic options to help reduce stress.
Some of life’s best lessons are found in children’s books. Take “The Little Engine That Could,” which illustrates the power of positivity and the innate ability in all of us to will something to happen just by putting our thoughts and energy behind it.
Try this simple exercise: Upon waking and before you go to bed, set aside five to 10 minutes and lay supine in your bed. Eliminate all interruptions like buzzing cellphones, errant pets and talkative partners. Place your hands on your abdomen. Inhale to a count of five, and then exhale to a count of five. Once you establish an easy breath rhythm, you no longer need to count. Instead, focus on the rise and fall of your belly and start to visualize an energetic force inside of it. With each breath, that energetic force grows stronger. Begin to feel your belly fill with it and allow your mind to envision yourself pregnant. Invite all your senses to experience yourself pregnant.
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton wellness practitioners offer an extensive range of bodywork modalities, and the power of the healing touch has proven to be vital to stress reduction. You may be familiar with massage and acupuncture, which both have been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve overall fertility, but what about craniosacral therapy? Osteopath John Upledger describes this subtle touch therapy as “working with natural and unique rhythms of our different body systems to pinpoint and correct source problems.” Craniosacral therapy not only calms the nervous system, but also addresses restrictions in the pelvis that can affect conception and can help release trauma stored on a cellular level that in turn can affect fertility.
Nearly 10 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with food allergies, which can cause inflammatory conditions that affect the endocrine — and therefore hormones — and immune systems. Some chronic food intolerances may go undetected, so try keeping a food journal and noting poor digestive responses like fatigue or bloating after eating. Data also suggests that alkaline-forming foods help with fertility, so keep those in mind when planning your menus.
Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer and owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE (bewellbecreative.com).