When I first started treating women’s health, specifically fertility, it was literally like tip-toeing through a jacked up minefield. Nobody really knew where the issues were coming from or what would rear it’s head next, they were often hidden or we had yet to understand the body in the way we do today. I saw women at their absolute whits end, hating on their bodies, taking their body’s through gruelling regimes and at times, losing hope. To this day, not much has changed aside from the fact that we know a little more than we did back then. The fact remains, there is still so much to learn and as women we can so often hate our body’s because they seem to have a mind of their own.
Whilst my love for treating fertility and conception has never died, my passion to reach out to younger women and to ‘fix it before it’s broken,’ continued to grow and here I am today, lucky enough to be able to help women through all walks of their hormonal challenges and even though I want to talk a little more about pregnancy and fertility today, I want my readers to know now more than ever, that this info isn’t limited to conception alone but really something we can apply to that big ol’ thing called life,
‘Fertility isn’t about babies, it’s an extension of your health.’
So if you’ve been trying to conceive for some time or perhaps you’ve been praying to the fertility gods for months, I’ve a few super easy and often overlooked factors that I believe are absolutely key to paving the way towards your more fertile self. Even though I say ‘fertility isn’t just about babies, it’s an extension of your health,’ it’s certainly what we do each and every day that counts most and your most fertile you is the healthiest you. Thing is, you can have the best diet on the planet, eat like a goddess, sleep like a queen, have your supplement regime down pat but if your emotional and mental health aren’t in check, you may as well be peeing your supplements down the drain.
Stop trying to calm down
Has anybody ever dared to tell you all you need to do is calm yo’ farm and sit the heck down? “If you just calm down, you’ll fall pregnant” or maybe, a personal favourite (jokes) “You just need to relax.” How did that go for ya? I can guess that you wanted to punch them in the face, stomp your feet, turn on your heel and run to the vending machine, right? Never in the history of all mankind has telling yourself or anybody else for that matter to calm down actually had a calming effect. In fact, it generally it has a knee-jerk response, makes us upset, stressed and doubt ourselves. It’s not kind, nor is it effective. What’s more, your cells absolutely respond to every single little noise your mind makes. So in the scheme of things, telling yourself to calm down is about as effective as poking hot pins in your eyeballs.
I have a technique I teach my patients and in my courses also, where I ask people to take a step back and hang out on the edges of their life for a minute. It’s not necessarily something we even entertain, especially so when we are frazzled with life, but something that is super simple and really effective, all you need is a little perspective. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a cent. It’s difficult when we are in the mix of drama or crisis to have the awareness to take a step back and ask ourselves, does my reaction really warrant my precious cortisol from being released – aka does this actually warrant a stress response. Chances are, we choose stress because it got the job done yesterday so we will choose it again today and before we know it, it has us by the coat tails. If you can simply sit back and analyse the situation, unless it’s super bad news and somebody is hurt or you’ve lost your job (and even that can be a good thing sometimes), chances are, you can choose to react differently and keep your hormones happier too.
Pretend you’re already there
Whilst it’s a little tricky to ‘fake it until you make it’ when it comes to a precious bun in the oven, beginning to act as if you are already pregnant can have a huge impact on the choices and decisions you make in your day to day life. Ask yourself this, if you were pregnant right here, right now how would you behave?
The most important thing you can ask yourself – how would you feel?
Maybe you’d feel excited, scared, over the moon, shout it from the roof tops, broadcast it on FB LIVE (ok maybe overkill) but how would you actually feel in yourself and really try and tap into that emotion.
And then, what would you do differently? Perhaps you’d leave work early, go to bed on time, think kind thoughts, eat better, be so proud of your body and throw yourself a little preggo party.
By behaving in this way you instantly create space for what you want rather than cramming into your day all that you don’t actually desire in an attempt to fill the void. It’s very common for patients to say, I can’t bare to see another baby announcement or that they take on study or a second job to fill up their time without giving thought to the fact that they are pushing further away the very thing that they want. Sure it can be uncomfortable for a while, but you’ll get the hang of it sooner than later. I’m not suggesting for a minute it can be painful to watch others gain the very thing you’re busting your little ovaries for, but we may need to do something different to what we’ve already done to get something different. Plus each and every time you feel overwhelmed with the lack of baby, tap back into that special feeling you just adopted of how being pregnant would indeed make you feel. Stick a cushion up your top if you need to or rub your belly as often as you need. There’s a little magic in this one that works very well.
Let your hair down girlfriend
In the world of fertility challenges, there can be a lot. A lot of regime, supplements, do’s, don’ts, precision timing and a whole lot of doing your own brain in with it. It’s a LOT. I’ve been known to tell my patients to go out on the town, to let their hair down, dance into the early hours of the morning and just have the night of your life. I wonder… when was the last time you just let go of the reigns and felt free? For some, the answer is never. The trick however is that you have to let it all go, with no regrets. The regret can be so trapping and gripping and that’s the last thing we want to set you up for, but to have a night out, drink that glass of wine, break all the rules, got to bed late, eat the food that you’ve been holding off on… whatever floats your boat, just go have yourself a fabulous time – I give you permission to stick your middle finger up with life and just let it all out. (whoops, did I just say that out loud?)
Have sex, just because
When was the last time you truly had sex? Not the mechanical, “time to make a baby” type sex but the real deal, the stuff you did when you were newly loved up and had no inhibitions. I often get asked how much sex is necessary to make a baby. Truthfully, not very much at all, but how much sex do you need to have healthy hormones and a thriving reproductive system? Let me tell you, your uterus loves the exercise, as does your hormones.
During sex, you release feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine, these help to balance out other hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which both may be having their way with your more fertile self. So switching the station to having sex for the sake of it, not for the timing of it can be a real game changer. Plus, babies are conceived all over the place, not just when you think you’re ovulating. The biggest mistake I see couples make is only having sex in what they believe to be their fertile window. It may mean they are missing the boat all together because there is no 100% sure way to know in what moment you’ve ovulated. Plus exercising the uterus makes it all the more ready for the pending arrival of that freshly fertilised embryo. It’s a winner.
Spend time with the right people
If your cheer squad are all full of doom and gloom and constantly reinforcing your fears, it might be time to find some new people to hang out with. It’s not that you don’t love them, but those who are around you need to support your cause, not feed the fears. You are the average of the five people you spend your time with – choose wisely!
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And finally, don’t be shy to leave a comment. I read each and every one and love helping you get to the bottom of your health issues. Plus you might have a question that is on the lips of another sista – meaning you’re helping me help the collective! So go on then, I’m ready for you.