Practical tips for reducing stress during IVF
Below we have compiled a short list of different practical tips that have helped other people going through the IVF process in reducing stress. Many of us are aware of these self-care techniques but don’t ever use them. You need to find what works for you but they are worth a try if it helps you on your journey to that big fat positive.
Entertainment and light relief
Personally, I like to watch funny animal videos or read about ‘so you think you had a bad day’ posts, like this one, never fails to cheer me up and make me smile:
Another epic fail that made me chuckle was a news item about some lucky diners who were accidentally served a £4,500 bottle of red wine at a Manchester restaurant recently by one of the waiters…oops! 🙂
Complementary therapies e.g. acupuncture
Massages, reiki and acupuncture are all great stress relievers but it is also thought that acupuncture can also be effective in IVF success. Read more on this here: https://www.accessfertility.com/blog/acupuncture-effective-ivf/
Mindfulness and meditation
This can take lots of different forms but can be as simple on sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. Mindfulness can be getting engrossed in a hobby, or going for a walk and noticing the clouds, the temperature, birds in the trees, dogs in the park, colours, shape of the trees etc.
Are you trying to get pregnant & sick of being told to just relax?
IVF clinics will have a counsellor that you can access if you find you need this support so it’s worth asking them about this.
This is a great form of exercise, supports flexibility and builds strength. Great preparation for pregnancy as well as a good stress buster.
Cardio exercise is important in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle which is crucial for conception, NHS eligibility criteria and pregnancy. Walking 30 minutes per day is a great start, a Zumba class, gym sessions or swimming can all help reduce stress and release endorphins to make you happier at the same time. Exercise also hopefully supports better sleep.
Family and friends
Make sure you get support from your family and friends but ensure they are aware of any boundaries e.g. not to mention ‘the IVF’ unless you bring it up, or ensure they know any topics you don’t want to talk about and any people you don’t want informed. Having this support is very important.
Blogs and forums
There are a number of IVF blogs and forums that you could join to get support from others in the same situation.
Spend time in nature
Research shows that spending time in nature or with animals makes us happier and reduces stress so get out on the beach, among the trees or in the parks and get your steps in at the same time. Alternatively sit in the garden and watch the birds and bees.
Journal your experience
Some people find it helpful to journal about their experience instead of talking to people about it. This can be in a physical journal, as a blog or just jotting down thoughts that you then throw away -whatever works for you. Reading other people’s blogs can also be helpful.
Communication and compromise
Ensure you communicate and compromise in your relationship whilst being mindful not to let infertility/IVF dominate your conversations. IVF can take over so it’s important to make sure you don’t forget about each other because you’re focussing on the baby you want. Taking care of each other and having understanding and empathy for each other during the process will ensure you both feel supported and will hopefully ease some of the pressure.
Plan in quality time
Spending quality time together during the process can give you relief and something to look forward to. Some people like to book trips at the end of their treatment so they have something to look forward to and some quality time together if the result isn’t a positive one, or to celebrate if it is good news.
Time for yourself
Have a bath, indulge in your hobby or take up a new one, go for walks, say ‘no’ to commitments you don’t want to go to, eat ice cream, watch corny movies, have early nights – whatever you like doing that gives you time to yourself to reflect and relax.