Five Simple Tips for Improving Fertility: For Everyone Involved!
By Erika Holmes, L AC
Make self-care a priority! Treatment for infertility is a stressful process, often involving a roller-coaster of emotions. It is of utmost importance that you make time for yourself, and treat yourself as you would a beloved friend. Self-care and loving kindness are your most important priorities during this time. Tune in to your body and what it needs. Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to things/people/activities for which you don’t have the time or energy to entertain or accomplish. Treat yourself well by doing things you love and that bring you joy, whether it’s a massage, pedicure, taking in a show, or simply a relaxing picnic in the park. As crazy as it may sound, taking the time to nourish yourself allows for new space and energy to enter your life, and sends the universe a clear message that you now have adequate time and energy to nourish a baby.
Breathe! Breathing is an involuntary process, and because of that, not many of us bring conscious awareness to it. However, mindful breathing is the best (and also the fastest and easiest) way to reduce stress. Set an hourly alarm on your phone, and when it alerts you, take 5 mindful breaths. Breathe in to your belly to the count of four, and exhale to the count of four. The breath should be natural, and not strained. While doing this, tune in to your body and identify where you are holding tension. With intention, relax those areas, and focus on breathing out all tension. If you feel so inclined, you may add some visualization exercises to this process (e.g. imagine breathing in warm, golden light, and on the exhale send it to all areas of the body). Before long, you will no longer need to set an alarm to remind you to do this, as it will become very natural and easy for you to recognize when your body is stressed and/or holding tension.
Stay hydrated! Surprisingly, around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, drinking only 3 cups of water per day. Our body composition is over 70% water, and adequate hydration is imperative for health and well-being. Be sure you are drinking at least 8 full glasses of room-temperature water each day.
Eat a well-balanced, whole-foods diet! As much as possible, eliminate processed and fortified foods. Focus on eating primarily organic meats, high quality fats, and lots of green, leafy vegetables. Avoid gluten, dairy, and soy products as much as possible. Eating well is one of the best things we can do for our health.
Exercise! No intense workouts necessary, and in fact, extreme workouts are contraindicated for women who are trying to conceive. However, gentle to moderate exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, as it improves circulation and reduces stress. So, find something you love, and do that! Not everyone enjoys a gym workout, and that’s okay. Some people prefer yoga, pilates, tai chi, swimming, nature walks, dancing, etc. The important thing is to find an activity that feels fun and that you look forward to doing. Exercise should not be something you dread!