6 Expert Tips to Remain Relaxed and Stress-Free When Trying to Conceive
Published September 26, 2023.
Trying to conceive can be an extremely emotional process. The physical demands of timed intercourse, doctor’s visits, and potential treatments combined with the rollercoaster of expectations each month can certainly take a toll.
According to a study, many lifestyle factors, including the age at which to start a family, nutrition, weight, exercise, psychological stress, environmental and occupational exposures, can significantly impact fertility.
We had a great opportunity to speak with fertility expert Ivy Joeva, who explains that “When we feel like we have to do it all, we have to hold it all together, make everything happen in our lives, that’s naturally going to create a sense of stress.”
With her extensive knowledge and experience supporting women and couples on their fertility, conception, and childbearing journeys, Joeva offers invaluable insights.
1. Connect with Nature
Knowing your fertility window is key to maximizing chances each month. But learning how to relax is just as important for conceiving during this prime time as stress can inhibit getting pregnant. Connecting with nature is an effective way to relax your nervous system and counteract stress during the fertility journey.
“When we can lean into the greater life force energy that’s constantly nourishing and supporting us, being receptive is what helps our nervous system counteract that sympathetic fight-flight response.”
These are some tips you can follow to connect with nature:
- Make an effort to get outside and take mindful walks for even just a few minutes every day.
- Sit in your backyard, lie in the grass, or spend time caring for plants and absorbing nature’s supportive energy.
- Inhale fresh air slowly and deeply to release tension and restore balance to your nervous system.
2. Cultivate Self-Compassion
Cultivating self-compassion provides comfort and perspective during the often lengthy, turbulent road of attempting conception. When your period arrives yet again, take time to be extra gentle with yourself. Offer yourself the same empathy, reassurance, and understanding that you would extend to a close friend in your situation. Imagine the advice and wisdom your inner wise, compassionate self would provide–then follow it.
Know that you are doing the absolute best that you can in difficult circumstances. Don’t add self-criticism to the emotional load you are already carrying. This practice of self-kindness helps release negativity so your spirit feels uplifted and hopeful.
Understanding your menstrual cycle through fertility awareness tools like Tempdrop's free guide can also help you tune into your emotions with more awareness and compassion.
3. Make Space for All Emotions
When trying month after month to get pregnant, it is extremely common to experience a wide spectrum of difficult emotions, such as:
It is absolutely essential to acknowledge and fully feel whatever arises rather than resisting these feelings or pressuring yourself to “think positive.”
"Resisting how we actually feel is violence that's not self-loving."
Give yourself permission to fall apart sometimes. Once you have fully expressed the painful emotions weighing on you, you will likely feel some relief, space, and capacity for other, lighter feelings.
4. Prioritize Local and Seasonal Produce
What you eat matters when you are trying to conceive. It's important not to undereat or skip meals while trying to conceive because restricting calories falsely signals resource scarcity to your body, which can impair ovulation or lead to inadequate progesterone levels required to sustain pregnancy.
One of the best things you can do to maximize nutrient intake is to eat locally-grown, seasonal produce. Here are ways you can make the most out of locally sourced foods:
- Seasonal Benefits: Fruit and vegetables naturally thrive in specific seasons, boasting the most robust nutrient profiles when consumed during their peak.
- Freshness from Proximity: Local produce doesn't require long-distance shipping, allowing it to be picked ripe and retain nutrients more effectively.
- Engage with Farmers: Talking directly with farmers at local farmer’s markets provides insights into the freshest and in-season offerings.
- Inquire about Growing Practices: Engaging with farmers also allows you to ask about their methods, ensuring the produce hasn't been treated with potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals.
» Find what 5 best foods are to boost libido during ovulation
5. Mindful Selection of Animal Byproducts
Diet and nutrition play a huge role when you are trying to conceive. What you eat can have a major impact on your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. It is important to reflect mindfully on where your food comes from, especially animal products.
Conventionally raised meat, dairy, and eggs often come from industrial factory farms where animals are confined in cramped, stressful conditions and treated inhumanely. However, the food they produce is intended to nourish our bodies and even future children.
"When sourcing animal products, try to select organic, pasture-raised, free-range options from small farms you can trust. "
While not always possible, doing so when you can helps avoid consuming high levels of stress hormones and other substances that enter the food chain. This supportive choice honors the sanctity of life and your own body.
6. Reduce Exposure to Light Pollution
Our exposure to artificial light, especially after sunset, may not seem like an obvious factor in relaxation and fertility–but it has a remarkably significant influence. As Joeva explains, “Light exposure helps regulate our circadian rhythm, determining whether it’s day or night. This rhythm controls the natural rise and fall of melatonin over a 24-hour cycle, which is essential for quality sleep.”
Restorative sleep, in turn, is foundational for the proper functioning of the reproductive hormones, organs, and systems integral to conception.
How to improve sleep quality:
- Minimize artificial light pollution indoors and outdoors after sundown
- Turn off unnecessary lights, and opt for dimmer switches, salt lamps, or candles
- Avoid electronics and screens before bedtime
- Consider using blackout curtains in your bedroom if streetlights filter in
Allow your body to align with natural sunset/sunrise patterns. Protecting your exposure to darkness enables the secretion of melatonin and fertility-enhancing sleep.
Keeping Calm on the Road to Parenthood
The journey to growing your family can be filled with deep complexity and many trials for both body and spirit. Educating yourself and your partner on preconception health, fertility, and getting your body ready for pregnancy can set you up for the best chances of success when you do start trying to conceive.
To stay grounded amidst life's highs and lows, try incorporating self-care rituals, connecting with nature, and acknowledging your emotions. If you're looking for a tool to track your fertility, Tempdrop is a great option. It monitors your sleep and temperature, making it easy to identify your window of fertility. Why not download Tempdrop's eBook: 'Conceive with Confidence' for free and learn about additional ways to prepare your body for conception and an optimal pregnancy.