3 Ways COVID-19 Could Help You Get Pregnant
Amidst the pandemic, so many of us women have experienced additional strain. And if you're trying to get pregnant during COVID-19?
It's even worse.
Perhaps you've been forced to stop or delay treatments. Or you're only able to do the most basic procedures, leaving you feeling desperate as what was already a long process is drawn out even longer.
Or maybe this new normal of wearing masks, having limited social interaction, and feeling uncertainty about the future is affecting your mental health. If you’re among the one in four women experiencing anxiety (did you know that women are almost twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men?), the current state of the world can definitely intensify underlying worries.
This pandemic is an unprecedented situation for all of us and can understandably throw us off our well-planned fertility journey.
As a fertility coach, I've spoken to many women during the last few months whose concerns may be similar to yours.
Please know you are not alone in this.
If you're feeling frustration and disappointment — even anger — you're not alone. Thousands of women are right there with you.
Remember that clinics that have chosen to stop, delay, or reduce treatments may be complying with state and national regulations and are also doing what they can to protect you and your partner and their staff.
I never tell a woman to "look on the bright side." No one feels like there's a bright side during infertility. But when my coaching clients are muddling through a situation they have no control over (like a pandemic), I try to help them find opportunities to create benefits for themselves.
Might as well give it a try, no?
We can use COVID as a chance to get our bodies and minds as baby-friendly as possible.
Many women feel their time is running out as a result of delayed fertility treatments. I've been there! Taking a break from treatments can be very scary.
Let's talk a little science: While age does impact fertility — ovarian reserve and the quality of eggs decreases over time — the truth is that these few months will not move the needle in a fundamental way. That doesn't mean waiting won't be hard or that you won't think about the additional months you're going without the family you want.
But rest assured that these few months will not result in a rapid decline in your fertility.
So if we can set that fear aside, how can we use this time to prepare our bodies for pregnancy?
Here are 3 things you can do right now so your body and mind are prepared when you're able to resume full treatments.
1. Try to limit stress
All of us experience stress, and it's not something we can easily eliminate from our lives — especially when we're dealing with infertility or miscarriages. Unfortunately, stress may have a negative impact on your ability to get pregnant.
For the science junkies: Prolonged stress releases so much cortisol that it may suppress and create an imbalance of your reproductive hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), which affects ovulation; follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which affects egg growth; and most importantly progesterone, which is crucial for implantation and sustained pregnancy.
I know. That's a pretty massive dose of unfair.
The good news is that there are ways to lower your stress levels (without going to live in an ashram). It's never too late to calm your nervous system and let it know that you are safe, relaxed, and ready to conceive.
So how can you lower your stress levels on a daily basis?
Mind-body connection techniques were critical for my own fertility journey, and I constantly recommend them to clients. Tools like daily relaxation, visualization, breathing, and yoga help you to slow down and feel better.
Plus, if you're results-oriented, research has shown that mind-body techniques can increase IVF success rates.
My favorite technique is to take two minutes each day to visualize yourself in your safe and happy place, wherever that may be.
Leaning into the slow down
Depending on your life situation, pandemic restrictions could help. You may have traded a lengthy commute for a short walk from the bedroom to the living room or kitchen. You may be appreciating not seeing that pregnant coworker or getting impromptu progress requests from your boss at the coffee machine.
You probably also have a much lighter social calendar. While we need social connections as human beings, how is it feeling to slow down and not be running from one social event to the next?
Many of us may have turned into practiced couch potatoes, bread-baking geniuses, or gardening lovers. All these homebound activities signal to our brains that we are in a safe and comfortable place, more ready to conceive, and able to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Review some of these new habits, hobbies, and ways of going through your day. What can you hold onto and integrate into your life when the pandemic ends?
2. Improve your diet
Eating a balanced diet can balance our reproductive hormones, improve egg quality, improve the uterine lining, and lower inflammation.
Now is a great time to introduce as many fresh, organic, and wholesome foods as possible while limiting processed, sugary foods and saturated fats.
Consider also using this time to speak to a health practitioner or nutritionist about taking supplements to boost your fertility.
Some common ones to look into include:
Some women also swear by Maca powder.
3. Be kind to yourself
Many of us — women especially — have a pretty hard time treating ourselves gently. Our inner critic often has the loudest voice, so I invite you to soften that voice, take the pressure off, and be incredibly kind to yourself.
Tell yourself (even if you don’t always believe it—your subconscious will take it in):
- I am doing enough.
- I have enough time.
- I am healthy.
- I am exactly where I am supposed to be on my journey.
- I am beautiful, inside and outside.
- I am on my way to becoming a mother.
- I focus on progress, not perfection.
You don't have to walk this path alone.
I am a Fertility Coach helping professional women like you increase your chances to get pregnant with less anxiety and more joy along the way. My Full-Circle Method is a holistic blend of solution-oriented coaching, powerful mind-body-connection techniques and a practical step-by-step guide addressing mindset, lifestyle and tactics along your fertility journey.
I’m a 4 time IVF warrior, a yoga teacher and a working mom with an MBA and 15 years of corporate experience under my belt. My own challenging journey to motherhood has made me passionate about helping you with yours.
I’m German native, but a global citizen at heart. I’ve lived and worked all over the world (Germany, US, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, UK), and now reside in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with my husband, daughter and red Labrador Retriever. I love re-watching Friends and never say No to chocolate. Have I mentioned chocolate?
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