Thursday, 8 May 2008

Dealing With the Stress of Fertility Treatment

New research indicates that fertility patients who feel less stressed get pregnant more quickly, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown, who specialises in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy.

Below are some suggestions that may help you get pregnant and makes treatment more bearable.

- Think of your fertility treatment as a project. Map out a strategy with your partner and your fertility doctor, and stick to it. Decide in advance how many and what kind of procedures will be emotionally and financially acceptable, and attempt to determine a final limit. Try to get in a long-term mindset-hope to be pregnant within a year, rather than obsessing each day.

- Write down questions to bring to your doctor, so you don't forget to ask.

- Consider what you will do if you don't conceive. Having an alternative plan, such as adoption, not having children, or using donor eggs can minimize stress and anxiety.

- Consider taking a break every few months.

- Communicate with your partner, and expect your partner to have difficulties too. Don't expect him to always feel the same way that you do, though-different people respond differently to the strains of infertility.

- Fertility treatment can be hard on every aspect of a relationship. Try to do things together that are fun and unrelated to getting pregnant.

- Don't be surprised at your negative reaction when someone else becomes pregnant-even someone you love. It is hard to be happy for others while you are struggling to become a parent yourself.

- Expect to feel emotional during this process -- often a roller coaster of anxiety, excitement and frustration. Many modern women have never experienced this sort of loss of control over their lives-you have always been able to get what you wanted if you worked hard enough.

- Studies indicate that fertility treatment can be more stressful than cancer therapy-with similar feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, grief, shame, damaged self-esteem, jealousy, isolation, and loss of control.

- Consider getting counselling, learning some relaxation techniques, or joining a support group. You may find yoga, meditation, guided imagery, reiki, massage therapy and/or exercise helpful.

To find out more about Nutritional support during or before your pregnancy, contact UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown Dip.ION (mBANT), specialist in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy care in the city of London, EC2. I have also written a free e-book on how you can improve your diet prior to and during your pregnancy, which can be obtained by clicking on the following link