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  • 3 Reasons Why Mental Health is Essential- Putting Yourself First and Finding Peace

    3 Reasons Why Mental Health is Essential-  Putting Yourself First and Finding Peace

    You finally did it. You’ve made the decision to start a family! It feels good to know you’re ready to become a mother and are excited for a new chapter in your life. But what if it’s not that easy? If this is you, you’re not alone. Although fertility struggles are not talked about often, they are real and more common than you think.  

    Did you know at least one in every eight couples has difficulty getting pregnant? It’s true. But again, not often talked about. You see ads for baby clothes, Pampers, and pregnant women everywhere. Still what about those struggling to become pregnant?

    Fertility is a very sensitive and private subject. You may not be comfortable opening up about your journey. Meanwhile others are blasting it all over social media. Guaranteed if you open a social media app and swipe into Facebook or Instagram you’ll find images of reveal parties, baby bumps, birth announcements and milestones. Ugh, isn’t it exhausting and defeating to see those posts. Yes! Shout it out, yes it is!  There’s another side to things. There are women just like you who are trying, coping and discovering a different path to pregnancy. 

    Along this path comes your mental health. Most likely you weren’t banking on having trouble getting pregnant. You thought once you made the decision to start a family it would come easily, naturally and just like that- a positive test. But that’s not always the case. Certain factors play a role in your journey and one, being mental health, impacts your path towards motherhood tremendously.  Since COVID, mental health has been quite the buzz word and for good reason.  Take a look at why mental health is so important and how finding support during your fertility journey will help you find peace.

    1. The Impact of Stress on Your Mental Health and Fertility

    If you’re having trouble conceiving, chances are you’re also experiencing a wave of emotions. Emotions like stress, defeat and anxiety take a toll on your day to day. You’re probably at a stage in your life where all your friends are having children or are asking “When is it your turn?” Don’t you just want to tell them to mind their own business. Those comments and questions can lead to an increased level of stress and anxiety. Not to mention they certainly aren’t helping you find peace and comfort if you’re not “quite there.” 

    You and your partner may also start to feel isolated, inadequate or even angry during this time. Those negative emotions also lend themselves to increased levels of stress and anxiety- both of which have a significant impact on your mental health and fertility.  Take a moment to think about it- were you ever late for your period? Unless you’re Wonder Woman most likely you’ve been a few days late every now and then. Did you stress about it, wonder what was wrong? Probably- and that stress or worry caused you to be even a few days later. Why? Because your mental health plays a role in how well your body functions.

    Stress has enormous impacts on our brain and body. Since you’re unable to control and know when you will get pregnant, your mind spirals and stress increases. This however is counterproductive for your journey. Anxiety can also affect the way you view and handle the outcomes of your treatments. When your body becomes overwhelmed with worry and anxiety, you may start to expect the worst. Therefore impacting your level of success. Stress is a powerful emotion.

    However when your mind and body are balanced you function at your best. Why do you think so many people are jumping on the yoga bandwagon? Yoga has healing benefits that help you find 

    calm, peace and balance- all of which lead to a healthier and less stressed you. 

    2. Mental Health and Fertility Treatments

    Fertility treatments can be overwhelming. There is so much to learn about the cycles and medications as well as “the dos and don’ts.” This time may feel worrisome, unpredictable and uncertain. Not to mention the medications you’re taking can affect your mood causing feelings of depression or irritability. That’s where mental health comes into play. It’s important to find comfort and support when going through these changes. Once you find support, and the right kind of support, you can understand what your body is doing, and become knowledgeable about your potential outcome.

    Some ways to foster mental health include self-care. Put yourself first and focus on self-care. When you come to terms with your body and mind, the rest of yourself falls into place. Developing a positive and healthier mindset allows you to stay grounded, calm and handle tasks with ease. Self- care looks like getting outside, scheduling an acupuncture session, pampering yourself, reading or taking up journaling. When you take care of yourself, your body and fertility will be grateful. 

    Another way to foster a healthy mind is through mindfulness techniques.  When you live mindfully, you are more inclined to view situations calmly, gain a stronger understanding of certain aspects of your life and develop coping skills to help you through difficult times.  Mindfulness also helps you become aware of your body sensations and develop an awareness of how to regulate your thoughts.  Mindfulness helps you cope with treatments and has been linked to better outcomes for your journey.

    3. Being Your Own Personal Advocate

    No matter what obstacle you face, it’s always important to be your own advocate. Being an advocate means you stick up for what you believe in and what works best for you. You know your body and mind better than anyone so advocating for yourself is essential.  Speak up about what you feel will help others find the best path for you. 

    When going through fertility treatment it’s far too easy to feel defeated, alone or emotional so the best thing you can do is not isolate yourself.  Instead reach out for support. When you ask for help, you open yourself up to the possibility of healing. Help can come not only from your fertility doctor or spouse but also from specialists.  Not just any specialist though. One that understands, focuses on your situation and is an expert in the fertility field. You wouldn’t go to an optometrist if you have an achy tooth would you? No of course not, and you shouldn’t. When seeking support and guidance during this journey, finding a therapist who understands and is educated on fertility is your best bet. 

    A therapist can help you understand and cope with the changes and emotions you feel. Fertility therapists bring knowledge, experience and understanding to each of their individualized sessions. They understand that you’re unique and will focus on providing tools and strategies to help you- not a cookie cutter prescription.

    Fertility therapists who are experts in their field will guide you through your  journey and provide tools to cope, and move forward, closer to healing. Mental health is complex and being given tools to help if you are; trying to conceive, experiencing fertility issues, surrogacy/GC, egg/sperm/embryo donations, anxiety, miscarriage, grief and couples counseling and others will help fill the void of what you truly need- care. Did you know you also have options to visit a fertility therapist remotely? This way you can experience support and guidance from the comfort of your home. 

    All in all it’s important to know you are not alone in this process and fostering your mental health needs to come first.  When your mind is at ease, your body has the ability to do amazing things. Strive to feel your best now and always. Prioritize yourself, self-care and remember to advocate for your emotions and treatments. There is only one you, so come to understand the tools to put  it at ease and heal  from the inside out. You are worth it. 

    Talking with a therapist can help you deal with your thoughts, emotions and concerns. See how a personalized session can help you create a pathway for better mental health and strength.

    Book today.