I bet you’ve heard this before. You’re struggling to get pregnant because you left it too late. You focused on your career when you should have been finding the right man or woman to settle down with and now you’re paying the price.
Am I the only one that has to sit on my fists, for fear of punching said wise sage?
Maybe it is true for you, but ‘should have’ has never helped anyone. Some of us have spent years avoiding pregnancy only to find we’re met with obstacles when we’re finally ready to be parents. Knowing when the ‘right time’ has come, isn’t easy.
For others, menstrual problems, serious health issues or even genetic conditions may be the root of their challenge, something they have been struggling with for decades. Only you know what’s true for you and whatever that is, judgement doesn’t help.
Those people who tell you why you’re having problems, also seem to be fertility experts too, right?
Punching also features in my mind’s eye when I am exposed to this clap trap. I am learning that all of this advice, even if misdirected, is meant kindly. It may not be helpful, but I choose to hear the kindness and love in the message. Which brings me onto my first Fertility Hack.
Fertility Hack #1 – Assume the Best
We are all perfectly imperfect in our humanity and our efforts to figure out how to find a safe path, whatever journey we’re on. We often get things wrong, as do those we love…and those we don’t even know (see above). Assuming the best in every interaction, every conversation & every dream we have, will help on a number of levels.
- Assuming the best directs your thoughts to positive and helpful outcomes, rather than immediately going down Negative Street. Rather than seeing this as wishful thinking, consider it as preparation for change, for good things to come.
- Assuming the best changes our perception of stress and impacts production of stress hormones, which directly affect fertility hormones.
- Assuming the best reduces blood pressure and helps to move your body from fight or flight into rest & digest – infinitely more supportive of your fertility.
This is not simply a matter of ‘positive thinking’, rather it’s a choice between assuming the worst and assuming the best. When you have insufficient evidence to support either, why not assume the best? Can you catch yourself thinking the worst, have a little chuckle and instead say ‘Oh, but maybe it will turn out ok…maybe she didn’t mean it that way.’
Fertility Hack #2 – Get More Sleep
You’ve probably heard this a million times. Sleep really, really matters. I see sleep as one of the easiest fertility hacks – it’s pleasant, requires minimal exertion and benefits you without much effort on your part. Easy Win.
Maybe sleep has never been easy for you, perhaps you suffer from insomnia. Perhaps my advice to ‘get more sleep’ sounds ludicrously naive. Regardless of what your sleep habits are like, any improvements you can make will support your body’s ability to detox, regulate hormones, reduce wrinkles (yes, really) help you lose weight and upgrade your ability to make better decisions, in every context. Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time says that;
“Sleep deprivation is the easiest way to lose your resilience in dealing with challenges”
Hmmmmm….ok, so how do pimp your sleep? How do you get more (and better quality) sleep?
- Create a sleep routine for yourself – Turn off your devices an hour before bed (30 minutes is a non-negotiable minimum). Remove all devices from your bedroom to charge elsewhere. Have a bath or shower to wash off the day (the change in temperate as you get into your pj’s signals to your body that bed-time is approaching).
- Schedule bedtime in your diary; give it as much significance as a meeting with your boss or a big client. Missing bedtime is not negotiable, once you get the hang of this it will become second nature.
- Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. That might mean getting rid of your tv, clearing away clutter, buying beautiful bed linen or splashing out on gorgeous comfy nightwear. Think about what you could do to make the space more conducive to sleep and do that thing.
- If 7 or 8 hours simply isn’t possible due to family demands or other limitations, begin to add naps to your day. A study by Paris-Sorbonne University found that short naps lowered stress and boosted the immune system. ‘Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,’ said one study co-author Brice Faraut. If you hit an energy slump mid afternoon and find yourself choosing between a cup of coffee or a nap, the science is clear that naps trump caffeine every time.
Fertility Hack #3 – Get Intimate
Kissing, hugging, lovemaking – all change our biochemistry. The hormone oxytocin (usually associated with labour) is also produced when we are intimate with another human, or simply snuggle with a family pet! That hormone helps us to feel loved, that we belong and boosts low mood. Oxytocin also helps to reduce stress hormones, aiding sleep (see above) and regulating reproductive hormones like prolactin & progesterone.
What does intimacy look like?
- Start by sharing this blog post with your partner, tell them you’d like to notch up intimacy levels, purely for scientific purposes of course!
- Consider getting a pet, or visiting friends and family who have animals in their home. Play with them, hug them, stroke their silky fur and feel your heart rate slowing and anxiety waning.
- Spend time with friends you love & trust; sing, laugh, dance. This kind of close engagement qualifies as intimacy too and has the same impact on oxytocin levels.
Want to learn more abut the Whys and the Hows? Need some easy Fertility Hacks in your life?
Sign up for my webinar Top Fertility Hacks for Busy Women on Wednesday, February 15th at 8pm GMT.
I’m determined to show you that you can THRIVE on this journey, heal your body, regain your energy, build resilience and reignite your inner wisdom and creativity.
Sign up for my programme now and join The Fertility Companion community.