Trying for a baby is one of the most exciting times of your life. But if it doesn’t happen easily, it can become one of the most frustrating and heart-breaking experiences you will ever face.
I had a 10-year journey to get pregnant. When I started out I was excited, positive and dreaming about a future with my new family. But when baby didn’t appear I became negative, worried about the future and slightly obsessed with the whole journey.
Managing your mindset is one of the hardest parts of trying to get pregnant. For starters it feels totally out of your control and it’s so private, we tend to bottle up all the anxiety, worry and stress, which as Psychology Today explains, isn’t healthy for us. And that worry doesn’t go away. On the outside you’re doing everything you can to get pregnant but on the inside you’re full of anxiety. And here lies the problem. When your head and your heart don’t match up it can stop you getting what you want.
Think about this, when you’re in a bad place you have no energy or motivation. You miss opportunities, you lose faith and you’re full of excuses not to try things. When you’re in a good place you’re on fire! You take action, you take more risks and you believe you can get what you want. That’s the mindset you want when you’re trying to get pregnant. Thankfully I got there in the end (and I had triplets!) but it wasn’t until after I had a massive shift in my mindset.
So here are my top 5 tips for the best possible fertility mindset.
Make a Plan
Do you have a plan for your fertility journey? Or are you just waiting to ‘see what happens’. Knowing the steps you’re going to take and by when is the first crucial step. Without a plan it’s like driving around in a car not knowing where you’re going. Time drifts and you don’t get anywhere. And we don’t have the luxury of time when we’re on this journey. Make time to sit down and think about your plan. You will feel more positive and motivated, and more in control.
Visualise the outcome you want
Can you see yourself pregnant? Research shows that visualising what you want in life accelerates how quickly you achieve it. It’s a proven formula used all the time in sport and business. If you can see it, you can achieve it. When we’re struggling to get pregnant we lose sight of this and instead fill our head with worry and thoughts about what happens if we don’t get pregnant.
Make time every day to visualise the family you want. Pick a time in the future and plan it out in your head, in detail. Use props like pictures or words to bring this vision to life. Then connect to it every day and watch how it makes you feel.
Be grateful for what you have now
Practising gratitude daily is proven to make people happier. When you’re obsessing about getting pregnant it’s easy to take the good stuff in your life for granted. Lots of women say they struggle to see the positives in life.
Finish each day with some gratitude. Remind yourself what’s good in your life, however small! It will re-set your mindset before you go to bed, and if you do it daily it will re-train you to become more positive.
Changing your inner dialogue can also be important.
Talk about it…
This journey is so private and it’s hard to find support and people to talk to. In fact that’s one of the reasons I became a Fertility Coach. But talking is a great outlet for stress, and we know that stress can affect your fertility hormones – not good on this journey! Find someone you can off-load to and if that’s not easy check out one of the many online chatrooms. It may feel like you’re going through this alone but I promise you are not.
Pick yourself up after setbacks
Disappointment is lurking on every corner of a fertility journey. In my coaching I have seen the most positive women fall to pieces after building their hopes up then getting a big fat negative.
It’s ok to feel rubbish for a day or so. But it’s so important to learn to pick yourself back up. Good things aren’t always easy to come by and failure is part of the process of getting there. Find ways to move on – talk to a friend, find an outlet for your stress, focus on a new plan or event in the future. Above all, keep going – your baby is worth it.
AUTHOR: LISA ASHWORTH
NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST, SURREY
Lisa Ashworth offers Fertility Coaching to women on a journey to get pregnant. She lives in Guildford and is Mum to Triplets.