08 Feb Top Tips for juggling Fertility Treatment with Work
You’re finally starting your fertility treatment – hurrah! Now you’re in the hands of the medics. You’re excited, and also nervous. But overall you’re full of hope that baby is finally on its way.
Then you get your treatment schedule and your heart sinks when you look at the amount of appointments over the coming weeks. Blood tests, scans, consultants – and all in working hours of course.
Juggling fertility treatment with a busy job can be hugely stressful. It was one of the reasons I packed in my job after my 4thIVF had failed. Many clients tell me they feel so anxious thinking about how they will manage it. And all this stress is not good for our hormones!
Fertility treatment is such a private journey. We don’t want everyone knowing what we’re doing. But at the same time we need to take time off without worrying that disappearing every 5 minutes will set tongues wagging. Not to mention the effect on our career – will the boss think I’m not committed anymore? Will I be passed over for that promotion?
Tops for fertility treatment
So here are my top tips for juggling fertility treatment with a busy job…
Confide in your boss
It might not be a conversation you really want to have but you’ll be surprised at how supportive your boss is if you open up. Getting time off (often at short notice) is likely to be much easier if they are in the loop. Be honest about how much time you will need and make an agreement up front as to how to manage it – and what to say to the team.
Check your HR Policies
What time off are you entitled to? Most HR policies will allow people to take a reasonable amount of time off for hospital appointments. You might need proof of your appointments. If you’re not getting the right support from your boss involve the HR team. They are they to make sure you are treated fairly.
Don’t overload your day
Where possible try and avoid making your day too stressful – e.g. cramming meetings in because you feel bad that you’ve got to leave at 2pm. Put yourself first. You’ve got a lot invested in this – financially and emotionally! It’s only a few weeks and before you know it normality will resume. Again, get support from your boss where needed.
Consider taking some time off
Depending on your job you might find it easier to take some time off. You could take some holiday, or ask your consultant to sign you off for a few days after your treatment. My job was extremely busy and it helped me to take a few days off after the egg transfer, to keep the stress levels down. Everyone is different though – some people like to be distracted, but just make sure you’re not working too hard and can leave on time.
Manage your Mindset
You are the priority during this treatment! If you’re worried about what how much time off you’re taking and what everyone thinks it will affect your stress levels. Remind yourself why you’re doing this and the importance of it all. You’ve every right to attend these appointments. You’ve made the decision to go down this route so focus on yourself, not what may or may not be going on around you. Things will be back to normal in a matter of weeks. For now, stay positive and visualise yourself with a positive outcome. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Lisa is a fertility coach in Surrey. Visit her directory listing below to book a package with her.