Why simple care-taking matters when you are trying to conceive.
My heart sincerely goes out to you, and to all the TTC women. If you are seeking support, it is likely your journey is not easy, already.
Have faith, it might never be as hard as you fear. Let’s start by making it easier. Do the right things. There are a number of things in your power to do, for yourself. Take good care! -That helps. It helped me to stay more peaceful, knowing I was doing all I could.
Self- care first is my single top recommendation to optimize your chances in trying to conceive
You have an over-the-top desire to be care-taking another (little human), right? To think of that possibility stirs your heart and makes you sing inside, yes? Then, start here now, with what you can do: care-take you!
I look at this time in society where around the world we have staggering numbers of folks struggling to conceive and/or using advanced technologies. How can this be? What might be at the deep root here? With high price tags and relatively low success rates for intervention methods, we still have hundreds of thousands who find they must trudge those paths.
At the same time, we women (and couples) are largely in the dark about our own bodies, our own fertility physiology and how fertility actually works. The actual basics of fertility, how conception works and how a woman’s cycle is kept in good balance is not an education the vast majority of us receive. Why not?
It seems we must have have lost a “folk” knowledge. We no longer have those chats and sharing of fertility tales bouncing among women, naturally. We could be aware of and sharing among us all kinds of factual tidbits regarding our cervical fluids, our cervical positions, making sex better for insemination, how we know when our fertile window is each month…but truth is, no one ever taught us.
When it was my TTC turn, I went over-the-top to LEARN! Now that I have amassed TONs of information all about fertility physiology, I can so easily imagine there were days and cultures where women knew all this, naturally. I aim to be part of the resurgence of women knowing about their fertile bodies and optimizing their own chances to conceive, at home.
There is so much more that we can do for ourselves than we are often led to think.
So, I say to you: before we jump into various medical intervention methods for fertility, techniques and drugs that aim to surpass our own body’s (perhaps limited) ability, doesn’t it make sense to start with overall self- care, at least FIRST? Give your body a chance.
You can optimize your fertility from the “ground up”.
Here’s a simple list to get you started:
- Eat Whole Foods.
- Sleep full nights.
- Exercise regularly.
- Rest as needed, deliciously.
- Think good thoughts.
- Live generously.
What ways can you improve your diet?
I am guessing that actually you already know. Or , if you don’t know yet what is really best for you to eat, and when and how much …I’d bet you already know who to ask or what to read up on. It is now a matter of applying your attention and caring for yourself. To eat well.
If anyone says “easier said then done”, that might be true, so get help. Supportive friends, family or counsel, you can choose, but do it. Why? because –
Your body listens to you. If you are living out of balance, your hormones can follow suit and then be out of balance. Even a little can reduce your chances to conceive. If you are not prioritizing health in every way you can, your body listens. It will be with you, and act sub-optimally too.
A further note about eating balanced
If we skip meals or eat too little, the body goes into a state of “stress” , even minor, and ups its stress hormones. Those directly effect and interplay with our reproductive hormones. When i learned this, for instance,I woke up. Suddenly it felt so easy to take care of my eating habits. I now understood the cause and effect chain and realized that – I could EFFECT IT!
One Natropathic GYN i consulted told me: “eat like you are already pregnant.” She impressed me. I understood that she meant to eat in the way a woman would as she goes instinctively into a great care-taking mode for the sake of that little embryo, her child. She was asking me to make my body already the perfect place for that little sprout to come to.
She was so right. In practicality this also meant also eating less, more frequently. This rhythm helps balance blood-sugar levels, which do effect our hormone production. With sugar balances and stress hormone balances, our reproductive hormones are much more likely to be in balance which effects, for instance, the production of good EWCM and on-time ovulation, effecting the best egg quality.
Frustrated with your body? Getting angry?
Find healthy outlets.
So frequently I speak to women or read the stories of women who are expressing intense frustrations at their “body”, like it is separate from their selves! They can even take to cursing their “bad” body that is not ovulating, not cycling properly, miscarrying or just not conceiving. Wow, I get so sad to see/hear these exclamations. Though natural to feel anger and frustration, pointing that at our own “body” will only make us more foreign to it , at the exact time we need to be intimate with it. Those curses will hurt our own plans, at least a little and maybe a lot.
We must help each other and help ourselves to find outlets for that frustration and pain. Yet, when it comes to thinking of our talking to our body, our expression must be: “I am holding your hand. I will help you. You are struggling/”
Sound like a steadfast compassionate mother talking to a young child? Ah yes, it is. That is precisely why I say, we must start here (a pointed injunction, admittedly). Because I’d say: it’s very useful in our schemes to start being the mother we want to be exactly WHILE we are STILL TTC.
Don’t stoop to cursing your body for not getting pregnant. Devote to loving it up – more!
Sleep the full amount you need
even if it takes discipline or ritual to get the lights off earlier.
See also this post with a little about “Luncapetion”, and how to learn more about it.
One of my Natropathic MD fertility consultant told me “sleep with dark as much as possible, and sleep your full need.” This was an incredible revelation. I started to read up on how those bio-rhythms of sleep are so naturally connected to the sun cycle and the moon cycle. I started to attune to that. These cycles are part of what makes the rhythm of our menstrual cycle. This part of self care was instrumental for me to go from a life-long 40 (ish) day cycle to the perfect 28-32 day cycle within just months (and over 40!)
Read poetry or inspirational stories.
Saturate your mind with good ideas, the brilliance of fellow humans and the great potential of society.
You know how much tension courses through you as you watch the news, read about the natural disasters or the social ills, in media? Can you feel how tense you become? How little you breathe? Instead you can insert – consciously – media of the opposite ilk into your field.
Read Rumi, Mary Oliver, Rilke – or whomever, but poetry that uplifts and warms the heart. Search out wise words from various cultures and times. See the beauty that does exist in humanity. Read words that help you breathe more at ease.
Get “based on a true story” books about remarkable people. See videos of the most fascinating and beautiful spots on earth. Learn about good people currently working for good causes. Choose from all of these to be your mind-food, at least for this TTC time.
Take a fitness class
or just, take a walk, swinging those hips! Often.
Probably also by now in your adult life, you know what kind of exercise gets you juiced and humming. If it’s hard to build it into your schedule, maybe get a buddy. Or sign up for a pre-paid class (that can help us stay accountable, often). Keep yourself happily moving, blood flowing, oxygen coursing. Your body needs this nourishment. And you – need your body to come along with your plans!