Dr. Parul Agrawal, Senior Fertility and IVF consultant at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Noida
When you’re experiencing fertility related issues, the stress, anxiety and loneliness that often accompany it can be difficult to manage. And once fertility treatments begin, those feelings can magnify. Going through hormonal injections, blood tests and scans can be physically demanding and mentally draining. This stoic journey needs ample amount of patience, generosity for yourself and a very positive attitude, keeping in mind the uncertainty of the result which might be unexpected. Whether you’re about to begin your fertility journey or are currently in the middle of a fertility cycle, self-care can provide a great way to cope with what can be an emotionally draining experience.
More often couples come up in with the questions. Will it succeed or not? “Pain toh nahi hoga na”? How many days will it take? What if it fails…and so on…innumerable questions of almost same content with fear of unknown lurking beneath?
Those who embark this journey, the experience is different for everyone. Some sail through smoothly some have rough patches in between so it becomes very eminent to get committed to self-care during an IVF treatment to make this baby making journey a happy and fruitful one.
How to practice selfcare during an IVF treatment?
- Trust your doctor. It is vital that you feel good about your doctor, feel connected to her, follow and trust her protocols and advices. You should feel yourself to be in safe hands. Most of the anxiety problems vanish when the patient doctor relationship is strong.
- IVF cycles must not be planned amidst chaotic working pattern. Clear your calendar of anything non-essential during IVF cycle. This creates a space you need for appointments, relaxation and upliftment. Many anxious moments can be prevented by unloading yourself from unnecessary work and taking out proper time for the treatment.
- The course of treatment should be discussed in detail with the fertility specialist so that there is no anxiety of unknown. Learn from your doctor that which component of self-care would contribute to the highest success rate and what all factors contribute to the failure.
- Delete which depletes you. Purify your life by eliminating toxic things which drains you completely. Don’t take the burden of certain people, commitments, relations which are not working for you and badly effecting your mental and physical health. Conserve your energy and focus on your goal.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t be so harsh on yourself, infertility is not your fault. There is nothing to be guilty about not able to bear a baby. Life has its own ways and positivity flows only when you feel positive about yourself. The first thing to remember, is to be kind to yourself. A lot of times people feel very isolated and put a lot of pressure on themselves. Do not do that!
- Yoga is life transforming habit which not only makes you physically and emotionally stronger but also elevates you spiritually. Starting YOGA 6 weeks prior to the IVF cycles, help the couple to overcome the anxiety of fertility treatment. People with infertility problems often report feeling better, stronger and more powerful and confident about their body after yoga practice. The well-toned up, flexible and strong muscles also help you to go through your pregnancy and labour smoothly. There are certain asanas and pranayama which destress your mind and increases blood flow in the pelvis organs hene helps in the overcoming the infertility.
- Practicing meditation and other relaxation techniques do wonder in this journey of infertility to parenthood. During stress the cortisol and adrenaline levels are increased, which is not good for fertility. Practicing meditation helps you to eliminate stress.
- Follow your leisure time activities to keep your mind relaxed and happy. Listening to your favourite music, reading books, and gardening, watching movies, going for a walk with your partner, talking with your friends and following whatever ways you can feeling good and cheerful. Laughing out loud with your friends is a big stress buster. Never forget to pamper yourself. Relaxing spa, manicure or pedicure at home makes you feel good and pampered. Pursue your hobbies such as painting, playing musical instruments, knitting etc. Completely immersing yourself in an activity that keeps you focussed and quietens your mind is so beneficial for you.
- Better communication with your partner helps you to overcome the upheavals of fertility treatment. Togetherness makes the things much easier and ride to the journey becomes much smoother.
- When feeling stressed one craves for comfort food but food with empty calories should be avoided. Diet should be more focussed on green vegetables and fruits. Fertility food as advised by your doctor should be followed but that doesn’t mean not to get yourself deprived of treats, indulge in occasionally.
- Proper sleep is very important for restoration. It strengths and invigorates you for the another day. It is very essential for our physical and emotional stability.
Dealing with the outcome whether it is success or a failure, with great maturity and sanity is vital. Self-care provides you strength to take the ride of this baby making journey smoothly. It improves your success rate of the outcome so take care of yourself for that bundle of joy and cute little smile which will brighten up of your life.