The mark of a new year is always a difficult time for the TTC woman. It marks another year, another date when your goals have not been met. Placing these deadlines on yourself can feel extremely difficult to bear. But there is no better time than to look ahead and get excited for another year of wonderful possibilities. If you’re looking to make a New Year’s resolution that will also coincide with boosting fertility, below are some good resolutions for 2016!
- Exercise. A normal amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes most days of the week. But maintaining good physical strength and cardiovascular health will help you have a healthy pregnancy and can help with stress. There are a few over-exercisers out there and too much exercise is not a good thing. Get active but don’t over do it.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Many women find that they gain some weight with fertility treatments. The stress of the treatment affects cortisol levels and weight while hormones can cause hunger. If calories are not maintained weight gain can occur. Being too heavy can decrease your chances of success. That being said, being underweight can also harm fertility. To balance hormone levels and maintain a regular period, aim for a normal weight with a BMI between 19-25.
- Live life. Don’t cancel vacations, plans or special events for fertility treatment. It is a really important part of your life, but don’t give up the wonderful things outside the TTC world.
- Tackle stress. Many patients do this in different ways. Connecting to the community to find support can be found at the Beat Infertility podcast, blogs, Circle + Bloom, and Fertile Thoughts to name a few. Mind/body holistic methods such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation can all be ways to control stress. Many patients find that talking to a fertility counselor either on their own or with their partner can be very helpful.
- Don’t set deadlines. Setting deadlines like “I need to be pregnant by my birthday” or “by the end of the year” is really setting you up for disappointment and failure. Try to avoid setting deadlines. Nobody knows how long the journey will take. I set a deadline that I wanted to be pregnant by the time my other child was three. Well, three came and went. Setting deadlines does nothing positive for you and only leads to negativity.
- Grieve. It is okay to allow yourself to be a sad that you are in this situation. Try not to be consumed by it though. It’s not fair, but you are working on it!
- Let go of jealousy and anger. It’s so easy to be jealous of our friends and family that get pregnant so easily or by accident. Feeling upset at the pregnant belly we see in the grocery store happens before you even have time to think about it. But try to just let that go. Everyone is struggling; you just don’t know what their struggle is. It will be you with the big belly soon, so try to not allow yourself to be angry. It’s really hard. Maybe the lady in the grocery store went through more than you!
- Be realistic. It’s important to set realistic ideas about what to expect and success rates. I like to say cautiously optimistic. Realize it may take a course of treatment compared to just one cycle.
- Be optimistic. My good friend Heather Huhman says, optimism is the only way to be! It’s hard, especially with the BFN (Big Fat Negative) and AF (Aunt Flow). But try to not allow yourself to be pessimistic. You will get through this journey easier with a commitment to optimism.
- Be hopeful. Keep telling yourself it will happen. We all hope that we can just make love in the privacy of our own homes and conceive, but the truth is, that if you are reading this, you probably need some help. There is so much that treatment can do to help patients be successful. Be hopeful that you will be successful!
Here’s to making 2016 the best year yet!