Dealing with infertility is no easy feat. It is, by no means, solely a physical limitation. It is an emotional grind that impacts, not just wishful parents, but their entire families and bases of friends. For some individuals and couples, the grinds are more gruelling than most experience. Failed IVF transfers, miscarriages and even unsuccessful deliveries all account for some of the harshest battles with stress.

Dealing with stress, however, is one of the most important steps that individuals and couples can take during their battles with infertility. Clearly, it can be easier stated than done. But stress itself can be a factor in why women struggle to get pregnant. Perhaps, the first step towards a better handling of the stress that is associated with trying to get pregnant is to know that you’re not alone. One in six Canadian couples shares exactly what you’re going through.

But what else can be done to overcome infertility stress? Here are five ideas:

1. Start a new hobby. By no means will a new hobby replace your wish to become a parent. Instead, it will help detract some of your attention away from the emotional grind that is associated with your infertility. It will also allow you to have some fun. Heather Huhman of The Huffington Post insists that you not let infertility define you. “Get back on that bike of yours or try attending that dance class you’ve always been interested in,” she encourages, “you’ll be glad you did.”

2. Seek the support of loved ones. Your battle with infertility is not a situation that you need to contend with on your own. And, in fact, it’s recommended that you don’t. The old cliché “that’s what friends are for” is certainly applicable here. Talk to them. “Confide in a trusted friend, loved one, or support group,” advises Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on, “Social support networks can tremendously reduce feelings of stress and emotional pain.”

3. Give yoga a shot. Yoga is often highly recommended for expectant moms. But for those who are still looking to become expectant mothers, it can do wonders for easing the mind. “In its truest form, yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind through various breathing techniques, yoga postures, and meditation,” explains Huhman, “And that connection between mind and body plays an important role in reducing stress and achieving fertility success.”

4. Prioritize your mission to happy. Sometimes, putting yourself first isn’t a selfish act – it’s a necessary one. Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t wish to do. It’s completely acceptable to want some alone time. “Accept that you are experiencing a time of heightened stress and don’t try to downplay or deny its effects,” says Dr. Stöppler, “You may find that you need to cut back on some or all of your nonessential obligations or activities for a while.”

5. Begin some volunteering. The acts of being charitable, giving and selfless are all excellent motherly traits. Consider tour work in your local community your preparation for motherhood. It will do a lot for the emotional tension felt by both yourself and those in need. Huhman recommends that you find a cause that you deem worthy and devote your time to it so that you don’t allow your infertility to consume you. “Volunteering gives you something else to think about,” she says, “And it presents a great opportunity for fertile and infertile friends to work together side-by-side for the greater good. Everybody wins!”

At the Reproductive Care Centre, we are very sensitive to the needs and concerns of our patients. We understand that stress can become a major part of the lives of those dealing with infertility. If you have any questions about how to manage your stress, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.

You can reach our Mississauga clinic at 905-816-9822.