Reasons to Have a Doula or Midwife for Your Birth
Do the pregnancy or birth processes seem a little daunting? Doulas and midwives are great people to have by your side during the birthing process. Read why!
Throughout every fertility journey, you and your body go through a series of ups and downs. From bodily changes and shifts in mental health to effects of fertility treatments and changing family dynamics, the process of becoming pregnant can cause a great deal of stress along with joy. Those choosing to go down the in vitro fertilization route (IVF) route can best prepare themselves for any undue stress by understanding the cause and effects and equipping themselves with robust self care strategies before stress becomes unmanageable.
It’s no secret that psychological stress may prevent attaining and maintaining a pregnancy. Research shows that those experiencing issues with fertility have the same anxiety and depression levels as people with serious health concerns such as heart disease and HIV. However, what are the causes behind this psychological stress and how can you prevent it from impacting your fertility? For those electing to go through IVF, stress is often caused by the tumultuous nature of the treatment including time sensitive medications, side effects and the unavoidable waiting game that happens between rounds of IVF. In cases of failed pregnancies, women are more likely to self sooth with alcohol or smoking. Unfortunately both of these stress relief methods negatively impact the chance of conception.
If you think you’ve noticed your periods becoming long or irregular during stressful times of life, you aren’t wrong. Stress hormones like cortisol interrupt signaling between the brain and ovaries, which can interfere with ovulation. In some cases, stress can keep the egg from being released, causing a temporary delay in ovulation. In fact, approximately 25% of women under stress during their ovulation days are about 12% less likely to conceive. While stress is not the only culprit when it comes to infertility, managing stress levels can notably boost the likelihood of a successful IVF round.
More often than not, IVF couples hear “just relax” when they talk about the stress of fertility issues. Unfortunately, the more you work at relaxing, the less relaxed you become. Proactively building strategies to alleviate stress before you’re incredibly stressed can help, but here’s a few for the here and now.
The most important part of coping with psychological stress is recognizing when you could use help. While seeking out support and engaging in self soothing activities are key, a mental health professional can help parse situations that are specific to you and your life experiences.
If you are already working with a psychologist or mental health professional, sharing your fertility journey is an incredibly important talking point. If not, beginning regular therapy sessions during this time in your life can help you before and after pregnancy. As a new mom, having a therapist by your side is an important resource to have.
More mental health resources can be found below:
Now that you understand the impact of psychological stress on fertility, we hope this is helpful to you and on your family planning journey. Understanding the causes and effects, while working to develop coping skills can greatly ease the impacts of untenable stress on your fertility. Reach out and make an appointment with the fertility specialists at Red Rock Fertility Center to discuss your next steps toward growing your family!