How Life Upgrade has Helped Me

I was fortunate enough to attend Tracy Holloway’s Life Upgrade Foundation course for the second time last month.  Caught up with old friends and met some new ones.  Although I have done the course before and use Life Upgrade tools everyday, I still came away gaining a great deal.  During the course a few of us were discussing how difficult we find it to describe what Life Upgrade is all about.  I can say, however, some of the ways it has helped me:

I am a much happier and healthier person since discovering (and consistently using) Life Upgrade.  My stress levels are greatly reduced and if I ever do feel stressed I have the tools to deal with it effectively and efficiently.  I have found myself in situations which would have previously caused a great deal of stress and now feel calm and able to cope.  I am back in touch with my intuition and have the trust to follow it.  I am able to live in the present moment more and more, which is a wonderful place to be!  I rarely feel my mind racing with distracting thoughts; if I do I can use Life Upgrade to get back to the present again.  My life is now going in the direction I want it to and what’s more I know that things are only going to get better the more I use the Life Upgrade tools.

It is a joy to be sharing this with other people, as I know from personal experience how well it works.  I am constantly amazed at how the body and mind (when in harmony) can work wonders for health and well-being.  I am privileged to be working in this field and to be able to maintain a feeling of wonder at how amazing we really are!

If you would like to try out the Life Upgrade system I can give you a session, which is a demonstration of some of the tools.

After a session with me you will have some tools to use for yourself.   Using these tools consistently in your day-to-day life will allow you to see some of the potential of Life Upgrade.

To get the full benefit it is essential that you attend a course with Tracy Holloway.  I cannot recommend Tracy’s course highly enough for anyone who is looking to move forward in their lives.  www.tracyholloway.com

Stepping off the emotional roller coaster of infertility

 sarah holland fertile mindset

I realise that you may feel in need of emotional support as you try to conceive through fertility issues. You need support that’s effective, works quickly and can bring you the peace of mind and positive thinking that you know is so vital to supporting your fertility.

Perhaps you’ve heard about how successful EFT is at dramatically reducing negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, worry and fear. But you’re not sure how to learn it or apply it to your own unique situation, and achieve the positive results in your emotional well-being and mindset that you know would be SO beneficial.Well here’s the good news! I have developed a low cost, fast working solution to help yo u switch your thinking from negative to positive, and support you in a multitude of ways as you try to conceive your baby.I know what an emotional roller coaster it can be when you have fertility issues, and I’d like to invite you now to take my hand as a support you stepping off the roller coaster and on to a much smoother, easier to navigate path.What am I talking about? Click below to find out!http://www.fertilemindset.com/inner-saboteur
Don’t delay in clicking above and making a decision whether to sign up. There are only limited spaces available, and the ‘early bird’ booking price ends soon. PLUS if you’re one of the next few to sign up you’ll be able to grab one of the remaining chances to have a private one-to-one telephone session with me, to work on a key emotional issue for you.

I look forward to you joining me on this exciting adventure!

With love and best wishes on your fertility journey,

Sarah Holland
Fertility Support Specialist

The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

What is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

Fertility Solutions was developed by Tracy Holloway as a whole person programme to support couples going through Fertility difficulties.

Experiencing fertility problems is one of the most stressful experiences to go through.  What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems.  Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?”  This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges.  What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Fertility Solutions aims to give couples their best chance of conceiving by supporting them through the ups and downs of their fertility journey.  The programme includes Hypnosis, lifestyle support and a minimum of six sessions of Life Upgrade.

Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily.  It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book.  If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis.  You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime.  Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious.  For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up.  This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being.  Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception.  The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress.  Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next.  Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception.  Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Lifestyle Support:

The Fertility Solutions Programme also provides advice and support on lifestyle.  For example I recommend that clients stop smoking and drinking alcohol in order to get their bodies in the best place for conception.  I will also make suggestions about diet and supplements to support fertility.  I recommend organic food as much as possible to reduce the residue toxins in the body and increase the nutrients in the diet.  For Couples with specific physical symptoms effecting fertility I may recommend certain supplements to support their body’s health.  Some people find these changes difficult and if this is the case then at least one of their Life Upgrade sessions will be dedicated to supporting graceful, effective and lasting change.

Life Upgrade:

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that release negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts supports your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

So how does it work?

Whatever is running in our subconscious mind affects the reality we experience.  The old programmes that are running are taken on by our subconscious mind because it think we need them to survive.  Some of those programmes are our own (from our childhood experiences for example) others have been passed down from our ancestors.

So here’s a simplified example; say one of my relatives had a bad experience at school, their teacher punished them for something they didn’t do.  Let’s say they got caned as a part of that punishment.  As an attempt to stop this happening again their subconscious mind took on the programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’.  This gets passed down the generations to me.  So I’m running the old programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’ I have no conscious knowledge of this programme nor of the events that took place to create it however it is there in the background as I go through life.

So every interaction I have with teachers in my lifetime is going to have alarm bells going of in my subconscious mind ‘Teacher’s can’t be trusted!’ therefore I will be searching for examples of this, on high alert for untrustworthy things teachers might do to protect myself from harm.  I am likely to misunderstand events as examples of untrustworthy teachers, which will only reinforce the programme I am already running.  I will certainly find it impossible to fully trust a teacher with all that going on in my subconscious.

Say I could clear that old programme so it no longer gets in the way?  Say I could completely delete it so that I can begin to interact with teachers and see them for who they really are?  Using Life Upgrade tools makes this possible.  Once I recognise that I am unhappy with my interaction with teachers I can clear the old programmes quickly and easily.  (I don’t even need to know what the old programmes are.)  What’s more it’s so simple you can do it yourself as you go about your daily business.  Each time you observe something that you want to change you just get out your tool box and change it!  I find that really exciting!

Life Upgrade tools make it easy to get back to the moment because they deal with the old programmes in your subconscious mind that distracted you from the moment in the first place.  What’s more in clearing these old programmes you are less likely to be distracted next time.  So Life Upgrade doesn’t just support you to get back into the present it also makes it easier to live in the moment, as each time you use the tools you are clearing old programmes that you no longer need.  Not only is this extremely helpful for those going through a long fertility journey, it is also useful for parenthood.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’, those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints) and those who are going through medical intervention.  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children. For more details visit my website or contact me to book your Free Initial consultation.

The big fertility issues on the BBC news in the last few months

High stress ‘delays pregnancy’

‘A scientific study has shown for the first time that high stress levels may delay pregnancy.

Oxford University experts measured stress hormones in women planning a baby naturally and found the most stressed had a reduced chance of becoming pregnant.

Relaxation might help some couples, but more research is needed, they say.’

Click on link to read the full article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10942956

‘New test to dramatically increase chance of IVF success’

A new screening technique to test embryos could dramatically increase the chances of having a baby from IVF.

The test allows for any chromosomal abnormalities, the biggest cause of early pregnancy loss, to be picked up in embryos before they are reimplanted.

The UK-based researchers expect the technique to double or triple current IVF success rates.

Trials of the technique are being lead by fertility specialists at CARE Fertility in Manchester.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11696644

‘NHS North Yorkshire and York suspends IVF treatment’

22nd October 2010 BBC News North Yorkshire

An NHS trust is to suspend IVF procedures as part of cost-cutting measures to help address a projected annual £30m overspend.

NHS North Yorkshire and York said IVF procedures would be halted in the final quarter of this financial year.

The trust will also lose 60 management posts and reduce the amount of money paid to voluntary sector organisations in a bid to make “significant” savings.

An infertility support organisation has described the decision as “appalling”.

Read full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-11604034

‘Sperm donors ‘deserve greater recognition’

Men who donate sperm for IVF should possibly be reimbursed more than women who donate eggs, a leading fertility campaigner has suggested.

Laura Witjens, who chairs the UK’s National Gamete Donation Trust and has donated her own eggs, says most people are not aware of the “serious commitment” involved in sperm donation.

She argues it is wrong to see it as less worthy than egg donation. But fertility experts say donating eggs is invasive and carries greater risks.

Fertility clinics are not allowed to pay for eggs and sperm, but they can compensate donors up to £250 for loss of earnings plus expenses.

That limit is about to be reviewed by the fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, particularly for women, who have hormone treatment and an operation to take out the eggs.

The question of reimbursement is being debated at the Royal Society of Medicine later.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11576513

Reiki and infertility

So, my original plans when I trained with Reiki,  was to use it to help women through all the physical challenges and transitions in their lives and also to work through bereavement and loss.

The bereavement side stemmed from my own experiences and also with the idea that it could help people who have suffered miscarriage and still birth. Then, one of my friends suffered some complications after the birth of her first child, and I felt like I was supposed to help her through the process of living with that. This also featured a lot around loss, trauma and in a lot of ways, without divulging her personal details, a kind of bereavement.

I also wanted to help other women during pregnancy as it had made a massive difference to me. SO I thought well, why not try and roll it all into one, perhaps it could work – but i hadn’t really thought about helping ladies when they were trying to have a baby.
I came across a facebook discussion of a friend’s facebook status. Her friend was having some serious issues and was asking about reiki- I started replying about it – and thought what a shame, I could have given her a treatment – I presumed that, as my friend lived down south, so did hers. Turns out, she was only just a few junctions up the motorway from where I am. So, we arranged that after she had recovered from her surgery, we would meet up and have a treatment. All she was really expecting was that it would help her relax and that in turn would help her give up smoking, something she was going to have to do as a start on her journey to fertility treatment. I also felt that it would help her to emotionally deal with the difficulties she was having, and should it have happened, that if she was not able to have a baby, she would have the mental strength to work through that journey too.

That first time, was a really powerful session. With in that session, somehow she found she didn’t need to smoke anymore and has not smoked more than a couple since. She felt incredibly calm and positive and slept really well that first night.
I came away from it feeling amazingly energised and within 3 days had gone from considering the posibilities of becoming a therapist and maybe one day becoming a yoga teacher for children- to being booked on my next reiki course, booked on a yoga teaching course and having a name for my new company – I had also been given a treatment table that someone else had been wondering what they would do with it. A really powerful sign that I was thinking the right things !

A few weeks later my client suffered a very early miscarriage, major enforced changes on the front at work and at home,  and was really struggling. So, on our journey home from the north, we swung by and I gave her a treatment to help her sleep and relax after the real stresses she was experiencing.

Around about 4 weeks later, she texted and said she was most likely pregnant.

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems.

I am absolutely not able to say that it was definately Reiki that enabled her to get pregnant – but she was expecting fully to have to go through fertility treatment and take clomid, which was only going to be a short term chance due to advanced endometriosis, in addition to a number of other complications.
At twelve weeks she wrote a review for my feedback page. I won’t put it all on here but the full story is available through the website. http://positivelycalmyoga.co.uk/index.php?url=feedback.html

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems, trips to hospitals and worrying moments- but she has had lots of scans and baby is in there and doing well.

I have seen her several times over the last few months, and “little reiki baby” as he has been nicknamed for now, is kicking hard and rocking around. I know the arrival of this baby will be a very special moment for her, her husband and all of her family and friends and it is amazing for me to see how things have helped. I found her original information form that suggested she would be beginning fertility treatment in september 2010 – obviously, she hasn’t needed it.

I am not sure how to explain, really, how I feel that Reiki has helped her because really, there is no proof. However, her consultant has said he didn’t expect her to conceive on her own. He performed an operation at the start of the year but it was really with the plan that it should help her with the fertility treatment. He can’t say it was reiki – but he knows he didn’t think she would get pregnant. I am only guessing but I suppose it is something he has done many times before, and hasn’t usually resulted in an un assisted conception.

What I do know is that the Reiki energy balances the chakras ( energy points) in the body. It also assists the body to heal itself, to release negative energies and as these things happen, then the body can balance itself, allowing it to function as it should. It is a complementary therapy and I would always suggest it is used along side the advice of qualified doctors and medical advice.

It also aids relaxation and that is certainly something that has been proven as being a big facilitator in conception. It is also very gentle and non invasive. It simply goes where it needs to in the body, and does what is required. It can result in a feeling of calm, needing sleep or even being full of energy. I have had clients who have had a strong emotional release – either sudden needs to cry, scream or shout – and can also help with a physical release, often like suddenly need to go to the toilet. My reiki teacher has always described it as “new plumbing” because it releases blockages and clears out your energy pathways and allows your body to physically balance out.

I need to emphasise strongly that I am not claiming that if I – or any therapist- give a treatment to someone who is struggling with fertility, they will then definately get pregnant within a few weeks or months. However, I do feel that there are lots of positive points to suggest that it is worth looking after yourself when trying and the nature of reiki and its healing qualities, may aid relaxation and put your body into a more positive place when trying. What it can’t do is hurt you. The energy is gentle, natural and will help you work through the emotional stresses of the fertility journey. I believe that everyone is on a life journey, and the reiki can also assist in helping you to deal with the ups and down of that. It may be the case that you will experience miscarriage during your attempts, or may ultimately be unable to conceive even with help – but i also feel that the reiki treatments can help women – and men – to deal with this devastating situation and to find a positive way of dealing with it as an individual and, hopefully then, as a couple.

The beauty of the reiki is that it knows what each person needs and will guide them along their journey.  So far I have only worked with one person who was undergoing a fertility issue, along with several ladies during their pregnancies (  a future blog!) but I sincerely hope that I can work with other couples, as in fact it has turned out to be, and help them through in what ever way they need support.

In addition, I have found that Reiki pulls people towards it when they need it and usually gives you a good sign that it is right for you. If you feel that you want to investigate it, it will probably be worth your while – whether with me or any other therapist. Listen to your own body, and let it look after you.

Namaste

xxx

Fertility Yoga is a Healing Community

The main reason I created and starting teaching a Fertility Yoga class was to support my own health and well being. In the depth of my own fertility challenges, I was becoming more and more disconnected, depressed and isolated. Although my husband was very supportive he just couldn’t understand the extent of my grief. I felt misunderstood and at times, I thought I was actually losing my mind. I watched myself spiraling out of control and realized that I needed to shift something quickly.

The first class I taught filled up with little effort. Women were nervous and at the same time relieved to find some support. I experienced such a warm comfort as we shared our experiences with each other and I realized that I wasn’t alone and that other women were on a similar emotional roller coaster.

We all had such a profound experience in the first session of classes and I discovered a community of support that gave me HOPE! Within months I opened Family Passages Mind Body Studio where I continued to teach Yoga for Fertility classes as well as private yoga therapy session and a Couples Mind Body Program. I was touched by the impact the space had for women and couples and I was grateful to witness such amazing transformations in such a short period of time.

The classes provide a space for healing the mind, body and spirit. The yoga postures help support the body by reducing the effects of stress and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs. Each posture is held for 3-5 minutes and accompanied by a dialogue specific to fertility. The class allows for a deep experience of the posture and fosters a level of healing that miracles are made of.

I love to witness women coming in the door feeling defeated, confused and stressed and by the end of the class they leave feeling relieved, calm and supported on their journey. It is the most rewarding class as an instructor that I have ever taught in my 18 year career. It is like a yoga support group. There is comfort just walking in the door and realizing they are not alone. There is peace in re-connecting to their own inner guidance/intuition as they realize they no longer need to desperately seek answers outside of themselves.

They begin to befriend their body again, follow their guidance, find a sense of calm and discover a strength that will help them through their journey. I watch them come alive as they begin to take back control of their life. The learn how to identify and process their emotions and they use the mind body tools to shift their experience outside the class. They bring their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives each day, and their experience of fertility shifts and transforms.

Most importantly I don’t see women as “infertile” or “broken” or “failures”.

I see women as the Mothers I know they are.

I hold FAITH for them!

I BELIEVE in them, no matter what!

You can be a Mother! I know with my whole heart, that one way or another, you too, will bring your baby home into your arms. I will hold FAITH for you until you BELIEVE it as deeply as I do! Because when you BELIEVE something is possible, impossible is nothing.

To learn more about Sue Dumais and her Fertility Yoga classes and resources visit www.familypassages.ca

London yoga classes – Womb Yoga – SE17

Hi

Going on from what I was saying about yoga for fertility in my earlier post, I thought this might interest people as I literally just stumbled upon it on a yoga website.

” This integrated and harmonious approach to hatha yoga is especially developed to bring comfort and joy to women. It is suited to all women, with or without previous experience of yoga. Women of all ages are welcome, whether you are complete beginners or super-experienced yoginis or yoga teachers. In fact, any woman who would like a feminine, nourishing and fluid practice with elegant movement flows, delicious breath work, resonant sound, and deep healing relaxation is invited to join her sisters for this women-only class.”

More information on these two websites.

http://www.yogamatters.com/pages/event.aspx?id=1245&referrer=http%3a%2f%2fwww.yogamatters.com%2fpages%2fliveyoga.aspx

http://www.sitaram.org/sitaram/womens-health/menstrual-yoga/

Probably a bit far for anyone in Nottingham -but figured it might help some one

My fertility journey

Hi – this is my first post, so figured the best place for me to start was with my own journey.

Which in itself is a little bit scary, as in a place that is helping people who are finding it hard, I don’t want to be seen as a bit smug and insensitive to say that we caught the first time we started trying. Which we did.

However, our ttc was subject to quite a delay.

We planned to start ttc July 07  and felt that we were ready to see where we ended up.

However, in the January, I was signed off work due to infections and stress related to a family situation. Just as I was then about to go back to work, my sister took her own life and I was thrown into a world that before I had only seen in films.  Between march and may, I attended 3 funeral of close relatives.  I was working as a teacher, which of course is not known for being a stress free job, and with feeling isolated by friends, some of whom thought I would be “over it” by now, I found that I was in a constant state of stress and was also starting to lose my hair. It was definately no way to begin pregnancy so we decided to hold off, even though we really wanted to start our family. I knew my body – and mind- were just not up to it.  There was little available in terms of GP or councelling support, so in the end I started investigating alternative means of help.  I decided to have some Reiki treatments as a friend had previously practised on me in her training and found a local practitioner. ( I will blog more about this later). This really did help me relax -I had time to myself, to allow the positive energies involved in the Reiki to help me release the negative emotions that I needed to release. Through this, I started becoming aware of my own need to change. That I needed to do more exercise and to over all improve my physical and mental health. I had also been considering starting yoga classes, so when a children’s yoga teacher came to work with the children at school, I took my chance to give it a try.

After one session, I felt so energised and positive, I decided i wanted to join an adult class and really start finding out how good I could feel. I joined in with the class for a few more weeks and found i just felt better- more relaxed yet energised-each time.

In the mean time, I was feeling a lot brighter in myself, and for the want of a better word, human again, so we decided to ditch the contraception and start trying. I did check out where I was in my cycle, having been tracking it monthly and then using an online calculator to find out roughly when I was fertile but thought well, it could take a while so lets live for today and see what happens.

And, yes, we caught probably first or second time. I was convinced that it couldn’t be, having been so stressed for so long, yet there was the line on the stick telling me it was a bfp.

So I investigated antenatal yoga instead. When I got chatting to my yoga teachers, it turned out that yoga is often linked to the idea of helping with pregnancy. It is known to balance the mind, body and spirit, so perhaps adjusts the body internally too and gets parts set that things can just naturally “fall into place”. It also appears to be a common occurence that females who are training to be antenatal yoga teachers fall pregnant during the course, probably due to learning all the best practises to assist the body during pregnancy. Either way, I felt very strongly that the yoga really made a big difference, not least because i was so relaxed.

This is my little story, one that I am convinced was aided by the alternative paths I went down. I hope one day I  will become an adult yoga teacher as well and will be able to help  others on their path with yoga.

I have  been drawn to using Reiki in the fertility field as i feel that this too can make a remarkable difference, something i have already witnessed happen with a client. I am not saying that Reiki gets you pregnant, but it can definately help you relax.  And the relaxation part is something that comes up time and time again in relation to fertility.

I will continue to blog at another time and explain more about how I feel Reiki can help with fertility, with the aim that others will benefit from what I have experienced and what Reiki has to offer. And if neither of these things actually does help with the physical act of getting pregnant, it certainly doesn’t do the mental health of the mummy to be – or daddy to be- for that matter, any harm at all.

Namaste

How do you begin again after a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle?

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again.

If you are on Twitter, or you follow some of the infertility blogs, you may be familiar with some of the abbreviations used by women who are trying to conceive and have a baby. One that frequently tears at my heart is BFN:( . It means “big fat nothing,” as in not pregnant this month.  You examine and re-examine the dates on the calendar, plan your activities around the possibility that you might be pregnant by then, and spend money on pregnancy tests that you know are going to come out negative.  You may also have experienced the elation of finding out you were pregnant and whispering it to the chosen few you trusted to support you through those intial, very secretive and exciting days, only to have to return to them weeks later and explain that the pregnancy was over.

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again. You must consider your current health, age, fitness, need for medical intervention, financial position, other commitments and your doctor’s advice. Assuming that you have decided that you do want to try to conceive again, naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques, the next set of decisions will be about when you begin trying.

Your timing

“When can I try again?” is one of the first questions that will come up in a woman’s mind once she has determined to pursue another pregnancy. Opinion, even among medical professionals, varies. Some doctors will say that, all being well, 3 months is a good amount of time to wait after a miscarriage. Others will suggest that an otherwise healthy patient wait until after she has had one menstrual period before trying to conceive. I believe that readiness is a combination of having had a check-up by the doctor or nurse a few weeks after your miscarriage or IVF procedure, feeling well in yourself physically and determining that you and/or your partner are both emotionally prepared to take the risk again. Why do I use that word “risk?” While many women go on to achieve a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, and IVF can certainly be successful on a subsequent attempt, there is a risk that they will not be successful. Can both of you gather all your resources together and steel yourself against that possibility or do you feel painfully vulnerable?

Are you up to it?

Miscarriage and fertility treatment are both hard on the body and can cause you to feel physically depleted.  This is exacerbated by the emotional toll that they take. It isn’t unusual for a woman to feel that she wants to, or has to, jump right back in and try again and simultaneously think that going through this process again is the last thing in the world she wants to do at that moment. Have you ever felt torn in that way? The reason for this dichotomy can be that you have not recovered fully and need to build up your strength and stamina. It may be worth asking your GP for a once-over health check, paying attention to your appetite, sleep, energy levels and hormone levels.

Your emotional wellbeing

It could also be that you are putting on a front, trying to fool yourself and others about how you are really coping. What you say and what you truly feel must be congruent, or the result could be additional stress, sleepless nights and high emotion.  There may be no doubt that you want a baby, but being pregnant may be another matter entirely. Do you feel resilient; as if you have been able to pick yourself up, put your disappointment aside and look forward to the future? Or, do you feel fearful or hopeless? Your thoughts will affect your behaviour and very possibly, your outcome.

If you are trying to conceive, while simultaneously thinking that it will never happen, or that it will end disastrously, you are draining your positive energy away from your goal. You are literally telling your body, that it will not function the way it is meant to do and reinforcing that message every time you let your mind obsess in this manner. Ovulation does not occur in a vacuum; it is dependent upon signals from your brain to your ovaries. Additionally, the stress caused by negativity has been known to interrupt reproductive function, which may affect your periods, ovulation, fertilisation and/or implantation of the embryo.

Your negative thoughts, sadness, anger and stress are all understandable responses to either a miscarriage or the disappointment of a failed IVF cycle. How quickly you move through various feelings or thought processes to a state of readiness is unique to your circumstances and how you respond. You may feel conflicting emotions and be confused as to whether you are ready to try to conceive again. If so, a fertility coach can help you isolate your feelings about your miscarriage or IVF experience. This can help you prevent or reverse the spill-over into your abilities, body, medical treatment, relationship and future.

Are you both ready?

It isn’t unusual for two people in a relationship to have different ideas about whether they are ready to try to conceive again. On the one hand, the woman may (erroneously) believe that the previous attempt is her fault and feel the need to make up for it or prove herself. She may be itching to try immediately, in contrast to her partner’s more measured approach. Even if this self-blame is not present, she may feel there isn’t any time to waste. Only she can truly know how strong and physically healthy she feels, so her partner is reliant upon the information she provides.  A partner may be concerned about her health and want to ensure the safety of a subsequent attempt to conceive.  On the other hand, I have had female clients whose partners want to sweep it all under the rug and move forward as if nothing has happened. She may be unready; lacking in self-confidence and feeling unsupported.

Marriages have broken down from the stress of trying to conceive. One party may feel less committed to the idea of having a child than the other, so that when the disappointments, difficulties and costs are tallied up, they decide that they don’t want to put everything into the attempt.  The sacrifices necessary to divert money from other dreams to fertility treatment may be more than one is willing to make. To contemplate trying to conceive only for your partner’s sake, or while you are unsure, will only add to the stresses you will have to endure.

The best advice I can give any couple in this situation is to talk. Be open about how you feel, what the loss meant and how you want to proceed now. If either of you are unable to communicate effectively without someone teasing the words out of you, get someone to act as a facilitator. A good fertility coach will help the two of you say what you really think and feel; not imposing her own ideas or taking sides. Perhaps a joint visit to your GP or gynaecologist will help the two of you find mutual ground.

Just knowing when it’s right

As quickly as it came over, an emotional cloud can lift. A new day, an overheard inspiring word, reassurance from someone you trust or just some release inside of you; any of these can shift how you feel about beginning the process of conception over again.  You may not be able to explain it to someone else, but you just know you are ready.  If trying again feels right and you can maintain that feeling for a few calm days (no roller-coaster emotions and changing of mind), trust your instincts. Only you can know for sure.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, a fertility coaching and advocacy business in Stanmore, North London. She also writes for her own blog; http://yourgreatlife.typepad.co.uk.   You can follow her on Twitter @yourgreatlife. Contact Lisa for individual or couples fertility coaching, via phone or office visits, or to find out about educational workshops on fertility issues from menstruation to menopause: Tel #011-44 (0)20 8954 2897 or email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Proper Etiquette When Speaking About Fertility

Many couples struggling to conceive tend to keep it to themselves. They often don’t share with work colleagues, friends and even close family. Many of my clients haven’t even told their own parents. Times where they found the courage to share some of their fertility challenges, responses from others feel insensitive and in some cases feel downright hurtful. Once bitten twice shy, they quickly realize that telling others about their fertility is not in their best interest. Whether is it for fear of judgment or worry of what others might say, in time, their fertility journey becomes very isolating.

Unless you have had a personal experience with fertility challenges you can never truly understand the depths of this deeply emotional journey. How do you respond in a supportive way when you have never had issues with your own fertility? What can you possibly say to woman that has just had a miscarriage that would feel comforting and supportive? Each week I hear my fertility clients say over and over again that other people in their life “just don’t get it”. People often dismiss their worries or anxiety by responding “Just relax and it will happen”. What they don’t realize is that the psychological distress is high, making it difficult to “just relax”. A common response is “Don’t worry you can always adopt”. As if adoption was a simple and easy alternative.

Recent research has shown that for many women fertility issues can create levels of anxiety and depression equivalent to women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease. So telling a woman that she can always adopt would be like telling a breast cancer patient, not to worry she can always get another breast. Obviously you would never do that, but to a woman with a deep desire to have a baby, it can feel that insensitive.

I know that people don’t intend to be hurtful and I remind my clients of that on a daily basis. I remind them that they are not hurt by what others are saying, they are feeling hurt because of the meaning they are placing on the words that are said.

Here are some of my client’s interpretations of the comment about adoption.

“It’s not going to work anyway I might as well give up.”

“I am a failure.”

“No one believes I can get pregnant.”

“I might as well accept defeat.”

What do you Say?

So what can you say or do to be supportive? I have created a list of suggested responses to specific challenges couples face on their journey. Keep in mind that sometimes the best response is no response. Often they just need you to listen.

Click here to read more and/or to download the full article.

5 simple things you can change that may increase your chances of conceiving

Its funny how often the simple changes can bring the biggest rewards.

1) Make sure you have sex at your most fertile time .

Now this is not to say that you should only have sex at your fertile time, in fact there is lots of evidence to show the opposite. To keep the sperm supply at its best, you should have regular sex throughout the month but it is pretty crucial that you have intercourse during your fertile time (around ovulation)

How do you know when its your fertile time ? That the subject of a whole other blog post on ovulation predictor tests & methods

2) Replace your usual personal lubricant with a sperm friendly lubricant

These days many couples use intimate lubricants either for foreplay, intercourse or both. Many intimate lubricants (including saliva) in common useage are not sperm friendly ie this means the lubricant can actually impair or damage sperm-not good news when you are trying to conceive.

In the UK there are currently 3 personal lubricants on the market that have been designed especially for couples trying to conceive and are clinically proven to be sperm friendly. They are Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus and Zestica Fertility.

To find out more about fertility friendly personal lubricants click here

3) Stop your man using his laptop on his lap

It is amazing how many men spend most evenings with a laptop on their laps while watching television or travelling on a train. Laptops heat up very quickly and generate large amounts of heat that can be detrimental to sperm. The testicles, which is where the sperm are produced and stored, are outside the body because if they were inside the body the heat from the body cavity would impair & damage the sperm. When a man has a laptop on his lap it is right over his testicles and this is likely to cause overheating.

I recently came a cross a couple where the man’s sperm count had come back with a low motility count, and he was using a laptop on his lap for extended periods most nights. He changed this laptop behaviour & the sperm count and motility has improved.

4) Keep your weight at a healthy level.

There has long been  anecdotal eveidence to suggest that weight is important but now this has been backed up by clinical evidence to suggest that fertility is reduced in both overweight women & underweight women.

5) Relax-

I know its easier said than done, but more and more studies are confirming that stress can be a big factor in unexplained infertility. Sometimes the stress of trying to conceive itself can actually hamper your attempts.

Look at other areas of stress in your life and see if you can reduce or alleviate them. Consider alternative therapies which are often excellent at helping to alleviate or manage stress. Yoga and Pilates for example are great at teaching you to relax. Make a list of things that you can do to help you relax each day and make sure you do one of them each day. It can be as simple as taking a lovely bubble bath or taking a walk outside in the sunshine. You know the things that help you to relax-so make time to do them

A Positive Change For Fertility Solutions Programme

My Fertility Solutions sessions no longer contain Theta Healing I now use Life Upgrade with all my Fertility clients.  If you have read some of my other blogs you may well be wondering why I have made this change.

What Life Upgrade has done for me.

I have adapted the way I work because of my own experiences and what I have found to be helpful for myself.  I have found Life Upgrade transformational in supporting my own well being and reproductive health.  I have successfully used Life Upgrade in my day-to-day life to lower my stress levels.  Not only has Life Upgrade helped me reduce stress it has also improved my physical health.  I have Endometriosis and up until recently have experienced debilitating pain for 1-3 days each month.  I have found that through using Life Upgrade tools I can manage my pain.  I am now able to be active on those days when formerly I would have been unable to move.  I have seen such a dramatic shift in the pain I experience I firmly believe it is possible for me to experience a period without pain if I continue to use Life Upgrade tools.

So What is Life Upgrade?

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that support the release of negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts and feelings allows you to move forward and live your life, whatever else is going on.  In doing this you are also supporting your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

What does this mean for Fertility Solutions?

The framework for the Fertility Solutions is still the same.  There is a Free Initial Consultation so I can assess your needs followed by six sessions specifically designed for you as an individual.  Through each session I will guide you through Life Upgrade tools to support your health and well-being.  From the first planned session you will be able to take home the basic tools and use them in your own time.  Using the Life Upgrade tools consistently will transform your Fertility Journey so you can continue to live your life and find enjoyment, what is more living in the moment increases your chances of conception.  The programme still involves hypnosis CDs to support your Fertility Journey.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’ and those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints).  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children.

Select the sources of your information about infertility carefully to avoid overwhelm

We now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate? I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available.

Is there too much information about infertility available now?

My first instinct would be to say “no, absolutely not!” There are women and men out there who don’t know nearly enough about the road ahead of them as they begin to wonder why they haven’t conceived yet.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as infertile and doesn’t know what to do next, where to get support or the pros and cons of treatment, has a steep learning curve. There’s also the potential of vital time being wasted as overwhelm sets in and incapacitates infertile people who need to research, reflect and agree. On top of these first-hand needs, there’s the need to promote public awareness about the physical, emotional and financial aspects of infertility; to promote sensitivity, encourage medical science, motivate regulatory change and improve access to treatment.

However, we now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Courses, conferences and symposiums are going begging for attendance; whether aimed at professionals or the prospective patient. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate?

I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available. It can be incredibly confusing for the newly diagnosed or freshly motivated infertile person to encounter. How do you know who to follow, what to attend or how much validity to give to a particular expert, whether professional or from personal experience?

Ten tips for fighting infertility information overload

  1. Browse – Whether on the internet, at an event or looking through the back of a magazine, take the time to investigate all of the groups putting out information about infertility.
  2. Ask for information – One fantastic aspect of social media is being able to pose a question to the universe and get an answer. It’s like Google info + opinion in one.
  3. Go by recommendations – If you see something you like posted on Twitter or Facebook by people you respect and like, chances are that you will like the sites they like.
  4. Categorize – Balance is everything when your mind is focused on one subject: infertility. So gather and categorize resources. Ex. medical information, emotional support, infertility news, beautiful writing, humour, etc.
  5. Find the right site for your personality – If you want to share your test results down to the nth degree of detail with others who understand the numbers, find the right site for that. Others may just want to share feelings.
  6. Look at an event’s content before registering – Some of the biggest events are more about selling you treatment and travel options rather than giving you substantive information. It’s great to know about providers and get a chance to talk with them, but you don’t just want to go home with loads of brochures for the bin. Are there seminars offered at the event? Is there a Question & Answer period?
  7. Don’t join everything – One of the greatest causes of overwhelm can be too many email newsletters flooding your inbox. Instead, try bookmarking or Favourite the blogs and websites you find and go to them occasionally, until you decide how useful they are.
  8. Leave comments where asked – Give feedback after articles, on blogs, on forums and at events telling how useful, enjoyable and accessible you found them, or where they missed the mark.
  9. Support the infertility resources you do value: When you have found an excellent resource, help keep it afloat by paying the membership price, buying the entry ticket, book or magazine, nominating the blog for an award, Tweeting the link, or donating to the charity.
  10. De-clutter – If you look back a month and see repeated, unopened emails from infertility groups or blogs, take the pressure off yourself by clicking on “Unsubscribe.” You can always visit those sites and blogs if and when you find extra time.

Fight the overabundance of information and overwhelm by singling out the good resources by quality and deleting or ignoring the rest.  Likewise, if you think a particular health journalist is doing a great job, champion their efforts by replying when appropriate and posting links to their work on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to make a comment rating the value of what’s out there on infertility. It’s worth showing a bit of loyalty to a particular source too: It’s a win-win situation.  You can develop a rewarding rapport with a blogger or a group of contributors to a forum. You may also qualify for special deals on publications and events. Your membership, visits and purchases help their stats, which raises their profile and/or brings in revenue.

Readership is everything, so if you aren’t supporting the less-than-helpful information providers, they will get the point eventually. Remember, it’s not about how much information you can take in; it’s about the quality and usefulness of that information.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, which provides one-to-one and couples’ fertility coaching, educational seminars, support groups and advocacy for matters related to women’s health, infertility and family-building. Contact Lisa by email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk or by following her on Twitter @yourgreatlife.

How Successful is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

This question has come up a few times in conversation with people lately so I thought I would write about it in this blog.

It’s a relevant question but one that is difficult to answer because it depends on your criteria for success.  I cannot use pregnancy rates to gauge success because not all my clients want to become pregnant as a result of their sessions (some come to me for their reproductive health, rather than to conceive).  I can say that all the clients I have had have reported back that they have felt better in some way.

Those coming to me for reproductive health, Fibroids or Endometriosis for example, have told me they have noticed a shift in their symptoms after their sessions.

After specialising in Fertility Solutions for just over a year 3 of the women I have worked with are now pregnant or have had their baby.  One of these women listened to the hypnosis CDs alone the others also had Theta Healing.

Some of the women I have been working with are still planning to conceive and some of those have chosen to use medical intervention.  However all the women who are still planning for their babies have said that the programme has supported them to cope on their Fertility Journey in some way.  Some have said they are less stressed, others find they are no longer upset about seeing other women with babies and I have also supported women to feel at peace with past abortions or miscarriages.

So Fertility Solutions is not just about pregnancy rates, it is about enhancing reproductive health, supporting the over all well-being and in doing so it also gives couples their best chance of conception.

I offer a free initial consultation so you can find out if Fertility Solutions is the right choice for you. Contact me for more details.

Fertility Solutions and Physical Healing

The Fertility Solutions programme uses mind body techniques to address reproductive health.  Mind Body techniques work with the mind in order to heal the body and there is growing evidence to show that working on the mind will affect the health of the body.  Stress is a perfect example, it is widely accepted that reducing stress has a positive affect on the physical body, strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of heart attack for some.

Fertility Solutions uses Theta Healing to address physical symptoms. A Fertility Solutions Practitioner will have experience working with couples who have physical symptoms affecting their fertility; PCOS, endometriosis or fibroids for example.  Using Theta Healing it is possible to explore the mind’s influence on the physical body and release issues which are contributing to the symptoms being experienced.

Some people who find they have physical symptoms, which affect their fertility, will have suffered with bereavement or shock and trauma. In fact emotions such as shame, guilt, worthlessness, resentment and anger will stress the body if left unaddressed may result on an adverse effect on physical health.

As the programme uses mind body techniques it offers couples the opportunity to address their fertility without any invasive procedures and lays the foundations to give couples their best chance of conceiving.  Similarly it is useful for those who have chosen to use medical intervention (e.g. IVF) as it can address any stresses or issues that arise throughout treatment.

So Fertility Solutions supports the whole person; it addresses both the physical and emotional body. Whatever physical symptoms or emotional stresses you are experiencing on your Fertility Journey the Fertility Solutions Programme can help.

Fertility Solutions and Medical Intervention

Choosing medical intervention to conceive is not always an easy decision and certainly not one made lightly.  Experiencing ‘infertility’ is very stressful and adding invasive medical procedures to this can only increase stress.  Couples who are at the stage of medical intervention on their Fertility Journey are likely to be aware of how stress affects their well-being and fertility.

Fertility Solutions supports the whole person using hypnosis and Theta Healing, those going through assisted conception can use the programme to support their journey and reduce stress.  The hypnosis CDs are designed to relax and support fertility, there are those which have been recorded specifically for couples going through medical procedures.  For example there is one to encourage relaxation and the natural stimulation of the chemicals needed within your body to support conception, another designed to support the egg once conception has taken place, especially helpful for women who may be afraid of a miscarriage.

Along side the Hypnosis, Theta Healing allows couples to address any emotions or physical symptoms that may be affecting their fertility.  It is possible to support assisted conception by addressing any issues around the medical treatments for example; this in turn will aid relaxation and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

As a Fertility Solutions Practitioner my aim is to support my clients best chance of conception.  The programme allows us to address the whole person, physically and emotionally awakening creative power and increasing the chances of conception taking place.

Making Changes to your Lifestyle to Increase Fertility.

Reading up on what you can do to help your fertility shows that there are many things that couples can do themselves to increase their fertility.  There is a lot of good advice out there for couples for example:

  • Reduce stress
  • Eat organically
  • Stop smoking
  • Cut out alcohol
  • Cut out caffeine

Although it is reassuring to realise that it is possible to make a difference to your fertility by changing your lifestyle, some may find that they need a complete change in order to give themselves the best chance of conception.  This may be overwhelming, but you don’t need to go through those changes alone. 

Using the support of Fertility Solutions means that you can gracefully shift and things such as stopping smoking and cutting out caffeine become manageable changes.  Using Theta Healing it is possible to work with the subconscious to address the beliefs and perceptions which are behind addictive habits like smoking, and allow clients to tackle their lifestyle changes more effectively. 

Reducing stress is another aspect of lifestyle that some may find a challenge to shift.  The Fertility Solutions Programme includes hypnosis CDs to support your relaxation, reduce stress and prepare your body’s fertility.  This is an effective way to tackle stress by simply listening to a hypnosis CD once a day.  After listening regularly clients experience a gentle shift in their lifestyles allowing them to reduce stress successfully.

Each Fertility Journey is different and some couples may find that a change of lifestyle is all they need to successfully conceive however that doesn’t mean to say everyone find these changes easy to achieve.  The Fertility Solutions Programme is designed to meet the individual needs of the client, therefore each session will be adapted for you to give you the best chance of conception.

Finding Support for Your Infertility

How do you find the support you need for your infertility?  Regardless of how you came to be infertile or what your goal, it can be a challenge to find someone who not only empathizes with your situation, but also is prepared to be there for you on either an emotional or practical level. You may wonder why, for something so fundamental to your happiness, someone wouldn’t want to be counted in your support network. 

Why You May Not Be Getting the Support You Need from Logical Sources

  1. They believe that you must be responsible for your infertility somehow.
  2. Your partner is ambivalent about becoming a father or mother.
  3. You want to be a single parent.
  4. You are not married to your partner.
  5. You are in a gay relationship and they believe every child needs a father
  6. They are infertile also and worry they will lose you to a baby and mom-friends.
  7. It’s your boss. Doctor appointments and maternity leave will inconvenience them.
  8. People think you should be grateful that you already have one child.
  9. They are jealous of the attention and sympathy you get for your infertility.
  10. They are too wrapped up in their own life to realize you need them.

Those people may not realize they are being unsupportive. What is obvious to you may not occur to them.  An example:  your mother phoning you daily with details of her friend’s daughter’s pregnancy.  “What do you mean? I thought you would be happy for her.” Or, someone may think if you needed them you would ask and you haven’t.

They may be judgmental.  “Well if she hadn’t (pick one) a) taken such a stressful job, b) had that abortion years ago, c) waited so long or d) gained so much weight, she wouldn’t be in this situation now.” In fact, almost the entire list comes from people judging you and your condition by their own values, rather than stepping into your shoes to think what it must be like to be you.  However, you may be able to turn their attitude around.

First, look at your own responsibility for the situation and take ownership of it.  In that way, you will be less likely to assign blame, feel resentment and put other people on the defensive.

  1. Have you failed to let people know about your infertility? (Most can’t read minds.)
  2. Have you made it so much a part of your identity that you sound like a broken record?
  3. Have you not been there for them when they needed your support?
  4. Have you isolated yourself from all your friends who have children?
  5. Have you held back on congratulations toward a sister-in-law, cousin or colleague who has had a baby?
  6. Did you previously fail to show empathy toward someone else who was infertile?
  7. Do you whine too much?
  8. Have you lost your perspective?
  9. Have you made sex seem like a chore, obliterating the romance and passion in the bedroom?

If you don’t keep up your work, friendships, social or sport activities, you may become “out of sight, out of mind.” If you no longer accept invitations, people may assume you no longer want or need their company.  Though it may seem logical to you and very unfair to compare the situations, a friend who has had a difficult pregnancy or birth, postnatal depression, has a colicky baby or has had a miscarriage, may feel that you have not supported her when she needed you.  It isn’t your friend’s fault that you haven’t yet had a baby of your own.  Messages can be misconstrued and feelings hurt on both sides.  All relationships need to be nurtured in order to thrive, so give to get.

How to Find The Right Kind of Support

The trick to getting support is to first list the type of support you need, and then identify who can provide it.  For example:

  • Someone who will listen and keep it confidential
  • Go with me to the doctor
  • Someone who’s also infertile and knows what it’s like
  • Friends I can go out with, to forget my problems
  • Cover my workload when I need time off
  • Friend(s) who won’t need an explanation or take it personally when I opt out of get-togethers and baby showers
  • Give me my injections  
  • Pass the word so that I don’t have to get into it 10 times a day
  • Friend who will rescue me from upsetting conversations
  • Help me with my food and fitness plans

Now, split your list of needs into two, under the headings: emotional support and practical support. Connect the tasks with the names of people you know. Then ask yourself a very important question: “Is it reasonable for me to expect this person to provide this support.”  Consider:

1.     your relationship

2.     their nature (sensitivity, generosity, etc…)

3.     their availability

4.     their reliability

Next, look at acquaintances in an outer layer of your life.  A colleague at work may also be trying to conceive.  You may click with a nurse at the clinic.  That other woman you always see in the RE’s waiting room may be happy to go for a coffee. A friend of a friend may have had the treatment you are considering and be happy to answer your questions. Reach out when you feel strong enough or the need is big enough. Infertility seems like a personal or sensitive subject that people may wait for you to bring up the conversation. So go for it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When No One Close at Hand Will Do – Infertility forums are wonderful resources for information, camaraderie and supportive conversations.  They all have a “personality” of their own, so cruise them for a few days to figure out which one is a good fit for you.  There are also hundreds of blogs written by infertile women (and a few by men) to which you can subscribe.  Again, cruise the blogs until you find an appropriate few, keeping in mind that they are the product of someone else’s personal experiences, attitude and knowledge level.  After a little while, if you keep reading and commenting on the forum(s) or blog(s) of your choice, you will feel a part of that community.  Be careful though not to take someone else’s experience or opinion as valid medical advice unless they are medically qualified.  Always check with the doctor treating you before trying anything that may interfere with or delay your chances of treatment.

Professional Support – Last, but not least, there is an advantage in having a specialist fertility coach if you are not coping well with your infertility.  The criteria to look for in a coach include training, rapport between the two of you and their ability to teach and motivate you to achieve the positive changes you are after. While coaches don’t absolutely need to have personal experience with a client’s issues to be effective, I believe that it is a genuine advantage in the area of fertility coaching. A fertility coach who has herself had difficulty conceiving, will have an authentic understanding of the emotional, physical, financial and social aspects of the fertility rollercoaster ride.

There is plenty of evidence that your state of mind can affect your fertility.  If you are overly stressed, feeling negative, comfort-eating, arguing with your partner or not sleeping, you are not creating the best possible state of wellbeing for conception, pregnancy and childbirth.  A fertility coach will look at the whole person to determine which small changes in your attitudes, actions and lifestyle will make a difference to your overall wellbeing.  From that better place, you will work together to find the best way to create and build your family. By aligning your goals with your value system, your coach may also be able to help you determine whether to undergo or continue fertility treatment, if and when to stop trying to conceive, end fertility treatment or consider an alternative path to parenting, such as egg or sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

In the end, it’s your choice of how open or private you will be about your infertility and that will directly affect what kind of support you receive.  Just remember support comes in many forms and from many places and sometimes must be earned. Be understanding; over time, supporters can be more or less active in your life as their own circumstances change.  Giving support is not a job description; it’s a gift.

Lisa Marsh is the fertility coach  and owner of Your Great Life in Stanmore, North London.  For more information about her, go to http://yourgreatlife.co.uk. Subscribe to her blog at http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or to arrange a coaching session, in person or via telephone, please contact her at 020 8954 2897 or lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

You can also follow Lisa at http://twitter.com/yourgreatlife for helpful Fertility and Miscarriage Support Tips, as well as other information about news in the field of women’s reproductive health.

Coping on your Fertility Journey

Fertility problems are one of the most stressful experiences to go through. What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems. Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?” This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges. What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Mind/body techniques can be really helpful when dealing with the stress Fertility issues can bring. Meditating is great because it brings stillness to the mind relieving it of all the clutter that we tend to live with on a day-to-day basis. Regularly meditating can help to reduce that clutter at other times. If you are someone who finds meditating difficult listening to a CD of guided meditation can be helpful to start with. It’s a question of finding what works best for you.

Practicing being mindful during day-to-day tasks is also a helpful way to reduce stress. For example being mindful whilst eating means that you smell the food. Look at the colour. Be aware of the texture in your mouth. Really taste it as you chew. Take your time. You can apply this mindfulness to anything; just make sure you are using all your senses to do it.

Of course Fertility Solutions can help too. Using Theta Healing it is possible to reduce stress levels and using the Fertility Solutions Programme means you will not only reduce your stress levels but also give yourself the best chance of conceiving be it naturally or with medical intervention.

Hypnosis and Fertility

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily. It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book. If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis. You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime. Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious. For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up. This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being. Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception. The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress. Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next. Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception. Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Going in Circles With Infertility and Stress – Part Two

Take a Time-Out to Control Your Stress 

Liken the accumulation of stress from infertility to a traffic accident in which the first car stops suddenly. No one has been injured and the damage from the two-car accident is contained, but neither of the parties has put out flares signalling danger.  As a result, each successive car behind them piles up, multiplying the level of damage.  Similarly, small signs of stress like nail-biting or cranky behaviour, may seem harmless, but you don’t have to be falling apart to internalize damage.  If your ultimate goal is to become pregnant, your initial, short term goal must be to lower your level of stress, clearing a space for the work to begin.  Then, keep it clear throughout your attempt to conceive.  

If you are aware of areas of your life in which stress shows up, the next step is to acknowledge the stressor and change your response to it. When you feel your personal signs of stress creeping up, you can deal with them on the spot by practicing this short visualization technique I call a time-out. 

Time-Out – I call this visualization a time-out because all it takes is excusing yourself for a few minutes. When you become practiced at it, it feels like you have had a mini-holiday. It is useful in a few ways.  

  • Replacement – By focusing on an image in your “mind’s eye,” you block out the image corresponding to your stressor.
  • Relief – Placing yourself within the positive image/scenario you have chosen, and imagining its sights, sounds, smells and tastes, helps to break the emotional connection you felt in response to the stressor.
  • Rapid – It’s a quick fix, free of cost and no prescription needed.
  • Restorative – It is very empowering. Mastering the visualization allows you to re-gain control of your stress and restore calm.    

Take Two – A 2-minute visualization exercise can be slipped into your daily life without attracting attention.  Whether you are working, busy with your family, at a party or involved in a project, it is easy to slip away for two minutes at a time.   Any Time, Anywhere – Privacy and safety are the two required elements, in order to allow you to break the connection with your current environment. Be creative; you can find privacy in the busiest places: empty offices, walk-in closets, the loo or even sitting in the car on your own driveway. In order to reach that quiet space inside, it may take four or five minutes at first, but with some practice, you will be able to reduce the time it takes to regain control to about two minutes. Please use caution and do not practice it while driving.  Pull the car over to the side of the road if necessary.  Define Your Image – Close your eyes. Isolate a specific image, real or fantasy, which evokes a 100% positive feeling. If an image of your last beach vacation, however lovely, brings up the nagging feeling that you didn’t look great in your bikini, it isn’t the right image for this exercise. Your image can be a frozen moment in time, such as the kiss at your wedding ceremony, or a conjured image of a beautiful place you will go in the future. Let your mind play on this image, vivid detail and colour, sharpening the detail. Imagine that you can smell the air, hear the sounds and even taste something that is evocative of the memory or fantasy of your choice. This image should make you smile. The emotions evoked by your image might be peace, happiness, confidence, contentment, hope or a mixture of other positive feelings.   Write Your Story – Silently, describe the scene to yourself as if narrating a script. For example: “I am dressed in white, on the silvery-grey, wooden deck of my house. I am looking down at miles of virtually empty beach. The ocean is deep blue and turquoise; the sky melts into the horizon. The late afternoon sun is making millions of white, jewelled ribbons dance on the water.  I see a few people walking or sitting and enjoying the peaceful day.”  Now you know mine; it’s your turn. Make it as real in your mind as you can. Are your feet bare? What is the surface under your feet? Is your skin cool, warm or hot? What do you hear, smell and taste?  Are you alone, or with others?  

A Good Place

To Begin Every Day – Use your Time-Out to start each day until it becomes habit and you can fit the exercise into two minutes. This works well for clearing any non-specific stress; you know, the feeling that you want to crawl back under the duvet rather than face the day.  A good place for this is in your morning shower, because it’s private, you feel the pleasant sensation of the water and it blocks out most noise.  

Step by step:

  • Relax – Close your eyes and breathe fully and slowly several times. Concentrate on your breathing for as long as it takes to empty your mind enough to begin the visualization. Invite your positive image into your mind, filling out “the frame” with the context that envelops that beautiful image.
  • Drop yourself in to your visualization. If you are a fan of Star Trek, you can imagine “beaming down to the planet.” I prefer to use a different technique:  It feels as if an artist suddenly changed a 2-dimensional picture into a 3-dimensional environment that you can enter.  Imagine that image slip like a liquid over your head and down your body until you see yourself clothed and positioned as you were during the first Time-Out.
  • Become One with your image – Focus on and isolate each part of your body and “feel” them connect with the physicality of air, earth or water in the place you imagine yourself to be. Direct your mind to travel up your body, recognizing the sensations you feel, from toes to shoulders, and then out to each hand, up your neck and to your head.
  • Emotionally connect to your image – allow yourself to recognize the feelings conjured by your visualization. This is like “getting into character” for your own dramatic performance. Are you: euphorically in love? Flush with success?  Comforted by an embrace? Peaceful and still? Dazzled by beauty? Exhilarated by speed?
  • Lock it all in – Bring your arms up and wrap them around yourself. First you were part of a positive image; now draw that positivity into you and lock it in with a hug. I find that the physical embrace centres and comforts me. Try it, especially if you have been feeling tired, lonely, fearful or shaky. If you are not in a private enough space, you may feel it is enough to just clasp your two hands together in a firm grip.
  • Acknowledge that you will have challenges during the day and that you are strong enough to embrace them without fear of over-reacting. Then, shake your arms out and slowly open your eyes.
  • Repeat your visualization however often you feel the need. 

If ever you can’t relax enough to bring up your Time-Out image, use props and your other senses to give you a prompt:

  • When you open your eyes, write down what you saw in your mind’s eye, in a very descriptive way. This is one place that the gratitude journal really comes in handy. Knowing that you are doing something positive for yourself is very empowering. The physicality of writing and seeing your description on paper will further anchor the image and your positive response to it, and you will have it to look back at if need be. 
  • Practice your visualization while holding a talisman in your hand.  Then whenever you feel stress rising, hold and rub it between your fingers. I use a tiny silver ball with the faint, twinkling sound of chimes, to trigger both visual and auditory memories of my happy place.

I would be very interested to hear from you about your use of the Time-Out exercise; what your image is and how well it works as a stress reliever. 

My blog is http://yourgreatlife.typepad.comMy website is http://yourgreatlife.co.uk Contact information:  020 8954 2897 or lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

You know things are bad when !

 My name is Susie. I am 45 years old and think I may be having hot flushes-yeeks-or is it the stress I am under-who knows.

Anyway my periods are very irregular, I am not sleeping properly due to hot flushes at night. I am not sure whether this is due to stress or whether I am menopausal !! I know I should have a test done but I am dreading what it will find-you could say I am burying my head in the sand at present.

Today I knew things had come to a head when I went for a dental appointment, and the lovely dental hygienist lady was talking to me about how I need to look after my gums more. She went on to say that often we women neglect ourselves, while we are so busy looking after everyones elses needs. It was at this point that I started crying and that was when I realised how bad the stress had got, and that I needed to do something about it.

I have decided to use this guest blog spot to talk about these stresses that I have been bottling up inside, and to find ways of managing the stress better. I am also going to make looking after my health and wellbeing a priority from now on. Sometimes it takes someone else giving us permission to do this, to make it seem ok.

I will let you know how I get on .

Thank you for listening

Susie

Going in Circles With Infertility and Stress – Part One

Moderate stress is part of the human condition, however, one serious stressor such as infertility, can truly disrupt our lives and make the difference between a good year (substitute “decade,” if applicable) and a bad one.  The irony is that stress is often cited as a serious factor in infertility.  It’s the old chicken and egg question…which of these came first. You may never answer that question, because you could initially have felt stressed by such common factors as the rigors of your job, difficulties in your relationship, financial insecurity, moving house or simply that you are a worrier.  Whichever it is, if you are struggling with uncertainty about whether you will ever have a child and want to give yourself every chance of success you must look at the symptoms of your stress and find ways to lessen them.  

Loss of identity – With infertility, women are confronted with two serious blows to their identity. The first is the endangerment to their life plan, including hopes and expectations of having a child or children of their own. The second blow is to their image as a woman, which includes the perception that their body is letting them down by not functioning as it should. This in turn affects their sense of femininity and sense of purpose.  Who am I, if not a mother?  Who am I, if my body won’t do what it is supposed to do?   

Lack of control – Infertility propels women into a world of blood tests, unfamiliar medical jargon, drug therapy and/or surgery.  Not only can they be devastated by their diagnosis, but also by their measurement against a Rate of Success chart.  You are no longer you; now, you are geriatric (40 & over?), obese, poly-cystic, have unhealthy eggs, anti-cardio whatever and/or “unexplained” infertility. While weight, nutrition and bad habits can be improved, we can’t turn back the hands of time or produce another supply of eggs. To any woman who has even the slightest tendency toward perfectionism, this categorization, entry into the mind-boggling medical system and the inability to control her own reproductive function can be dehumanizing.  Even the strongest woman can find herself feeling helpless, isolated and dependent, all of which are incredibly stressful.  

Where stress shows up – Stress, from any source, is cumulative and can affect other psychological and/or physiological areas of your system.  Just as stress from your job can turn around and bite you from behind, lessening your efficiency at the workplace, stress from infertility can affect your reproductive health.  Common areas that show symptoms of serious stress are: 

  • Appetite and weight – either losing or gaining them substantially
  • Sleep – not having enough of it
  • Concentration and organization – the loss of which can affect productivity and safety
  • Emotional stability (neediness, wide-ranging emotions, desire to isolate yourself, jealousy, self-esteem, guilt, anger, etc…)
  • Headaches
  • Digestive system
  • Blood pressure
  • Menstrual cycle – you must ovulate properly and on schedule to achieve best chance of conceiving
  • Personality – a rollercoaster of emotions; acting out
  • Relationships – arguing, feeling unsupported, worrying about the future together
  • Reliance upon unhealthy habits to calm you – smoking, drinking alcohol, etc…
  • Temperament – whether low, disinterested and negative or self-centred, volatile, even bitchy 

Both the stress and its symptoms are real and can cause temporary or long-lasting damage, so don’t brush them off.  If you can identify with any of the symptoms above, it’s time to find your way out of this maze. 

Acknowledging Stress – Since your ultimate goal is to become pregnant, your primary, short term goal must be to acknowledge and then lower your level of stress.  Look at how you are performing in your job, your relationship and friendships. Have you been in denial about how well you are coping with the strain of infertility? Perhaps you can remember uncharacteristic emotional outbursts, sudden tearfulness, and snappish responses. A little of this is normal and quite understandable, until it begins to impact upon the very things you need to safeguard: your health and your support network.  If you notice that people are walking on eggshells around you, it’s a pretty good clue that you are not coping well with stress. Be careful. Patience may run out if you start to indulge in primadonna behaviour, expecting special treatment all the time.  You need all the support you can get, so don’t alienate those who are standing by to offer it. 

There are several things you can do to help yourself if you are suffering from stress due to infertility.  How do you know for sure if this pertains to you? Self-awareness is essential, but if you are not particularly good at it, ask someone you like and trust to be honest with you.  

  1. Begin a gratitude journal. A truly miserable person will find this difficult at first, however, even if (or especially if) you fit that description; the focus on the positives will also have a cumulative effect. Record the simplest or mundane events in your day if you must, such as “the sun is shining, my bus was on time and I haven’t gotten my period yet.”  Eventually, you may find gratitude for enough things in your life and even those connected to your infertility, like “met a new friend in the doctor’s waiting room.”
  2. Try acupuncture, making sure to find a practitioner who has knowledge of your condition.
  3. If you are in fertility treatment, schedule the scans and blood tests for early morning to get them out of the way, leaving you with the rest of the day to live your regular routine.
  4. Talk about it. See a fertility coach or counsellor with whom you can release your pent-up stress.  Their objectivity, confidentiality and support make sessions a safe place to talk about your thoughts and feelings and work out your options. It gives your partner and friends a break too.

In Part Two, I show you how a visualization exercise I call a time-out can be a quick, easy and independent way to lower your stress level.

My blog is  http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com/

and my website is  http://yourgreatlife.co.uk/

Contact information is 020 8954 2897.

What are you going to do to have fun ?

It is a gorgeous sunny morning again here today-it has been a great September so far .

As it is Friday, I am thinking about what we are going to do for the weekend to have some fun & relaxation. We all need some fun in our lives whatever else is going on.

Trying to conceive can be great fun (unprotected sex for starters) but when things do not happen quickly or there are problems, it can turn something that was fun into a cause of stress.

At times of stress it is particularly important to find ways of putting fun back into our lives & also making time to relax.

How you do this varies from person to person. The first thing is to recognise that you need this.

Fun & laughter releases endorphins that make us feel positive and that life is worth living. Without fun in our lives things can become very montonous.

First thing is to make time for fun-avoid overscheduling yourself with things that are not fun.

Make having some fun a priority-even if its just 5 minutes a day.

Plan today what you are going to do as a couple to have some fun this coming weekend.

Here are some suggestions for September weekend fun:

  • A long lie in Saturday morning reading magazines in bed
  • Breakfast in bed
  • A long walk in the sun together
  • A bike ride
  • Blackberry picking & making jam
  • Lunch out together
  • Gardening together-maybe plant some bulbs
  • Cook together
  • A long hot bubble bath (maybe together)
  • Watch a good film or some tv- the X factor is great fun
  • Just for fun sex

These are just a few ideas, yours may be very different-whatever is fun for you

 Have a great weekend.

We all needs friends-but where do you go for support when TTC

There are times in life when we really need the support of our friends and family. But does the quality of this support make a difference. Simple answer is yes-hugely so. When you are going through a stressful or difficult time in your life for whatever reason you need friends who will support you, listen to you and be there for you.

Are your friends drains or radiators ?

A friend of mine recently apologised for being a drain and not a radiator. At least she had incite !

The company of some friends makes you feel great, while others leave you feeling drained or even angry or sad. Of course we all have our off days, and no one can be a radiator of joy all the time but some friends are just plain exhausting.

What kind of friend are you ?

Characteristics of radiators;

  • Their positive upbeat attitude pulls you up even when you are feeling down.
  • they are good listeners
  • they do not hog the conversation (conversation should be a two way thing)
  • they are not totally self absorbed
  • they like people
  • they see the good in most situations
  • they are up more than down
  • you feel great after you have been with them
  • you enjoy their company

Characteristics of drains:

  • they have a negative attitude to lots of things
  • you feel exhausted, angry or sad in their company
  • they hog the conversation
  • they are totally self absorbed
  • they put other people down frequently (if they do that to others they probably do it about you)
  • they do not really like people
  • they see lots of negatives in a given situation

Try and make sure that you have plenty of radiators around you, and that you do your best to be a radiator to others.

Trying to conceive for some can be a very stressful time if things seem to take longer than you had hoped, and often it is difficult to talk to family or friends about the stresses that you are under. Where can you go for support and friendship then ?

A lot of women find the support and friendship they crave in the fertility forums. Here you can talk anonymously to others who are going through a similar situation to yourself and share in their highs and lows. Seeing others succeed can be very encouraging and also you can pick up lots of useful tips from others trying to conceive.

See the links at the side of this blog for links to the UK fertility support forums

Keeping the Romance Alive When Trying to Conceive

Last night I went out with a group of girls, and the talk turned to men and relationships as it often does when groups of women get together with no men, no kids and lots of alcohol. We were discussing how important it is to keep the romance alive, when you have been together for a while.

Trying to conceive can be a fun and exciting time for many couples-for many it is the first time they have been able to have sex without using contraception-the novelty of this alone can add to the romance, let alone the excitement of creating a new life. If conception occurs quickly ie within 3-4 months the whole process is fairly stress free, but when conception takes longer it can become a cause of stress and disapointment for some couples, which may start to take the fun out of it.

When I was trying to conceive my first child I assumed wrongly that as soon as we stopped using contraception I would conceive, after 3-4 months of trying I was starting to get anxious and insisted that my partner took a male fertility test (with hindsight I did rush him into a bit-but being an obliging chap he took it, and it came back normal much to our relief !) We then carried on with the serious business of making babies while having fun at the same time.

Last night my friends and I talked at length about keeping the romance alive in a relationship, and the importance of ‘dating your partner’

Plan a date with your partner ideally at least once a week-take the time to be together, just the two of you, as if you were on a date. You do not actually need to go out. We have had many date nights at home which have been just as good and a lot cheaper. Here are the some suggestions for dates:

  • Meal out in the evening-just the two of you-get dressed smartly, do your make-up etc, make it special
  • Watch a film together-choose something you both like, either at the cinema or on dvd/video. Make a proper date of it. If you have kids get them to bed first or get a babysitter if you are going to cinema. We like to have popcorn or chocolates-sometimes both but I’m just greedy !
  • Cook a meal together at home. If you have kids feed them and get them settled 1st. Choose something nice and easy to cook but that is a bit special-in our house steaks are always a favourite for a date night meal, served up with a really large salad and a glass of wine. Cooking together in a relaxed way can be very bonding. Make an effort with your appearance as you would do if you were going on an outside date.
  • Go on a walk together, just the two of you-ideally somewhere beautiful and on a sunny day if possible-really lifts your spirits, as well as being great exercise-a proven stress buster
  • Sit out on a sunny evening togther, maybe with a glass of wine-just the two of you and chat about your passions, fun things you have done together and stuff you would like to do together
  • Go to a posh coffee bar for lattes/ cappucinos-whatever your favourite tipple is, and chat and just watch the world go by together
  • Meet for lunch somewhere nice & talk about all the good things in your life
  • On a clear night go outside and stare & wonder at the stars together
  • Take up a hobby together-ideally something that you can both be passionate about-it gives a shared interest & something to you can talk about together when you are on your dates ! As they say ‘variety is the spice of life’

These are just a few of the suggestions we came up with, I’m sure you can all come up with lots more

Home fertility tests, ovulation tests, ultra early pregnancy tests, fertility friendly personal lubricants and lots of fertility products are available from Access Diagnostics UK fertility site