Research has shown that the physiological symptoms experienced by those going through infertility are similar to those who are experiencing other serious medical conditions, including cancer. If it feels like you are in the hardest season of your life, it’s because you are. The trauma of not being able to have children is very real and valid. So, we have compiled a list of 8 strategies to help you manage infertility stress.
The Hopeful Mama Foundation is here to support you on your infertility journey.
Whether you are looking for emotional support in-person or virtually, we have both available to you at no charge. You can learn more about our support groups HERE. If you are looking for educational support and resources, we have those available on our website and host workshops every three months. Our next workshop is in August; stay tuned for details.
Hopeful Mama understands the stress that infertility brings to not only you, but your relationships, work, and quality of life. Read our list below of 8 strategies that we know will help you manage the stress that infertility brings.
You can download and print the PDF Version HERE.
#1 Recognizing Infertility Trauma
Research has shown that the psychological symptoms associated with infertility are similar to those associated with other serious medical conditions, such as cancer. Your story is worthy and valid.
If it feels like you’re struggling with the hardest season of your life, it’s because you are. The trauma of not being able to have children is very real. Allowing ourselves to sit in the emotions of heartache, sadness, disappointment and resentment is important to recognizing and not diminishing the impact infertility has on our lives.
Give yourself grace.
#2 It’s Okay to Not be Okay
You don’t need to be everything for everyone all the time. It’s okay to say, “I need a break” and then take it. If you need to stay off social media for a period of time or during the holidays, that’s ok. If you decide you need a break from treatment or TTC at home, take the break.
Infertility is a huge part of our lives, but it’s not the only part. So, at times, we may need to step away from our current checklist of fertility items and spend moments reconnecting to ourselves and others.
#3 Decide Your Priorities
What is most important for you to focus on right now? Before taking on new commitments, review your priorities and be sure they align with what your goals are. Don’t be afraid to say no to requests from friends, family or work.
#4 Rediscovering YOU
What makes you happy? What are activities you enjoy doing? Write them down in a journal. Then, take the time to do some of those things that were put on the back-burner due to infertility.
Do you have a support network? How do you typically handle stress? What triggers an emotional response for you? Write it down again. We all handle stress differently, so learning how we process our emotions will allow us to put a plan in place to protect not only our heart, but our minds.
Journaling, even if it’s just short phrases, will allow us to look back and see the progress we’ve made. Furthermore, on more difficult days, reading encouraging words we’ve written in the past will uplift you and remind you of your hope.
#5 Support Groups + Community
Joining an infertility support groups offer solidarity; walking alongside others who know how you feel. We are so glad you chose Hopeful Mama to build community with. Online infertility communities can also help you find new friends by connecting you to others who truly understand what you’re going through.
We have a resource list of online infertility support communities. Make sure to check it out as it’s never a bad idea to build community in a multitude of ways. If you know of an online community you think should be on our list, send us an email through our Contact Page.
If you’re looking for professional help, head to our Professional Resources Directory for suggestions.
#6 Practice a Grounding Exercise
Find some breathing exercises that fit into your life or try using the grounding exercise breath work we do at group. You can also utilize a relaxation or mindfulness app for some guided breath work. Some of our favorite apps are Mindful IVF and Calm.
You can also practice repeating a mantra to connect you with the present by what we can control. We’ve talked about these in group, so you can use one from group or create your own. Your mantra can even change daily based on what you’re going through.
#7 Follow your Doctor’s Orders
Google can be a scary place with misleading and inaccurate information. Don’t allow yourself to head down the dark hold that is the internet. When you have questions or concerns, call your clinic. They know your journey and treatment better than anyone and they will provide you with the necessary next steps.
#8 The Hopeful Mama Box
There will be days that you need more. More support. More reminders. More hope.
Create a Hopeful Mama Box that you can go to in your time of need. It can be a box, or a bag, a drawer, or a shelf…even a room, whatever works best for you. In that space, keep things for your difficult moments. Perhaps an affirmation card, candle, note from a fellow infertility warrior, a quote or picture can live in your Hopeful Mama Box so that when you need the extra encouragement, it’s already waiting for you.
The Hopeful Mama Foundation is here to support you. You were never meant to walk alone and implementing these 8 strategies to manage infertility stress will impact your journey in a positive way.