The in vitro fertilization (IVF) journey can lengthy and at times, overwhelming. Self-care is critical while undergoing IVF treatment to help you better cope with stress and improve your overall well-being. Here are seven tips you can try to take care of yourself during your IVF cycle.
1. Get back to the basics
When it seems like your whole life revolves around fertility treatment, there are a lot of healthy habits that can go out the window. It’s not that you don’t want to take care of yourself, it’s that IVF can seem to take over your life. Getting enough sleep at night, avoiding processed foods, and taking a daily walk are all steps you can take that can have big improvements in your overall health.
2. Make an appointment with a therapist
IVF can take a toll not only on your mental health, but on your relationships as well. You may consider seeing a therapist that understands infertility. Therapy can help you work through the complex emotions when it comes to pregnancy announcements or your friends or family members with children. They can also help you navigate your treatment decisions and give you insight into how infertility impacts your closest relationships.
3. Make yourself a priority
It might feel like you’re consumed by treatment decisions and how you’re going to take all that time off work for appointments. There can be a lot that demands your attention during IVF, and it’s important to spend time doing something just for yourself. That might mean getting acupuncture or a massage, taking a relaxing bath, lighting some candles, or just declining that next baby shower you get invited to.
4. Surround yourself with a support system
During your IVF cycle, you may choose to share everything or keep it private. There is no right or wrong way to tell or not tell your story, but it might be helpful to let in a few trusted people into your circle. They’re the ones who can cheer you on and be there when you need to talk. You may even find yourself confiding in your acupuncturist because you spend so much time with them. There are a lot of emotions that come up during IVF and it can help getting outside support.
5. Try journaling
You may not consider yourself a writer, but writing can be helpful to get out those thoughts you may not share with anyone else. You can also journal to keep a record of your appointments and information you receive from your fertility specialist. Down the road, you might want to look back at what you endured and what came from it.
6. Practice meditation
Meditation helps clear your head, center yourself, and let go of some of your stress. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes out of the day to practice some deep breathing or focusing on maintaining a yoga pose. There are apps you can install on your phone such as Insight Timer and Headspace for guided meditation.
7. Keep an open mind
IVF is often a successful treatment option for infertility, but it’s a long process with highs and lows along the way. Be optimistic, but know there could be issues that come up unexpectedly that could cause your treatment plan to change. It may help to focus on the present and not think too far into the future.
If you’re ready to take the next steps toward your family-building goals, contact us to make an appointment with a CCRM Fertility specialist.