Why relaxation is a vital part of planning your pregnancy

Relax 2Planning for pregnancy can be incredibly stressful, and the most frustrating thing to be told is simply to relax – it’s just not a helpful thing to say. Unfortunately, it is a helpful thing to do when you’re trying to conceive and preparing for pregnancy.

Relaxation and mental wellbeing

Aside from anything else, time focusing on yourself is extremely important for mental wellbeing and that in turn has a knock on effect when it comes to physical tension as well. It’s no coincidence that mindfulness and meditation have gained prevalence in our increasingly stress-ridden work and social environments.

We have more going on that ever before in our lives with the added benefits of technology which on the one hand are a glorious thing, and on the other hand can be an added source of anxiety meaning you never really switch off. Books including The Power of Now have gained phenomenal traction as people identify with the need to be present rather than worrying about the past or future, a practice that can be particularly helpful, especially if your preconception journey has taken longer than you would have liked so far.

It never ceases to amaze me what an incredible link there is between the body and the mind, and the impact that stress has on the gut, otherwise known as the second brain, and vice versa is incredible. Even more-so because what happens in the gut has a profound impact not only on your digestion, but also on your hormones, which in turn, of course, impact fertility and your body’s ability to prepare for pregnancy.

Relaxation and physical wellbeing

The mind/body connection becomes particularly apparent when your emotions are upset, you’re anxious, worried or stressed. The body responds and common symptoms include headaches, upset stomachs, back pain, chest pain, a change in weight and appetite, a loss of libido and extreme tiredness, to name a few. Anyone experiencing back pain may want to find a chiropractic for pregnancy near them to help find solutions to the issue.

In the short term none of those things are going to do too much harm, but if they are ongoing they can have a detrimental impact on your immune system, leading to coughs, colds, and again having a damaging impact on your ability to conceive – the stronger the body, the better chance it has of doing all the things we want it to do.

In addition to those natural physical effects of course, the more stressed we are, the more likely it is that we will turn to unhealthy habits to cope, eating the wrong food (refined sugar for example when we’re lacking in energy), alcohol and tobacco, which will only exacerbate the problem in the long term.

Relaxation and fertility

When it comes to fertility, the presence of adrenalin, which is released during times of stress, tells the body that it’s not ready for conception by inhibiting the use of progesterone and releasing high levels of prolactin. In addition, the increase of stress hormones like cortisol inhibits the release of the main sex hormones, suppressing ovulation in women and reducing the sperm count in men and lowering libido in both – none of which is helpful for a positive end result.

It’s a very difficult thing to tell someone to relax when they are going through a stressful time, but things that can help are scheduling in regular gentle exercise like walking part of the way to work when you would normally take public transport, booking a regular massage or spa treatment, making time for yourself on a regular basis doing simple things like having an aromatherapy bath and reading a good book, eating healthy and nutritious food to keep hormones at bay, and if you have the time over the summer, maybe even booking a holiday! It is such an uneasy time trying to conceive, a lot goes through your head, not knowing if you’re doing something right, or if you should change something small or big, you just don’t know, the stress can take over. However, there are helpful tips out there that might help you and it is always worth it to try it out, so try these positions during these times and see if they can work for you at the same time as you are most relaxed, it might be an added benefit for you.

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