Friday, November 6, 2009

Fertility: Mind Over Matter

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Nutrition is extremely important for fertility. Your body is the foundation upon which new life can be built, and that foundation needs to be strong. But in helping you conceive, diet doesn’t work alone. You must also work to bring mind and emotions into balance too.

Dr. Angela Wu, acupuncturist and author of Fertility Wisdom, gave me a book on my last visit with her. (I did not get pregnant with her, but very healthy and balanced.) It’s called The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. Now I admit that I have not finished reading it, but it’s premise is fascinating. From the book jacket:

“[The research] shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.” 

Wow! This has astounding implications. It basically means we can change our bodies by retraining our thinking! Incredible! But to me it’s another underscore on the message that our thoughts and our feelings count. Big time.

When we’re dealing with fertility issues, however, it’s very difficult to turn our thoughts around and feel the glory of sunshine or anything else.  Consider what this Harvard study found (from Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, Ph.D.): Women who want a child and are told they can’t have one react with the same level of depression and stress as those who are told they have cancer or AIDS.

The sense of loss is that profound. What can help? Here are some tools to try:
  • Yoga and meditation help by forcing your mind into the now, grounding you in your body and/or your breath. These also help you relax and free your mind of clutter. Here’s one resource for fertility CD’s.
  • Visualizations that deal with your frustration, anger, worry, stress, or those that help you see, feel and experience the positive end result you want (a healed uterus, a baby) can be extremely powerful tools. My favorite visualizations come from Julia Indichova (Imagery CD).
  • Cognitively restructure your thoughts. This means as soon as you hear a negative thought show up, such as “I’ll never get pregnant,” stop to question where the thought comes from, if it’s logical or true, and then create a new “truth” thought for yourself, such as: “It is possible to get pregnant.” For more info, see the wonderful book mentioned earlier, Conquering Infertility, by Alice Domar, Ph.D.
  • Attend support groups. They are not for everyone, but research shows they make a huge difference for some. Sharing with others, seeing that you’re not alone, being able to talk with others who “get” it is very helpful. Call RESOLVE for more info. Or search the web to chat online.

    Personally, I did not attend support groups because I felt I needed to shield myself from any negative thoughts that might arise. I only wanted to hear success stories to reinforce my belief that pregnancy was possible for me.
  • Check your attitude and beliefs. As you know, I was told I had a 2% chance of getting pregnant. I heard it, but chose to believe in possibility instead. I then went out and did all I could to encourage a healthy, viable conception. I just found it unacceptable that I could not have a baby. This attitude and belief pushed me through yoga, meditation, diet and more until my baby indeed appeared.
  • Finally: Nurture yourself!! Remember to take breaks on this long, grueling journey. Let yourself cry, get angry, and fully feel what you feel. Release it all, nurture yourself and then, when you’re ready, focus back in on bringing home the baby you know is yours.
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