Do Good Intentions Get You Down?

Do Good Intentions Get You Down?

Does helpful advice make things worse?

You’ve hit a bad patch: maybe you’ve had some bad news that makes you feel you’ll never get pregnant.  Or you’ve just run out of energy to be hopeful.  Does it drive you mad that the people who care for you most are trying, with the best of intentions, to be hopeful for you and to cheer you up?

You know that they want the best for you, but why can’t they just recognise your pain and be with you in that pain, instead of wanting to fix the situation?

Well you probably know that already.  It’s painful to watch another person suffer and not be able to do anything to make the pain better.  So your pain, is their pain.  And all the cheering comments and encouragement to look on the bright side are designed to lessen the pain – for you and for them.

And it’s not quite like a bereavement, where outsiders can identify with and share the loss: where there’s a sense of communal pain.  This is your pain.  And parents, by definition, won’t really know what you’re going through (unless of course, they’ve gone through it themselves).

It may drive you mad to listen to all the platitudes, but if you are able, cut them some slack – they’re doing their best, just as you are.  It’s hard to sit with someone in distress and just be there for them: the temptation to try and fix things can be overwhelming.

And sometimes their words may make things a bit better for you.

But you may also choose to explain that you only need a sympathetic ear and that you don’t expect them to make you feel better, that you need time to process and work through the pain before you can get to a point of feeling better.

And perhaps, you may also recognise that your anger and frustration reflect how you feel about your situation, as well as how you feel about other people’s responses.

It’s hardly fair, but one of the challenges of the situation you find yourself in, it to manage the people around you as well as to manage your own responses to your circumstances.  It’s not fair at all, is it?

Is Trying To Get Pregnant The Most Stressful Thing You’ve Ever Done?

Reducing stress

If you’re answer to that question is a resounding: “yes”, then you may be shooting yourself in the foot!

The more stressed you are the less likely it is that your body will be in a receptive state for conception.  And yes, trying for a baby is an emotional roller coaster, but there are things you can do to even out the peaks and troughs.

Stress is a very pervasive condition: it affects all of us – mind, body, emotions and behaviour.  It can have a very detrimental effect on the body – and hormones can be especially sensitive to stress chemicals.  If we’re stressed we don’t think clearly and we can be impatient, short-tempered and over-emotional – not good for the people around us!

Here are 7 tips to reduce your stress levels and improve your chances of getting pregnant:

  1. Relax – listen to a relaxation CD, this will put your mind and body into a neutral state and allow you to release tension and re-balance your hormones (and it feels great).
  2. Breathe – take long slow breaths and you will get relaxed very quickly.  This helps re-oxygenate the blood and gives the body a boost at a cellular level.
  3. Live in the moment – don’t think too far ahead and enjoy the now and your tension will just peel away.  Thinking about what could have been or what might be can create stress and (negative thoughts about the past or the future) can be disempowering.
  4. Be grateful – every day, think of 5 things that you are grateful for – it will help you keep things in perspective.
  5. Know what you want from the future, but don’t get too attached to it.  Detachment is one of the universal principles of getting what you want.  If you hold on too tightly to your dreams and desires, you choke the life from them.
  6. Go for a treatment – book a relaxing treatment of reflexology, massage, or whatever you fancy.  Treat yourself and let someone else take the responsibility for getting you relaxed, it’s bliss.
  7. Have a Plan B – decide what your life will be like if you don’t get pregnant.  You don’t need to plan in too much detail, but do have an acceptable alternative in place.  You’ll find that having a Plan B will take the pressure off and let you can allow yourself to be more relaxed than if you put all your eggs in one basket.  (Pardon the pun!)

The less stress you put yourself under, the better chance you give yourself of getting pregnant and the more comfortable the process will be for you.

Give some of these tips a try and let me know how you get on.

Is It Selfish To Want A Second Baby?

children holding handsI had someone ask me recently, if I thought she was being selfish for wanting a second baby.  She had already given birth to a little girl when she was 38 and now, at 40, she really wanted another child.

Her daughter was very precious, and she had thought when trying for her first baby: “could she just have one”. Now she wasn’t content with just one.  Was she being selfish?

Lots of women have difficulty having one child and here she was getting stressed because she wanted another child – and the clock was ticking!  She really did feel very selfish.

She already had a child, was happy enough at work and had a great relationship with her husband.  Why couldn’t she just be satisfied?  Wasn’t it greedy and selfish to want another child, especially when other women were having such a hard time just having one?

But when she saw her daughter, she longed to give her a brother or sister: a sibling to connect to and share with.

Well, it’s a good question.  Is it selfish?

For me, babies and children bring us love and joy (and lots of work and responsibility and sleepless nights – but who cares!).  And just as importantly, they give us an opportunity to share our love.  How can it be selfish to want to bring more love and joy into the world?

What do you think?


Are You Too Stressed To Conceive?

stress and trying to conceive

How to stop stressing and get pregnant more easily.

Now I know there are as many medical opinions that say stress is bad as say it makes no difference to your ability to conceive, but it’s my opinion that stress has a very negative impact on the body and can particularly impact on the reproductive system – both in women and men.

So, if you’re feeling stressed, what can you do.  Well the usual things: avoid long hours and excessive pressure at work; eat well; get regular exercise; get enough sleep; avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine; and make sure you have FUN.

But the most difficult types of stressors to deal with are those that don’t have a beginning, middle and end – like fertility issues.  In this case, the stress response remains switched on and begins to build momentum, making it ever more difficult to cope.  And of course, obsessing about becoming pregnant – all too easy a trap to fall into – will create it’s own, self-imposed stress.

If you want or need to reduce your stress levels, here are three things you can do today that will help:


Work is just work, it’s not your whole life, so keep the hours and your commitment to work in proportion.  Make sure your life outside work is fulfilling and fun and make time for friends and family.  Keep lots of variety in your life – it’s a great distraction for those “mind monkeys” that can lead you up the path to obsessing.  Be grateful for what you have – each breath is a reason to feel grateful – it will help you stay positive.

2.   RELAX

Sit for 15 minutes every day and do nothing.  Notice your breathing and observe how, as you become more and more relaxed, your breathing becomes slower.  The faster the pace your life is, the more important it is to be able to stop.  After all, if you were buying a fast car, you’d want to know it had great brakes!


What you focus on grows, so make sure you focus on what you WANT, rather than what you DON’T WANT.  If the voice in your head is telling you you’re never going to get pregnant, that’s what you’re likely to create.  So, visualise what you WANT over and over again, and programme yourself to focus on what you want.

If you’d like more tips and support you can join the FREE Baby Making Mindset Club and join other women who want to share, support and sometimes even have a bit of a moan.