Fertility and The Mind – The Truth

Eloise Edington  |   17 May 2020

Whilst trying to conceive, one of the most important things for us was looking after our mindset. Whilst going through the medical side of treatment, it’s so important to look after your mental wellbeing, which can sometimes be forgotten. For us, hypnotherapy and visualisations, plus fertility coaching helped a huge amount. That is why we are delighted to be introducing the brilliant Naomi Woolfson, Cognitive Hypnotherapist. Naomi has helped so many around the world whilst they’re trying to conceive and you’ll want to hear her thoughts and announcement below.

When you long to be a mother and your empty arms ache to hold your baby, it feels like there is a child-shaped hole in not only your life, your home and your body, but your soul. Once you have made the decision that you want to become a parent, you enter into a new stage in your life that only a few people come back from. From that moment on, you are aware that your actions now are not only influencing your own life and that of your partner, (if you have one), but that of your (as yet) unconceived child. Every decision on what you eat, how you look after your body, your financial situation, your home, is now taken into consideration through the eyes of somebody bringing another person into the equation.

I feel that this is part of the reason that it can be so difficult to just carry on with life as normal while you are trying to conceive. You are ready to step out of your old life and into the new. But your new life is not ready yet and you are left in that in-between space, not able to go back, and you’re prevented from moving forward.

I learnt something that changed everything

When you’re trying to conceive, as each month passes with nothing to show for it, every pregnancy announcement or bump you encounter can feel like a punch in the chest. You try to stay positive, try to relax as that’s what you are supposed to do, right? But inside, your heart is breaking into 1,000 pieces. Women undergoing infertility treatment experience the same level of stress, anxiety and depression as women who have cancer, HIV or heart disease (1). I can definitely relate to the above. Following our first failed fertility treatment, I became increasingly anxious and began having panic attacks. I was suffering from insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and really was not coping.

Then I learnt something that changed everything. It was not the fact that I was not yet pregnant that was causing my distress, it was the thoughts I was having around the fact that I was not yet pregnant. The intense emotional pain that I was in, the physical repercussions of chronic stress on my body. It was me. I was doing it to myself. At first I didn’t believe it, I thought I would be happy when I was pregnant. Full stop. But the more I learnt, the deeper I dived into my own mind the more relief I found. As the weeks passed by, I felt the weight of infertility lift and it was like I had stepped out into the sunshine after living in a darkened room for months. The panic attacks stopped, the IBS miraculously resolved itself and I was sleeping well. The thoughts that had tormented me, the broken record in my mind, “What if I never get pregnant? What if I never get to be a mother?” still popped into my mind but I now knew how to manage them, dissolve them, soothe and comfort my mind and body. It felt wonderful, freeing and exciting.

The ultimate test

The anger and frustration that had threatened to destroy my relationship was gone, I was able to see my friends with children again, even hold their bouncing babies, something that was impossible for me before. Then came the ultimate test, I got pregnant on our final round of IVF but miscarried. I had always thought that miscarrying after going through infertility would be absolute hell, the worst kind of injustice. Although I felt all the things you feel when you lose a much longed for baby, I didn’t plummet back into depression and anxiety like I had imagined I would. I reached out and got the support I needed from an amazing fertility therapist who helped me to release the sadness and the guilt that came with the miscarriage.

The Summer that followed was spent focusing on me. I gave my mind and body time to heal from the miscarriage and took a break from trying for a baby. I leant into my practices of meditation, journaling and emotional freedom technique and I felt excited and hopeful for the future.

The Power of Fertile Thinking

See how powerful your thoughts are

Maybe you’ve tried mind-body techniques in the past, maybe they are part of your lifestyle now and bring you relief. What I’ve found from supporting women and offering fertility help for the past seven years, is that with infertility you need to go so much deeper.

Join me on Wednesday when I will be going live with Fertility Help Hub on Instagram, to share the five steps of my Fertile Thoughts Activation Process. I’m going to show you how powerful your thoughts are. Not just tell you, but show you so that you can feel it in your body. Ooooh, goosebumps that I get to pass on what I so desperately wanted and needed when I was in the trenches of going through fertility treatment, desperately trying to conceive.

You can’t make yourself relax or stay positive and I write about / teach the fact that it can actually be detrimental to your wellbeing to try to force yourself to do so, as it can prevent you from reaching out for the support you need and can make you go quite loopy – I disappeared down the rabbit hole of ‘positive thinking’ whilst trying and it added to my anxiety and overwhelm.

However what you can do is learn how to let go of the thoughts that are not serving you, clear beliefs that are holding you back and release the tension that causes discomfort in your body. Right now, focus on the words trying, strive, aching for, close your eyes and focus on how it feels in your body when you say these words in your mind. Now do the same, focusing on the words release, allow, soften. You may have felt a shift in your body, a sense of relief or releasing. Even the smallest change, shows that what you focus on impacts how you feel.

Learning how the mind works and how our thoughts impact our bodies on a physical level as well as an emotional one was paramount to the shift in how I was experiencing infertility. The techniques I learnt then, and still practise today, improved my quality of life whilst I was trying to conceive and, I believe played a part in the fact that I conceived my son naturally after 46 months of trying and, 23 months later I conceived my daughter, again naturally and on the first try.

Reaching a place of acceptance, peace and hope

I now teach the mindbody techniques that transformed my journey to motherhood. (Yes I know we all say we hate that phrase but what other description could there be?) I was on a journey of self-discovery, self-realisation and I want to share this with you.

Time and time again women sign up for my 12 week online mind-body course The Embrace Fertility Method, looking for ways to manage the stress of infertility. What they experience is coming to a place of acceptance, peace and of hope. The course runs again from 1st June.

The power of fertile thinking

Wednesday 8pm #fertilityexpertslive on Instagram

Our thoughts affect not only our mood and happiness but our decision-making, relationships and health, with a knock-on effect to fertility. Cognitive hypnotherapist, Naomi Woolfson shares how learning mind-body techniques such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnosis can transform not only how you feel but increase your chances of conceiving.

She will talk us through the five steps of her Fertile Thoughts Activation Process and show you how powerful your thoughts are, not just tell you but show you so that you can feel it in your body. Make sure to follow and join us.

See you on Wednesday and, in the meantime, get started with the mind-body techniques that have been shown to increase your chances of conceiving sign up now for your FREE ‘Fertile Thoughts Activation Process Quick Start Pack’ which includes:

  • An invitation to the ‘Fertility & the Mind: The Truth’ Masterclass on Sunday 24th May 4pm
  • The Fertile Thoughts Reset MP3
  • An ebook sharing how to play the emotions game for instant relief from negative feelings
  • The beautiful heart anchor technique to connect you to feelings of gratitude, joy and peace
  • How to implement simple fertility enhancing changes from today

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