Trying to get pregnant can be stressful enough. Add in the constant coverage of a pandemic and new fears of the virus spreading daily and you have the perfect recipe for anxiety overload. Dr. Dorette Noorhasan, a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist and author of The Fertility Manual: Reproductive Options for Your Family, offers her professional advice on how women trying to get pregnant and families in general can avoid letting stress overwhelm their lives. Here are five things you can do to reduce stress while trying to get pregnant during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Exercise is an excellent way to burn off some steam and improve your health. But since you can’t go to your gym right now because of the outbreak, you’ll still need to need to find a way to score some exercise. “Whatever level of exercise you were doing prior to conceiving, generally you can continue at that pace unless you have pregnancy complications,” says Dr. Noorhasan. Do not start new exercises or more intensified activity when pregnant without consulting your physician.
Get Enough Sleep
You know you should be clocking in eight hours of sleep a night, but few people actually do. Thing is, sleep is important, not just for daily function, but to prep your body for pregnancy, too. “Sleeping allows our body and our mind to rest,” says Dr. Noorhasan. “Sleep is necessary to be able to function during the non-sleeping hours.” So turn the TV off, relax your mind, and get your body ready for sleep so that you can get what you need.
Eat A Well-balanced Diet
Sure, the pandemic might make you panic-eat, but you should really strive to eat a well-balanced diet. “Eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants will improve the function of all of your cells,” says Dr. Noorhasan. “Anti-oxidants can combat free radicals, which are toxic to our cells.” So snack on healthy foods that are also rich in anti-oxidants like blueberries, raspberries, and kale. And it doesn’t hurt to start taking your prenatal vitamins now, which can make up for any nutrients that you aren’t getting in your diet right now. Avoid trans fats, processed foods, and carbohydrates and increase your protein intake.
Working from home, home schooling—your stress level is probably right through the roof right about now. That’s why you need to take some time to center yourself again. “Meditation, yoga, and acupuncture help your mind and body relax,” says Dr. Noorhasan. “These practices can be very helpful in reducing stress.” You can even include your kiddos in on the Om action and try simple yoga poses and meditation together.
When days are long and you’re feeling tense, you should make massages a priority. But since you can’t exactly book an appointment now, ask your partner to help you work out the cramps and kinks. “Massages are helpful to loosen tight muscles and hence improve relaxation and decrease stress,” says Dr. Noorhasan. “Head massages can help with tension headaches often related to stress.” It can relax your body, and in turn, help prepare you for pregnancy.