Trying to conceive can be stressful for your mind and body. Try these tips to help you relax and look after yourself while working full-time.
After all, TTC can be a full-time occupation. From what you eat and the best time to try, to how you look after your body. Growing your career and having a family is, of course, achievable, and if you have the support you need, this shouldn't be a distant dream. Studies have also shown that there is a link between stress and a lower chance of conception (how many times have you heard just relax and it will happen)? So, keeping on top of your job and managing workplace stress while trying to get pregnant is an important factor.
When you're already working full-time, it's very easy to become overwhelmed with everything.
If this sounds familiar, then follow our top tips for trying to conceive while working full-time.
Although it's difficult to prove that stress is a definite cause of fertility issues (because stress is hard to measure), high levels of stress can disrupt your brain's hormone centre.
When you're feeling overwhelmed, your body might not receive the signals it needs to tell your ovaries to release an egg. This can delay or even prevent ovulation, making your periods irregular and giving your body fewer chances to conceive.
If you're feeling burnout from work, then this will add to your stress levels, which may affect your relationship with your partner, giving you a lower sex drive.
Manage your stress by looking at the cause of it in the workplace. Do you have a particularly heavy workload? Are you feeling undervalued? Is there a difficult client causing you problems? Calmly make a list of anything that's heavily affecting your stress or mood and see what can be done to get the support you need.
If you have a manager, request a meeting to discuss how you are feeling and make some suggestions (that will benefit you and the company) that could help to resolve the issues.
When you're trying to get pregnant, one of the most important things you can do is take care of yourself.
Looking after your health and wellbeing can not only aid conception but help you have a healthy pregnancy.
Make sure you are taking conception vitamins and folic acid to help your body to conceive. There are multivitamins you can take daily, which will benefit both you and your baby in the long run.
To give your body and baby the best start, even before conception, it's a good idea to eat regular, balanced meals, lots of fruit and vegetables and cut down on processed or high-fat foods. Instead of snacking on crisps or chocolates, prepare healthy snacks you can keep in your desk drawer at work whenever you're feeling peckish. You can also meal prep lunches at home to bring in with you, so you always have healthy options available.
If you tend to work through your lunch break or stay at your desk, try using that precious hour in the day to spend some time looking after yourself. Go out for a walk, take in some fresh air, or even go to a gentle exercise class if you're close to a gym. A little time out and movement can help reduce stress levels and give your body the support it needs, which can all help when trying to conceive.
Long working hours and overtime might contribute to stress levels, as well as make you feel exhausted, potentially hindering your sex drive. If long hours are commonplace for you at work, then try to come up with a plan to create professional boundaries.
Instead of saying yes to every meeting, try countering by suggesting more reasonable times which are within your stated working hours.
As long as you give options and are flexible, there it should be easier to suggest an alternative schedule.
If you're feeling concerned about how being pregnant or a mother will affect your job in the long run, then take a look around now. Are there any other pregnant workers or working mothers that you could have a quiet chat with? It's a good idea to get an understanding of what it's like to be working there when pregnant or with children.
When you're pregnant, you'll need reasonable time off for appointments, as well as an understanding manager if you're feeling unwell due to pregnancy. You should also consult your employee handbook and research your rights for being pregnant and a new mother at work.
Any information you can get will help you incorporate trying to conceive while working, and it might help you feel calmer too.
If you trust your manager and you have a good relationship with them, then speaking to them about your plans to get pregnant could take a load of worry off your plate.
Approach them in private and ask if you could schedule some time in for a chat. You might be surprised by how supportive they are. Lead the discussion by expressing your commitment to your role and the company, but don't be afraid to let them know if you are feeling overwhelmed or if you are juggling too much. If you are going through fertility treatment then it's important to let them know you might need time off for appointments, but that you will make a plan to ensure your work gets done.
They might suggest the possibility of delegating work within your team to help manage your commitments. If this is something you feel comfortable with, then agree to work on a plan so the work gets done and you're still seen as a valuable and contributing team member.