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What to Do When Your Stressed About the Stress of TTC

What to Do When Your Stressed About the Stress of TTC

Stress is a taboo subject especially when you’re going through fertility challenges. Whether you are typically a more anxious or stressed person, adding the twists & turns of the TTC journey makes things… well stressful! Managing stress is one of the hardest things to work on when you are trying to get pregnant and yet people still love to say,“Just relax and it will happen!” So let’s ditch that advice and consider some real options.

First and foremost your goal should not be to get rid of stress completely. That’s impossible. A healthy stress response is actually healthy for your body, longevity and (surprisingly!) your fertility.

What is a healthy stress response?

A healthy stress response is your ability to respond to stressors as they come, by activating the sympathetic nervous system (your fight or flight) and once that threat is gone you can switch back to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest/repair). 

But when we are always on edge, constantly worrying, staying busy and on the go all day until we crash and (hopefully) sleep… that’s where stress can negatively impact us. Our bodies start to feel run down when they stay in this level of stress too long, which triggers our body to go into survival mode. Survival mode sends nutrients to your vital systems to keep you alive and takes it away from the reproductive system. So while survival mode is crucial to staying alive.. It is not the level of stress that is ideal for creating a human being from scratch! 

So, now that we understand what happens from a physiological standpoint, what CAN we do to help our body repair, be calm and prioritize fertility?

Awareness: Being aware that you may be staying in an elevated stress response, go go go mode or fight/flight too long/often is a huge way to combat stress. We are gently interrupting the pattern by noticing and shifting our attention to the present moment. Notice how your body and brain feels, where you feel tension or activated. Bringing your attention to the details of your present moment increases awareness of survival mode so that you can slow down enough to try something new. 

Stop scrolling. We know (we are guilty of it too) but it works. Limit your time on the phone scrolling, researching, and even shopping (if it’s in excess). Scrolling gives us a false sense of control when we feel out of control (because it makes us feel like we are doing something)… but what we are really doing is keeping our stress levels high by disconnecting from the present. 

Check-in With Yourself. Check on yourself several times a day to see if you have met your needs. Ask yourself:

  • -Have I eaten?
  • -When was the last time I had some water?
  • -When was the last time I got off the chair?
  • -Did I have a meal in a quiet environment away from distractions?
  • -Was I mindful when I was chewing and connected to how my meal tasted, smelled, etc?
  • -Have I been outside to get some sunlight?

Daily Joy: Do something daily that brings you joy or pleasure. Can be big, small or somewhere in between. Do something for yourself that is 100% for the pleasure of it. This is not a place to judge yourself about it or compare your choice to others. Focus on something that feels good to YOU

Relaxation techniques: Practice one or more forms of relaxation technique. These are some of my favorite ones:

  • -Deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing
  • -Vagal toning exercises
  • -Tapping (EFT)
  • -Meditation
  • -Going for a walk with my partner
  • -Sitting outside in the grass and admiring the nature
  • -Dancing
  • -Nature walks
  • -Restorative yoga

Get support: If you feel like you’ve always been an anxious person, or your overwhelmed trying to navigate how to reduce stress during this time, you can explore the option of working with a therapist. Therapists who specialize in EMDR, hypnotherapy, or somatic practices may be specifically helpful.

Journal:  Journaling is a valuable practice for your mental health, relationships, and preparing for parenthood. It helps process emotions, track patterns, and gain clarity. For couples on the parenting journey, it can reduce stress, improve communication, and create a meaningful record of experiences. The WeNatal Guided Journal guides you to a place of loving connection with your partner. It includes: 

  • -50 affirmations for pre-conception & pregnancy
  • -50 questions to prepare for parenthood
  • -Writing prompts
  • -Beautiful quotes and words of encouragement 

I highly recommend taking these points and journaling about them. See what comes out and create your own routine to strengthen your resilience to stress.

Managing stress during your TTC journey isn't about eliminating it entirely, but developing a healthier relationship with it. By implementing these strategies - awareness, limiting screen time, self-check-ins, finding joy, relaxation techniques, seeking support, and journaling - you can build resilience and create a more balanced stress response.


Remember, everyone's journey is unique. Be patient and kind to yourself. By focusing on your overall well-being, you're not only supporting your fertility but also cultivating a healthier lifestyle. Take it one day at a time, celebrate small victories, and know that managing your stress is a positive step towards your goal of parenthood.

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Dora Toma

Dora Toma is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach specialized in women’s health and fertility. For her, everything all started with her own health struggles. First with managing her PCOS diagnosis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, then she gone through a difficult pregnancy that lead to premature labor and loss. From that point she has decided to learn all she could about how to improve her health and optimize her fertility and be able to have a healthy baby. All these efforts have paid off and she was able to give birth to a healthy and beautiful girl the following year. Seeing with her own eyes the lack of support that women receive when they are trying to conceive all the way to postpartum, she became a subject matter expert for other women who are going through this season in their lives.

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