Fertility and Stress

Last spring, around the time of our health insurance’s open enrollment period at work, I took a health survey and received a $25 gift card.  Since taking the survey, I’ve been receiving periodic updates from WebMD in my inbox at work.  I guess something about my answers revealed that I felt stress in the workplace.  The subject heading from one of the recent emails was, “Stress May Affect Chances of Getting Pregnant.”

I already knew this to be true, but reading the article makes me want to find some remedy for my current situation.  However, my job doesn’t seem to be getting any less stressful.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, my direct supervisor announced that she had resigned and would be leaving at the end of October.  Agh!  A new boss!  Change!  Transition!  More stress!

To give you a sense of how overworked people in my office are, they couldn’t replace her with just one person; they split her job into two separate job descriptions.  (Maybe if they would have done this earlier and taken some of the work off her plate in the first place, she wouldn’t have burnt out so quickly.)

Fortunately, they have already hired one of the positions, so my new boss will start tomorrow.  She will overlap three weeks with my old boss, so hopefully this will help make the transition more smooth and require less assistance from me.  I know, this sounds awfully selfish, but I’m struggling to keep my head above water with my day-to-day responsibilities, I can’t fit in training my boss as well.

The article says, “The findings support the idea that taking steps to reduce stress at work or at home may help fertile women achieve a desired pregnancy.”  So, I’m trying to think of ways to de-stress, to bring relaxation and calm into my regular routine.  It’s funny how going to the gym, which tops most expert’s lists of ways to de-stress, is one of the first things  cut when my schedule gets busy.  Some days I’d rather just skip the gym and stay at the office until 7:30 pm or so to make the next day a little more bearable.

Other ideas:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Bubblebaths
  • Relaxing reading/writing time before bed
  • Get plenty of sleep every night
  • Staying organized/ planning ahead

Fortunately, we have some vacation time planned in the upcoming months.  It’s nice to have something to look forward to each month.  Plus, vacations–even when centered around family–are usually pretty relaxing.

I need to find a better balance now.  If I’m busy and stressed pre-conception, how will I handle my work load with the exhaustion of pregnancy?  How stressed will I be when I add sleep deprivation and caring for an infant to the mix?  I can only imagine.

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