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Can You Just Relax and Get Pregnant?

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A blog by Andrea Braverman, PhD, Reproductive Medicine Associates at Jefferson, April 1, 2015

One of the single most annoying comments made to you if you are trying to get pregnant is “Just relax”. Often this advice is given in disguise such as:

  • Take a vacation
  • Have a glass of wine
  • Don’t think about it so much
  • Be patient
  • Don’t try so hard

Is this popular held belief actually true? Recent research has been conflicted about the role of anxiety and depression in pregnancy outcome. Some studies looking at Mind-Body programs have shown women to have higher pregnancy rates who did the course compared to those who were simply on a wait list. Other larger analyses of studies have not shown much improvement.

So where does this leave us? Common sense dictates that there is a connection between body and mind. But this begs the question – to what extent does our emotional state impact on our ability to get pregnant? The insidious problem with the “just relax” approach is in how it answers this question. This answer says that we are very much responsible for how our body responds. In fact, it is our “fault” that we are not relaxed or de-stressed or not anxious.

Ultimately research is not supporting the “just relax” theory. Nor is it supporting that we can have a better chance to get pregnant by what we think or feel. We would like to have that control, even if it make us responsible, but it seems that we cannot “just” control our bodies either positively or negatively.

We can take care of ourselves so that we are in the best shape we can be to resilient and strong for the journey. And part of taking care of ourselves is not absorbing unintentional messages of blame or fault. So don’t “just relax” but do consider ways to be kind and attentive to your self-care.


Comments (1)

Perhaps many will disagree, but if you are unemployed woman like me, then you have a lot of time to think about how you not gettting pregnant... I've tried various ways to not think about the baby, but it was all in vain. Then I found myself a video game (i know sounds funny) that has occupied my thoughts and time and I remained pregnant after only 2 months ... It is true, find yourself something that will occupy your minds... is worth to try. And of course, determine well fertile days, because mine were 5-6th day, in spite doctoral analysis... Good luck to all you my dear girls.

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