As the holidays are upon us, and everyone is rushing about, I find myself reminding my patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) that they need to take care of themselves during this busy time of year. Here are a few things you can do for yourself — or your significant other — when you are in the IVF process.
- Take time to get a massage. A massage is a natural therapy that is beneficial to reduce stress and improve circulation. Pulling Down the Moon in Chicago offers a wide range of massages, including Fertility Massage, which combines massage, breathing, aromatherapy and reflexology to increase blood flow to the pelvis, gently warm and activate the area around the reproductive organs and promote mental peace. Massage gift certificates are excellent gifts.
- Stay in one evening. Instead of heading out to a holiday party, relax at home with your significant other, order food to be delivered and watch a funny movie. Laughter is always the best medicine.
- Put together a personal IVF gift basket. There are several things that can help you be more comfortable during the IVF treatment process. A heating pad and cooling pad can help with sore muscles from fertility drug injections. A pleasantly scented candle can help soothe frayed nerves. Books and magazines help pass the time in the fertility doctor’s waiting room or help to keep your mind on other things during the two-week wait. An iTunes or another music gift card is always a nice addition, so she can download peaceful, relaxing music.
- Splurge on a beautiful flowering plant for holiday cheer. Flowers always bring a smile to your face, and plants will last longer than cut flowers.
- Take time out for yoga, meditation, acupuncture or gentle exercise.Complementary alternative treatments can help with the stress of IVF and improve overall well being.
- Sleep. Don’t stay up until all hours wrapping presents or addressing cards. Sleep is a gift you give your body. If you are not getting enough sleep, it affects your mood, your health, your hormones and your fertility.
- Eat healthy foods. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and beans, dairy — all of these contribute to a healthier you and give you the best chance at success with your IVF treatment.
- Get away. Escape to a relaxing spa resort for an overnight vacation or simply take a day trip to a place you have always wanted to go. This is a great present to give each other as a couple!
The most important thing to remember is to slow down and try to enjoy the holidays. Don’t go to the gatherings that you don’t want to go to or that make you uncomfortable, and enjoy the things that do make you happy. Your body and your mind will thank you for it!