Preparing to conceive – how the mind can hinder and help you get pregnant.
By Maggie Howell
With all the pressures, hopes and expectations of women today, it is now a common scenario that for many years, a women will do everything and anything to stop her body from getting pregnant. She zooms through her prime child bearing years with thoughts of career, travel, romance, money, mortgages…… Her only thoughts about her own fertility are towards remembering to take the pill and hoping to keep her periods so regular that she can plan her social life more effectively.
Then without being consciously aware, her body clock begins ticking louder and louder until strong new feelings seep through every pore, a new longing, a new desire to hold her own baby. She may be in the right relationship, she may not, but the feelings are still there. Gone is the desire for a full throttle lifestyle and in its place is such an inner longing, a desperate yearning to fulfil her true role, to become a mother.
And yet for many that conscious choice to become pregnant does not always translate into reality. Consciously she decides that now would be a good time to become pregnant but for many reasons her body does not listen and month after month go by without the outcome she craves. What many people do not realise is that our body does not work in a purely mechanical way – our mind and body are not 2 separate entities.
In fact our emotions, memories and thoughts are all stored within our body and are interconnected with every physical function. As a result something which may appear as “mechanical”, such as conceiving a child is actually heavily influenced by a woman’s thoughts, emotions and fears. Of course physical issues are important such as diet, weight, stress and toxin intake, however emotions and fears are equally important and yet hardly ever talked about or addressed.
I am sure you have heard of examples where a couple have tried to conceive for many years and then finally give up and decide to adopt, or to go on holiday and then hey presto they get pregnant. What was different? Did her body suddenly change, did his sperm suddenly get more powerful? Usually it is when the mental thoughts and fears are put aside and she is no longer holding herself back or “trying” to get pregnant.
Simply the language we use has an impact on our physical responses – if you think of the word “trying” what does that actually mean – it implies putting in a lot of effort but with out much success – it implies that you do not have to succeed as long as you have “tried your best” then that will be OK. Well no it is not just OK. Take the word “trying” out and suddenly things become lighter, feel more positive, more empowering, more successful – so instead of trying to get pregnant how about “preparing to get pregnant” or “getting ready to conceive”. This message will be received far more positively by the body than just “trying”.
So what else is going on when a woman’s body is not responding. As I mentioned at the beginning a woman can often go for 10, 15 even 20 years telling her body “NOT” to get pregnant. Then suddenly things change and she wants to get pregnant but has not actually passed that message onto her body. Simply spend time meditating and turning inwards, actively giving your body permission to conceive, telling your inner self that it is OK to get pregnant, that now everything that is important is in place and it is OK to welcome a baby into your body.
Again, even though you may consciously feel now is a good time to get pregnant, there may be a whole host of subconscious reasons which are holding you back. There may be issues and fears which you have not really faced up to or even ones that you may not be aware of.
- Issues and concerns related to your own childhood, your parents, your perception of their love
- Your feelings about your own ability as a mother
- Concerns over how becoming a mother will change you, your lifestyle, your relationships, your sense of self, your place in the world.
- Feelings about your body, your sexuality,
- Your ability to cope with pregnancy and childbirth
- Material issues such as coping financially, the size of your house, car, mortgage.
All of these can act as blocks to giving yourself true permission to becoming pregnant.
Ways to improve your chances of conceiving
Taking time out to really understand and evaluate your feelings is the first step towards preparing yourself to conceive.
- Write down a list of anything at all, no matter how trivial, that you are worried about or that might be a mental or emotional blocker. Once you are aware of them – and you may be surprised at what comes out
- spend time meditating and relaxing and then thinking about each one in turn acknowledging that it has played an important role
- Imagine letting it go – tie to a balloon and watch it float away, drop it down a well, put it on a white fluffy cloud – as crazy as that may sound, after you have consciously “let it go” you will feel different
- If you have rouble letting go, ask yourself how keeping that thought is helpful or beneficial to you. Then focus on dealing with the answer to that question. It is quite possible that this is your way of protecting yourself from dealing with it by preventing you from getting pregnant. If this is really challenging it may be useful to sek the help of a therapist.
So how can hypnosis help with conceiving?
Firstly it is important to expel some of the myths surrounding hypnosis. Essentially it is time when your thought patterns shift from the conscious, analytical, here and now way of thinking to a pattern of more relaxed, day dream like wandering of thoughts. This actually happens naturally many times a day – such as when we are driving, reading, focusing, day dreaming etc.
Therefore hypnosis is a state of mind that is totally natural and familiar to everyone. During this time you become more receptive to positive suggestions and thought patterns as your thoughts are less constrained by your analytical, critical way of thinking (your conscious mind). Technically it is a time when we have a greater degree of control over our thoughts and an increased ability to access the part of our mind which stores all out thoughts, intuition, memories, patterns, physical functions etc (known collectively as the subconscious) – the reason that good ideas can come to you spontaneously when you are relaxing in the bath, driving, going to sleep!
Normally we dip in and out of this state many times a day, however, with guidance and practice you can actively take yourself into this state as a means to achieving desirable changes both emotionally and physically. Without the usual constraints and limitations of your conscious mind these changes can take place more easily and more quickly than other approaches.
Benefits of Hypnosis for conception
During a hypnosis session you are also benefiting from deep relaxation and increased physical well being as you are breathing effectively, resting your body and allowing all your organs to work more efficiently. Whilst in this relaxed state you become far more receptive to positive suggestions related to health, well being, increased awareness of your bodies cycles and the ability to change old thought patterns.
When you apply these factors you can begin to see how hypnosis can be beneficial in aiding conception.
- it promotes relaxation which in turn reduces stress ( a common factor in the suppression of conception). This can be particularly beneficial concerning love making so that your body is in a better “state” to accept a fertilised embryo. It can also help to get you off the “emotional rollercoaster” each month
- it allows you to explore any issues which may be emotionally “holding you back” from conceiving and takes you through an exercise to actively “let go” of those issues no matter how big small or insignificant they may seem.
- it enables you to give your body the right messages at a physical as well as emotional level (re for years telling yourself NOT to get pregnant – you can now give yourself permission to go ahead!)
- through the powerful use of visualisation it helps to condition your body to be more receptive to conception
- through positive suggestions it encourages you to lead a more healthy lifestyle which again has shown to have a positive effect on conception.
For many it is sufficient to listen to a hypnosis CD such as the Natal Hypnotherapy “prepare to conceive CD” which takes you through all the above steps in a calm, relaxed and enjoyable way. Good luck!
© Natal Hypnotherapy March 2007