Why does it seem like everyone is always telling you to relax at the exact moment you feel on the brink of a complete breakdown? It’s annoying to say the least. But if you have been trying to get pregnant for a bit, then you know one of the most beloved tips is to cut back on stress. It seems you can’t escape meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and all those other inhale-in-exhale-out methods, but does relaxing really help you get pregnant?
"While I cannot quote a specific study, I can tell you anecdotally that I have many patients who conceive while going on vacation," Dr. Yvonne Bohn, an OB-GYN at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells Romper in an email interview. "The problem is when people really want a baby, the act of trying becomes stressful and I think impedes fertilization."
The idea of baby-making trips or "procreation vacations" isn’t new. According to a Baby Center study of more than 1,000 people, 40 percent of those who took "conception moons" conceived while on vacation. Scientists haven’t yet figured out why reducing stress increases pregnancy odds, but they do know that the proof is in the baby bump.
"We know that in times of stress, our cortisol levels are elevated," Bohn says. "Naturally, the body will try not to allow fertilization if the body is in a state of stress. I definitely think that anything a woman can do to reduce stress in her life — massage, acupuncture, and exercise — will help to improve her chances of pregnancy."
So in addition to ohm-ing and ahh-ing, what else is on the R&R agenda for a woman who wants a bundle of joy to hold?
Low-impact exercise (like swimming), journaling, and chatting with friends can all help you de-stress, according to The Bump. Sex is also a gem for helping you chill out, but that seems like a no-brainer in the whole we-want-to-make-a-baby equation.
Of course, if you’re like me and sometimes need to get a little angry before you go Zen, then check out "rage rooms," where you can break plates and smash champagne bottles when you need to vent.
Because, you know, there’s not a one-size-fits-all chill pill for making a baby.