Crazy Train or Baby Train? How Stress Affects Fertility


Stress is not our friend when it comes to good health, and that includes fertility.  As a mind + body coach helping women birth their dreams, I see all too often how smart, successful women are “killing themselves” pushing so hard trying for a baby and it breaks my heart. Let me tell you what I have learned: Mother Nature doesn’t like bullies and doesn’t offer short cuts. But she loves it when we are true to ourselves, and will freely give you all her secrets if you slow down enough to tune in.

If we are on crazy train we are going to miss baby train if we don’t soften our hard parts, dial down the crazy and get with the program.

Stress puts us in “fight or flight” mode which activates the fertility killing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, pulling all the blood to our limbs away from our womb and reproductive organs. The body says, “we are not about to make a baby while we are running from a bear!”

What we are facing is a present day dilemma that all of us must at some point have a “come to Jesus” with; and that is if we are trying to make babies we are going to need to stop running from (or in some cases chasing) that proverbial bear. Something’s got to give.

The great news about this is slowing down is not a luxury it is a necessity. No more guilt, ladies! By making a few simple choices in our daily lives, we can keep our heads from exploding and step off of crazy train and back onto peace train (or what I love to call baby train.) Here are a few tips to get you started.

1) Decide to get off crazy train. You do have a choice. This awareness may not be easy at first because you are literally “in the thick of it.” But the moment you become aware “holy cow I am crazy right now” you just got off the train and are back in control.

2) The next step would be to breathe. Breath deeply, down into the pelvic floor, like they teach in yoga. Let that breath in. This is you literally pausing and getting on baby train with your choice to let life inside of you. What happens is you decommission the stress response (fight or flight) in the body and activate the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) where the body can self-heal.

3) Say Yes to Life, and start looking for ways you can create a more fertile environment for yourself. This could mean working on “not doing guilt”, or saying no to too many things on your plate, or getting up a few minutes early to do a “gratitude practice” where you sit quietly to sip your tea and watch the sunrise, thinking about your day ahead with positive expectations.

We are only in stress when we have forgotten our compass pointing to our true north. What is your compass? What is your true north? Is it finding God? Being in Integrity? Living your true values? Prayer? Meditation? Yoga? Nature? Clean living? Practice daily. As you connect with what it means for you to live a full and fertile life, watch the sacred seeds you planted grow and blossom into fruit.

Elisabeth Manning is an author, advocate and coach on birthing ourselves, first to conceive what wants to be born whether a baby, business or best life. Her work, Fertile Living and Conscious Conception, bridges science with spirit and the art of a fertile life to seed our potential. Her mantra: “Fertility reaches far beyond the quality of our eggs and into the quality of our life, preparing parents to feel confident, ready for, and worthy of tomorrow’s child.”