The holiday season is upon us, which means you’re likely to be invited to parties, dinners, and other events full of family and friends. While many people consider the holidays to be the best time of the year, for those struggling with infertility, it can be immensely stressful. Whether it’s weighing the impact a second glass of wine will have on your fertility, or responding to questions from prying relatives, the holidays can seem like a minefield when you’re #TTC.
To help, the fertility experts of UNC Fertility are here with some tips on how to handle everything from your diet to your well-meaning relatives this holiday season.
Try to Keep Your Diet Balanced – with an Occasional Splurge
You don’t have to completely forgo those holiday treats, but try to maintain a balanced diet as much as possible during the holidays. Choose lean cuts of meat, like turkey breast, and plenty of vegetables and healthy fats. Try to avoid high-gylcemic foods like bread and white potatoes. This is especially true if you struggle with PCOS, as these foods can wreak havoc on your insulin levels. Want to finish up your meal with a slice of pie? No problem – just make sure to keep it to one!
Stay Mindful of Serving Sizes
During the holidays, buffets and family-style meals can lead you to overload on some of the not-so-healthy options. Try to fill up at least half your plate with leafy greens and other veggies, with the rest of the space for protein and carbs. If you find you still might be tempted to overindulge, try swapping out big meals for several smaller ones, or having a hearty and healthy snack before the big meal to help you keep your portion sizes in check.
Minimize Alcohol Intake
We know it’s hard to abstain from alcohol during the holidays, but when you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to minimize alcohol intake. The negative impact of alcohol doesn’t just start once you’re pregnant – it can also negatively impact your ability to get pregnant. Try to limit yourself to a glass of wine with dinner, avoid mixed drinks (they often have more than one serving of alcohol and tons of sugar!), and make sure to drink plenty of water.
Develop Some Healthy Habits
With the New Year right around the corner, there’s no harm in getting to work on some of your resolutions early! The holidays are a great time to take up exercise – especially to offset the extra calories. Exercises like jogging are also easy to implement even if you’re out of town! The days off of work can also help you reset your sleep schedule to make sure you continue getting high quality sleep throughout your infertility journey.
Go in With a Plan
The last thing you want to hear when you’re struggling with infertility is countless well-meaning relatives asking when you’re going to start a family. This is especially difficult as it often catches you completely off guard. To help with this, it’s important to go in with a plan. Have a script prepared of what to say to those who are trying to pry, or enlist a family member or friend who can help steer the conversation in another direction when it starts to veer into uncomfortable territory.
Most importantly, it’s important to be kind to yourself this holiday season and make sure to practice self-care. Allow yourself to feel however you’re feeling – don’t feel the need to put on a brave face for everyone else. Make sure to take some time to do the things that help recharge you, like meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or cuddling up on the couch with your partner.
Not feeling up for the festivities this year? That’s OK too. Feel free to do an adult-only friendsgiving or go on a vacation with your partner to get away. Your loved ones will understand that taking care of your mental and emotional health is more important than showing up for thanksgiving dinner.
Want some more tips on handling the holidays when you’re trying to conceive? Contact the team at UNC Fertility’s Raleigh fertility clinic at 919-908-0000.