If you’re looking for IVF success tips, you’ve come to the right place. Not only are we launching an entire course on this topic (coming soon!), but Seed founder Danica Thornberry, L.Ac. has years of experience working with women and doctors regularly to ensure a patient’s IVF success rate is as high as it can be.
Every little thing that you do can add a few more percentage points to your chance of success. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help make your IVF cycle a successful one:
1. Schedule an acupuncture treatment for the morning of your embryo transfer: Not only does acupuncture help reduce stress and manage anxiety, one study showed that adding acupuncture to your IVF cycle can almost double your chances of conception.
2. Wear warm socks: Come prepared to your transfer wearing warm socks. This will help your body stay insulated and relaxed before, during and after your transfer.
3. Come prepared with a meditation (and headphones!) to listen to before and during your transfer: Staying calm can be challenging on this very important day, so come prepared with a meditation that was created specifically for your IVF cycle – it will make a tremendous difference in your state of mind. (Looking for a meditation? There’s one inside The Seed Program, along with an entire module dedicated to your IVF cycle. Click here for more info).
4. Know that you’ve already done your best: Take a mental inventory. Is there anything you think you should’ve done that you didn’t? The intention here is to guide you to feel complete about your efforts to prepare for this cycle. You can relax when you know you’ve done your best. Breathe into that feeling, and surrender to the present moment.
5. Realize that this is everyday business inside your transfer site: When you arrive at your transfer site, remind yourself — this is the place that creates life every day. Bring your anxiety down a notch by looking at the situation realistically – it’s business as usual for the doctors and staff. Use this thinking and the background noise to guide yourself into a place of fertile confidence. Women get pregnant in this place literally daily. Why can’t one of them be you? Take the emotional charge out a little bit if you can, putting previous losses and cycles behind you – focus on what’s happening right now, today, in this cycle.
As I wrapped up the week of counseling my infertility patients, I reflected on what might be helpful for women who simply want to get to next week and have Mother’s Day over and done with. The days leading to Mother’s Day probably feel somewhat like gearing up to attend a massive baby shower, where it’s going to seem like everyone is noticing that you still don’t have your little one.
Mother’s Day elicits big emotions and makes women who are trying to become mothers feel small and forgotten, as they wonder, “Will it EVER happen for me?”
I decided that perhaps the best way I could help my community feel lighter about this weekend was to remind them that Mother’s Day is just that: it’s a day about mothers. We may not all be mothers (yet), but we all came from one. Somewhere there is a woman who allowed her life to be changed so that you could come into the world.
Whatever happened since that day may even hold the answer to why you’re having trouble conceiving or staying pregnant now…
My mom was someone who demonstrated an equal amount of nurturing and complete dysfunction. She was just as much a role model for me to look up to, as she was the perfect example to teach me what NOT to do to if I ever had kids of my own.
It took many years of therapy to help me transcend the grief that occurred from feeling a responsibility to mother my own mother. But if I’m honest, I also have to credit her with giving me the skill of keeping the faith and tirelessly believing in miracles — both of which help me fulfill my life’s calling, teaching infertile women how to find faith in their darkest days.
Mother’s Day doesn’t have to feel like a nationwide conspiracy to make you feel inadequate. Rather, it can be a day that you reframe, in order to help your fertility, as you acknowledge the mother you have (or had if she’s passed on), and whatever lessons you learned from that relationship that you can share with a child in the future.
What do you admire about your mother and how does that shine out from you? Or what pathology was set up in your mother-daughter dynamic that challenges you now to grow and strive to be your best?
Don’t spend much time today inwardly feeling sorry for yourself. Instead turn your attention to the woman who raised you and see if there’s something (a lesson learned, an important trait, etc) to express gratitude for, as it may be an important component of your preparation for motherhood.
Like so many couples, Laura and her husband started trying to conceive after they had been married for several years, waiting until they had a nice home and time together as a married couple before introducing a baby into the picture.
Laura was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve and a fibroid at age 43, and in an effort to heal, she found her way to my acupuncture office to begin treatments to improve her fertility.
Early on, she revealed that her upbringing involved several episodes of verbal and physical abuse as a child. The anger and resentment she felt as a result of those memories kept her inflamed, and she confided that criticisms during those younger years squashed her confidence in herself and her ability to be a parent.
We worked together to establish the appropriate tools to heal her heartache, and the dietary recommendations necessary to prepare and heal her body before and after the surgery to remove her fibroid.
Following surgery, Laura had to wait six months before she could have her frozen embryos, made from donor eggs, transferred into her healed womb.
The decision to use donor eggs was not an easy one, given how adamant she had been that she did not want to take that route. But through our work together, she said that she came to understand what I meant when I said at a live Seed workshop that “our children come to us in many different ways,” and found the courage to move forward with a donor egg in order to fulfill her dream of motherhood.
Rather than worrying and complaining about the time she was forced to wait, Laura reframed the downtime into an “opportunity” for healing. She used the time to process her grief about needing donor eggs, and came to a place of peace about her childhood.
She allowed The Seed Program to publish her story in a video that lives within the course, in a module titled Spirit of a Mother. In her interview, she emits such vulnerability and strength that it still brings me to tears each time I watch it!
Laura’s effort to have a baby spanned nearly 3 years. However, her willingness to share publicly that she used donor eggs and release the shame surrounding her infertility is what impressed me the most about this particular woman.
Her story reveals that not only was she ready to nurture a child and become a mother, she generously shared her emotional journey to nurture and help other women believe in themselves again after infertility and trauma had shattered them.
If you’re struggling to become a mother, allow her story to be the inspiration you need now to go inward and allow your “higher self” to emerge, as a whole person who’s ready to be present to the needs of someone else.
You can resolve to love and mother yourself before becoming a mom, and know that it’s a valuable step along the path to baby.
Watch Seed founder Danica Thornberry’s interview with Kirsten Barfoot from the Healing for Pregnancy Summit, as they discuss the various ways in which your thoughts and beliefs impact your fertility, and what you can do to optimize your body and spirit for motherhood:
Danica has been helping “infertile” women conceive and become mothers for over 15 years. She created The Seed Fertility Program to make the dietary, lifestyle, and mind-body wisdom she’s accumulated from working with thousands of women and couples accessible online.
All too often we withhold our stories of what has happened in our lives — out of shame or fear that we will be misunderstood or judged.
This is especially true in the infertile community. This growing population of women and couples grieve in solitude, and keep their struggle to conceive a very private matter. They suppress much of the frustration, sadness, and repeated disappointment that’s happening in this part of their lives.
That’s why in Stick It To Me, Baby!, I share the stories of 33 women who managed to transform their infertile diagnoses into opportunities for healing.
As I sat in front of these women and watched them transform their emotional pain into tiny miracles, I thought, “Wow, if only other women struggling with infertility were able to know these stories! They would know that it IS possible to heal from the emotional pain of repeated disappointment and loss.”
Their personal transformations ultimately resulted in motherhood, and over the years, I’ve shared these stories with other patients to help push them through similar rough spots.
If you’re struggling with infertility and are in need of inspiration to keep going, I invite you to click here and find stories of women who came into my office determined to have a baby after sometimes YEARS of trying.
This book made me feel heard and understood, and validated my whole range of emotions as I struggled to conceive. Each chapter contains a meaningful story with a new pearl of wisdom and a new seed of hope, and I found myself returning to different women’s tales depending on my mood or outlook on a given day.
I appreciated the combination of spirituality and science in this book, and felt that it placated both my need to understand the process logically, as well believe in a higher power. I recommend this book to any woman struggling yet longing to believe in a light at the end of the tunnel.