Why your support network should resemble a basketball team!

fertility support network

Last Wednesday I was really struggling, I have an important decision to make and I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

I reached out within one of my Facebook groups and the love and support I received from the members just blew me away.

Immediately people were replying asking if I was okay, suggesting different ways to look at the situation and people I could talk to for advice.

It got me thinking about just how important my online communities are to me. Ever since starting Embrace Fertility I have found having a group of like-minded women on hand to understand and cheer me up invaluable. 

The 5 people you need

So back to my basketball analogy. There are the five types of people you need in your support network. Some of your friends may hit more than one box so it’s not to say these need to be five totally different people or groups. 

As you read through make a mental note of who you have on call for each of these.

1. The Coach

This is the person you call when you are running around like a headless chicken and need clear direction and coaching. This could be your partner, a close friend, an actual life coach or a therapist, someone who can help you to make strong decisions.

2. Your Teammates

Your partner is obviously your ultimate teammate for project baby creation. It is so helpful to know other women going through the same or similar experiences as yourself, people you can turn to for inspiration and support. Teammates are also there to help pick up the workload. When we are feeling overwhelmed often the simplest way to get help is not with the issue that is stressing you but to offload as many other activities and demands on your time. Build a whole team of people around you to ensure you feel support and seen. Some areas to consider;

At work: What can you delegate to co-workers? Do you need additional support in your role?

At home: Can you organise a cleaner, home delivery service for your groceries and/or meals, can you delegate any household tasks/accounts/organisation to your partner?

Once you are pregnant you might want/need to increase the support you have to give you more time to look after yourself so why not invest the time now researching your options and putting things in place to start now or in the future.

As a new mum having a strong support network already in place is such a blessing.

Teammates of the new mum include; her partner, other new mums who offer solidarity by sharing their similar experiences, mums with older children who can pass down their wisdom, childcare and housecare support from family or professionals.  I highly recommend investigating postnatal doulas if you don’t have family close by.)

NOTE: This is the first blog I have written that will go out to all three of my mailing lists, Embrace Fertility, Embrace Bump to Baby and More Mojo for Mums. In the past I have shied away from talking about being pregnant or being a mum and I’m obviously not going to start sharing lots of content that may upset or trigger you.

However you are reading this as your intention is to get pregnant and become a mum so I invite you to allow yourself to really see this in your immediate future.

Whilst I was going through infertility myself I ended up putting myself in the box ‘Infertile woman’ and denied myself the right to think about pregnancy until I actually got there. Part of this was a coping strategy as thinking about what I didn’t have was too painful.

But that also meant that my behaviour was not conducive to how I wanted my life to be. I promised myself that once I was pregnant I would slow down at work and look after myself more. What my body desperately needed was to step into that space of nourishing and nurturing myself in that moment rather than holding off.

Once I started treating myself with me care and attention I imagined I would once I was pregnant things began to shift.

3. The Cheerleaders

These women completely have your back. They’re there to pick you up when you’re down and remind you that you are fabulous and strong and capable. For me communities on social media offer this with vigour as once you have nurtured your network they are always on hand to give you that boost of encouragement you need.

4. The Mascot

Never underestimate the power of that friend that has the ability to cheer you up and make you feel better. Perhaps this is a friend you can call and do an activity that gets you out of your head and into a place of connection whether that’s physically or emotionally.

And last but not least ….. continue reading in comments

5. The Team Doctor

Always on hand to give immediate attention to any physical needs. I invite you to widen the scope of this character though to also offer mental health support.

With our physical health a small niggle can be enough for us to make a call to our GP but with mental health we generally leave it until we are really struggling before reaching out.

How would it feel to have someone looking after your emotional health as well as your physical health? This could mean researching and taking up an activity that enhances wellness such as mindfulness or yoga for example. Perhaps finding a therapist or taking a course that teaches a range of wellness techniques. (Check out my 10 week Embrace fertility Method online course.)

Nurture your network

How much time have you invested in nurturing your support network in the past month? By nurture I just mean giving it a little bit of time and attention, so check in with that friend, meet up with the mate you’ve not seen in ages or join a support group to connect to like-minded women.

I invite you to put a plan in place for who you would call if you needed support. Bearing in mind that when you are in crisis it is far more difficult to think logically and so actually having a plan written down with a few phone numbers/links maybe in the notes in your phone is incredibly beneficial. 

This can literally be two or three lines on who you would contact to tick whatever support you need in that moment.

Wanna be in my gang?

I run 4 support groups all of them on Facebook and all of them free to join.

Embrace Fertility, a secret group that cannot be searched for. Pop your details in at sign-up for an invite.  

The first week of my Embrace Bump to Baby online hypnobirthing course is free and includes an invitation to the supporting Facebook group. www.embracebumptobaby.co.uk.

The More Mojo for Mums chat group is a fantastic group of mums interested in experiencing less stress and more joy. Pop your details in at www.moremojoformums.co.uk to receive your ‘Reset Button’ MP3, video pack and an invite to the group.

I also run a networking group for professionals working in the fields of fertility, birth and motherhood. For more info see Networking and Collaborations. 

Get the support you need

I left it far too long before seeking help and really hit rock bottom before getting the support I desperately needed while I was going through infertility. My hope is that you find Embrace Fertility and really make use of all of the support available before getting as low as I did. For all the support available check out this blog.
If you would like dedicated support to enhance your well being then I invite you to join my 10 week Embrace fertility Method online course.

How can the Embrace Fertility Method support your journey to motherhood?

You want to do everything you can to support your body in conceiving and carrying the baby you long to hold. You want to give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving, be that naturally or from fertility treatment. Once you see those two little lines you want to be able to enjoy your pregnancy and allow yourself to feel excited rather than facing a new onslaught of anxiety.
Introducing the Embrace Fertility Method, giving you the tools to enhance your fertility. Empowering you to feel calm and confident while trying to conceive and during pregnancy following infertility.

The Embrace Fertility Method

  • Overcome anxiety and negative thinking to find peace of mind.
  • Recapture the excitement of when you first decided to try for a baby.
  • Learn how to love and trust your body.
  • Access your inner strength and build your resilience.
  • Connect with others and forge new friendships with people in a similar situation to yourself.
  • Prepare for your next step be that a lifestyle change, a treatment option or pregnancy itself.
  • Build a toolkit to help you throughout your journey, to combat jealousy, anger, worry and fear.
  • Strengthen your relationship with your partner
  • Develop patience, trust in yourself and your ability to handle anything in your life.
  • Embrace your journey to parenthood.
“I joined the course because I felt that I had already spent a lot of time and energy on preparing my body e.g. acupuncture, diet etc. and hadn’t really thought about my mind and how I could support myself through this. There is counselling at my clinic but at that time I didn’t feel at crisis I just wanted to have some techniques and to build a habit of nurturing and being kind to myself, so Embrace fitted that perfectly. I also do much better with courses where I am in contact with people rather than books etc. so the online community element was a big draw for me too.”
– Maeve, Embrace member

Over to you

How much time have you invested in nurturing your support network in the past month? Leave a comment below or come and join the conversation within our fertility support community.

First time visiting Embrace Fertility?

I have created a FREE Fertility Support Pack to get you started with the mindbody techniques I share. It includes an hour-long introduction to mindfulness, a 5 minute meditation and an e-book that includes 10 easy ways to bring mindfulness into your day. For your free pack sign-up.

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