Good Housekeeping South Africa

HOW TO GET pregnant

CYAN TURAN spoke to doctors, therapists and dietitians to sort the facts from the fiction. If you’re trying, or want to start, here’s what the experts say...

DE-STRESS

SAYS DR RANGAN CHATTERJEE, GP AND AUTHOR OF THE STRESS SOLUTION (PENGUIN LIFE)

‘As a society, we don’t take stress seriously, but it has huge physical effects on our bodies and hormone levels. As a GP, I have seen stress lie behind so many cases of infertility. The stress response involves several hormones – such as cortisol and adrenaline – and if they’re constantly elevated, the body won’t feel safe, or ready to support a pregnancy.

We’re exposed to what I call micro-stress doses every day. In isolation they’re manageable, but as they accumulate we get increasingly closer to our personal stress thresholds. In a typical day, you might wake after a late night to a 6.30am alarm, jolting you out of a deep sleep – the first micro-stress dose of the day. Then, you might pick up your phone and see work e-mails (number two) and a nasty social-media post (number three).... Many of us experience 15 micro-stresses before we’ve left the house, meaning it takes less stresses in the day to tip us over our stress threshold. Getting to know your individual threshold starts with becoming aware of how your body feels physically. You’ll also know you’ve reached yours when little things – a simple e-mail from a colleague or something your partner says – start to bother you. Stress can’t be detected by a blood test, so I’ll read between the lines

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