Struggling with Your Fertility? Here’s What You Need to Know About Fertility Doulas
There’s a lot of unexpected obstacles right now for everyone and especially for those who are trying to conceive. Infertility is very common – and while it’s not talked about very much, it can take an emotional and physical toll, both on the woman and her support person. Take a deep breath and know that there is support for you – no matter what part of the journey you’re on.
Read below for a Q&A with Fertility Doula, Carrissa Smith (@herbandoula), to learn about the role of a fertility doula and how they can support you throughout your individual journey.
1. What is a fertility doula?
Carrissa Smith: A fertility doula is a professional who is trained in providing information, education, and support to those trying to achieve, or even avoid, conception. Many fertility doulas are also trained in providing holistic resources/services to their clients for their wellness and to supplement any medical care they may be receiving. The services I offer look like healthy diet and fitness routines, attending doctor visits with clients to offer emotional support, holistic alternative therapy sessions that complement a client’s medical care/treatment plans, and providing a safe, non-judgemental space for clients.
2. Is there still a large stigma around infertility? How does it affect your clients?
CS: There absolutely is a stigma around infertility. I find that, although each client’s journey is as unique as they are, many of them will have similar experiences when it comes to infertility. The stigma around infertility can cause someone to not seek treatment or search for options available to them. They can feel shame being labeled as “infertile” and the need to hide their diagnosis from others. There are also reactions/opinions/judgments from others or the perception of negative reactions. Often, these stigmas cause strain on relationships and add stress and heartache to the individual(s) experiencing infertility. As with many other stigmatized conditions, most people are simply uneducated about infertility and what that actually means for people dealing and coping with it.
3. What’s the best way to find a fertility doula and how early should someone look for one?
CS: Most of my clients find me through word-of-mouth referrals or an internet search. I provide virtual services for those who don’t live in my area. In my opinion, the earlier you find a fertility doula, the better. In some cases, learning how to release stress and finding ways to naturally support your body can be all it takes to conceive. Working with a fertility doula gives you options and resources you may not have considered or known of before.
4. What are some ways moms can reduce their infertility stress and anxiety?
CS: The best thing someone can do to reduce their infertility stress and anxiety is to be proactive! Make a healthy diet and fitness changes. Develop a routine of self-care. Get a Reiki session. Do yoga. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep. These suggestions may seem like simple no-brainers, but our modern, fast-paced society just does not foster an environment of low-stress and low-anxiety. We have to find the time for these things.
5. What’s your biggest tip for a mom struggling with her infertility?
CS: Talk to a fertility doula or a holistic health practitioner. Be conscious of your conception.Communicate with your body. Really. Our bodies listen to us. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn about yourself. Finding a professional support person, like a Fertility Doula, is not only helpful for navigating what to expect through your journey to becoming a parent, but it can also normalize that trying to have a baby is not super easy for every couple. With the help of professionals and trackers, like Mira Care, you can feel supported, confident and prepared with information and resources throughout your journey.
Finding a professional support person, like a Fertility Doula, is not only helpful for navigating what to expect through your journey to becoming a parent, but it can also normalize that trying to have a baby is not super easy for every couple. With the help of professionals and trackers, like Mira Care, you can feel supported, confident and prepared with information and resources throughout your journey.