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Self-care tips when trying for a baby

Self-care tips when trying for a baby

Trying for a baby should be blissful and magical. The reality, however, doesn’t always look like that. Family planning can be exhausting. And seeing yet another negative pregnancy test can leave you deflated, grieved, and increasingly frustrated.
Stress and anxiety may affect fertility, so looking after your mental health is just as important as having regular unprotected sex and packing your diet with conception-fuelling nutrients when you’re trying for a baby. With that in mind, here are our top self-care tips.

Make time for relaxation

Making time to unwind can feel like another chore on your to-do list. Perhaps, ironically, it’s something that stresses you out. But relaxation is fundamental to a happy, healthy reproductive journey.
Simple acts of self-care – yoga, meditating, walking in nature, listening to your favourite podcast, enjoying a long hot Epsom salt bath, reading, or diffusing your favourite soothing essential oils – can help downregulate your nervous system, which is vital for the baby-making process. Try to relax every day, even if you can only grab five minutes. 

Move your body

Exercise is one of the best tools we have to manage stress. Physical activity reduces stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, and increases feel-good endorphins, chemicals responsible for happiness and general wellbeing (1).
Regular movement can be an incredible way to calm your mind while trying to conceive. If you can get to the gym or an exercise class, great. But don’t forget home workouts and walks in nature count, too! Even a quick sweat session between Zoom meetings can help.

Check in with your partner

If you’re on this journey with a partner, remember to check in with them regularly. Make an effort to be as candid, vulnerable, and honest with each other. If you’re struggling, chances are, they're finding it hard, too. A united front will make navigating the ups and downs easier.

Speak to loved ones

Of course, support extends beyond your partner. Offloading to a sympathetic family member, friend, or colleague can help enormously. And if you don’t want to share, that’s okay, too. Just avoid isolating yourself from social events and activities as this may exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

Do more of what you enjoy

It can be easy to get bogged down in all-things fertility and babies and conception. And if you’re struggling to conceive, your first instinct may be to wallow. While ‘feeling your feelings’ is perfectly valid, it’s also important to approach life with lightness and positivity. So, aside from family planning, do more of what makes you happy: read, garden, watch comedy, practise yoga, cook, or travel.

Get enough sleep

Sleep provides valuable emotional first-aid: with it, you feel resilient and balanced; without it, you feel emotionally reactive and frazzled. Indeed, research suggests poor sleep is associated with worsening mental health outcomes (1). Aiming for seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night is one of the best ways to look after yourself at this time.
Limiting your caffeine intake to before midday, following a relaxing wind-down routine in the evening, and unplugging from screens before bed can help you prepare for rest. Supplemental magnesium, tart cherry juice, and Valerian Root may also help support sleep quality.

Think about your nutrition 

Nutrition is an important pillar of any reproductive journey. Eating a balanced, colourful and diverse diet will maximise your chances of conception, help prepare your body for pregnancy, and support your overall wellbeing. You can read more about supporting your fertility with food here.
Aside from following the basic nutritional principles – increasing fruits and veggies, including more healthy fats, and reducing alcohol – you may also wish to take a comprehensive prenatal multivitamin. Look for a formula with a good level of vitamin B6 for hormonal regulation, as well as iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E, all of which play a role in fertility and reproduction.
Trying for a baby can be stressful and exhausting. Taking a multivitamin will ensure all of your nutritional bases are covered, so there’s one less thing to worry about as you journey towards motherhood.

Find out more

If you found this article useful, you can find similar guidance on our health blog. Alternatively, please get in touch with our team of expert Nutrition Advisors, who are on hand to provide free, confidential advice.

  1. Smith PJ, Merwin RM. (2021) "The Role of Exercise in Management of Mental Health Disorders: An Integrative Review." Annu Rev Med. 72:45-62.

  2. Scott AJ, Webb TL, Martyn-St James M, Rowse G, Weich S. (2021) "Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials." Sleep Med Rev. 60:101556.


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Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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