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Want to Get Pregnant? Don't Stress About It

New research confirms what conventional wisdom has long suspected: that a relaxed, happy woman is a more fertile one.

Women have been telling each other for generations to keep their stress levels low when they’re trying to conceive. “Don’t upset her!” my grandmother would say when I was pregnant. Intuitively, there’s something fragile about that in-between state around conception, something that seems to call for hushed voices, dim lights and calm.

There’s a scientific basis for that intuition. Scientists have now shown that women with high levels of the stress hormone adrenaline had a harder time getting pregnant than the more chill ladies in the study.

The research, part of a larger study on factors that affect fertility, included 274 women planning to become pregnant. The women’s saliva was tested for two stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is linked to short-term stress, cortisol to long-term stress.

The study found that excess adrenaline in the saliva lowered a woman’s chance of conception by about 12%. No effect was shown for high levels of cortisol.

While the findings are preliminary, some of the doctors involved in the research think it may be worthwhile to include relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation in your pre-pregnancy planning.

They’ve got a point. Even if saying “Om” every morning doesn’t help you get knocked up, having a good relaxation practice in place will definitely help you handle the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy and parenting.

What do you think? Did you meditate while trying to conceive?

Photo: lululemon

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