Coaching to manage emotions in the Assisted Reproduction process

Trying to conceive sometimes generates feelings that are difficult to manage. For this reason, Institut Marquès offers a fertility coaching service in Spanish, French, English and Italian for those patients who wish to receive emotional support during the assisted reproduction process

Trying to conceive sometimes generates feelings that are difficult to manage. For this reason, Institut Marquès offers a fertility coaching service in Spanish, French, English and Italian for those patients who wish to receive emotional support during the assisted reproduction process. Our collaborator, Stéphanie Toulemonde, tells us about how fertility coaching helps to experience the fertility treatment process in a positive and relaxed way.

Tell us what emotional fertility coaching is about.

Trying to conceive sometimes generates feelings that can be difficult to manage, especially if it is necessary to turn to assisted reproduction. Fertility coaching has a practical approach. It is based on tools and practical exercises for a better management of all the emotions that result from the process. It can help relaxing during the process, better communicating with the environment (couple, friends, family), taking difficult decisions and not only focusing everything on trying to conceive.

As a fertility coach, I try to accompany patients towards confidence and emotional well- being. I help them live the process in a more calm and positive way.

What is the format that the sessions follow and what specific issues are dealt with in them?

Coaching focuses on the present moment and adapts completely to the person. This way, each coaching process is different.

In the first session, we set general goals together. Afterwards, each session has its own agenda depending on the emotions that surface, without losing sight of the general objectives.

My work as a coach is based on an empathetic and active listening (through questions to encourage reflection) and many practical exercises.

Between sessions, the patient will have “homework” in order to put into practice what we have seen together. What happens between two sessions is very important. The practical dimension is essential in coaching.

What methods can be followed to live the assisted reproduction process in a positive way?

Coaching helps precisely to identify the person’s own resources and to learn how to use them to address a difficult situation. Because of this, what suits a person might not suit another, but there are three general tips that I think are basic to get started:

The first one is reconnecting with your body and taking care of it, spoiling it daily. Our emotional well-being depends a lot on our physical one. Healthy lifestyle, physical activity, relaxation, massages. Anything goes to make us feel stronger physically and emotionally!

The second one, accepting emotions and allowing oneself to experience them. It is natural to feel emotions such as fear, anger, sadness or even jealousy. It is important to identify these emotions and, overall, accept them and live with them. Denying or refusing them would only make them grow bigger.

Finally, it is important not to make the assisted reproduction process the centre of one’s life. It is vital to have projects for oneself or for the couple, to set goals beyond looking for a pregnancy.

Which are the key moments in a fertility emotional coaching process?

All moments in our life have an important emotional charge. First, we have to prepare ourselves well, both physical and emotionally, some weeks or months before beginning with the treatments. They can thus be addressed in a more serene and positive way.

Afterwards, each step of the process brings different emotions (ovarian stimulation phase, egg retrieval, embryo transfer or insemination, two-week-wait, etc). It is important to face each new phase one by one, without projecting excessively into the next one.

And, of course, if the outcome is negative, the emotional support is even more important, since apart from the sadness and disappointment, people often feel lonely and it is vital that they feel accompanied.

Is the support over once the pregnancy has been achieved?

It depends on people and on situations, but often patients want to continue with the coaching process for some weeks afterwards. Once they have achieved the pregnancy they have been wishing for so long, the joy is immense but the fear and anxiety can be present up to the first ultrasound, to the 12th week or even at a later stage.

Coaching can help experiencing these first weeks of pregnancy in a more serene way.