The 2WW is an anxious time in anybody’s cycle, let alone those of us who are waiting, hoping and praying that a little embryo or two have stuck. Still, until we know otherwise, we’re PUPO – which is ‘pregnant until proven otherwise’. Here’s some advice from Nadia Semples, the acupuncturist I visited in Woking, Surrey on embryo transfer day.
Congratulations on being PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise!!!!
I understand too well how tough it is, but here’s a few tips to help get you through:
Savour the moment!
You might have been through this plenty of times, or this might be the furthest stage you have ever reached. Try to limit your thoughts and do not run ahead too much. Take each day as it comes and perhaps even enjoy the PUPO stage. You might surprise yourself.
Find the right balance between rest and gentle activity
No need to retire to bed for the 2WW, but it is good to “cocoon” a bit and take it easy, especially during the first few days after the transfer. Put your feet up (literally) and relax more than you would do normally, catch up on a (happy) series or two you’ve been meaning to watch for ages and go out for walks in nature (lifts the mood). The latest thinking is actually that there is no benefit (or even a slight negative effect) of staying completely immobile, as some gentle extra blood flow through gentle movement is seen as beneficial.
Try to avoid stress as much as possible
Easier said than done, right? That well-meant “advice” alone used to be enough to make me stressed 😊.
It’s sometimes enough though to flip a switch in your head and commit to not let “things get to you” quite as much. Work wise, it’s usually not necessary to take the whole two weeks off, but it is advisable to stay at home a little while, if at all possible.
For those in really stressful (or physically demanding) jobs, it might be worth talking to your Manager to find a temporary solution. Perhaps you could work from home, or be temporarily allocated a different workload? Use all the tools for stress relief that have worked for you before, or try some new ones: walking in nature, gentle yoga from the second week, deep breathing (4-7-8 technique), mindfulness (Calm App, Mindfull IVF App), meditation (Insight Timer App), visualisation (positive imaging of what’s happening in the womb, seeds implanting with deep roots, strong trees growing, etc)…
Keep eating (vegetable source) protein with every meal. Protein gives you the required building blocks in the early stages of pregnancy, when you need to make a lot of extra red blood cells. Aim for not just five, but up to ten small portions of vegetables and fruit each day, as anti-oxidants aid all the chemical processes necessary for implantation. Eat the rainbow: include a variety of different colours!
Have a slice of pineapple (incl. the core) and a few brazil nuts (if not allergic, of course) every day during the 2WW. They have been shown to help with implantation (even if only in small studies – they don’t cause any harm) . It is still important not to raise your blood sugar levels too quickly, so have fruit with a meal.
Signs and symptoms
Try not too focus too much on every twinge. Some mild cramping might actually be a good sign. Spotting and bleeding can happen in the 2WW – and beyond. And brown discharge too. If worried at all, or if you are in a lot of pain, contact your fertility clinic.
Avoid now, during the first trimester or some for the whole pregnancy
Strenuous and/or high impact exercise; heavy lifting; intercourse; overheating in saunas, hot tubs or hot baths; caffeine; alcohol, smoking and drugs; (long haul) flights…
And remember, don’t be tempted to test too early. “Wait and see” is tough, but the better you learn to deal with it, the better you will be equipped for the rest of the pregnancy and parenthood. Acupuncture is great and perfectly safe in pregnancy, so contact me once you’ve done your test if you feel you need a bit of help.