How to play the anxious waiting game

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, fear, apprehension and unease. Symptoms might include having repetitive negative thoughts such as “What if we don’t get pregnant this month”, insomnia as a result of too many thoughts swirling around in your head and nausea, which is difficult to deal with as it can be mistaken as an early pregnancy symptom. 

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Juliana Kassianos
Fertility etiquette

If you know someone who’s struggling to conceive, has had a miscarriage, has secondary infertility or is going through IVF, try to be sensitive with the wording you use if you’re talking to them about their fertility struggles. It may be hard for your to understand, but don't underestimate the impact it's having on them.

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Juliana Kassianos
Do you have a "Why me?" mentality?

Are you someone who plays by all the rules? You don’t smoke, you don’t drink, you eat healthily, you take supplements, you look after your body, you pay your taxes, you give to charity and yet the one thing you desperately want in life – a baby of your own – you don’t seem to be able to have.

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Juliana Kassianos
Do you ever think "I'll be happy when..."?

If you’re struggling to conceive, you may start thinking to yourself: “I’ll be happy when I get pregnant”. Underlying your ability to be happy lies the condition that you have to become pregnant. There’s a transactional element involved, as you tell yourself that you won’t be happy with life, unless life gives you a positive pregnancy result.

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Juliana Kassianos
Riding the emotional rollercoaster

My wife and I had a 10 year journey of infertility, involving both female and male infertility. I wouldn’t wish a 10 year infertility experience on anyone, however, I can look back and be so thankful for some of the things I learned about myself, life and relationships that have made a huge positive difference to my life (and my fertility).

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Juliana Kassianos
Being a gay parent

Becoming a mother for the first time was a truly exhilarating feeling. My partner and I were overwhelmed with love for our new son. But whilst she had spent the last nine months nurturing him, protecting him and meeting all of his needs, I felt unable to form a bond with my child, side-lined by society and unable to speak to anyone who was going through what I was.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to stop self-sabotage

Negative thoughts, feelings and self-destructive behaviours often get in the way of us accomplishing what we really desire in life. It’s called self-sabotage. And we all have our own ways of doing it. Many people procrastinate – they intend to act, but get lost in deliberation; some self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to escape feeling negative emotions, while others may comfort eat, even though their goal is to lose weight.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to manage the trauma of failed IVF

Starting an In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) protocol is exciting and stressful in equal measures for couples. Women are at the business end of a relentless round of medication regimes, injections, scheduling in clinic visits for blood draws and scans during working weeks. At the end of this whirlwind comes the two-week wait, until a pregnancy test finally reveals whether treatment has been successful with a baby on the way or not.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to feel more connected to your loved one

The stress of infertility can put a strain on the best of relationships. My wife and I had a 10 year journey of infertility and know first-hand of the impact it can have on a relationship. I am thankful for some of the things I learned about myself, women and relationships that I am indebted to. Dealing with infertility can be tough enough on its own.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to form new healthy habits

Changing everyday habits that can determine the state of our lives, for better or worse, is no easy task. But there’s a secret to building healthier routines that stay with us for life. If like me, you sometimes determine that you’re going to start a fresh, resolving to kick out old habits and replace them with new routines, you’ll likely begin full of optimism and intent…

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Juliana Kassianos
The power of your mind

“Daddy, Daddy tell me it again!” My friends’ son excitedly asked to hear the story again. I was feeling fine until I heard those words. Suddenly I felt sick, overwhelmed by a fear that I may never hear someone call me Daddy. Infertility can be stressful, there is little doubt in this, but many people do not recognise the level of distress that can be involved.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to deal with challenges more positively

Research has found that relaxation techniques can help reduce stress in couples trying to conceive. Couples who have been trying for a baby for a while may experience all sorts of worries, tension and even anxiety. Remaining hopeful and positive can really be a challenge when there is so much pressure going on, added to physical challenges for women going through IVF for example.

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Juliana Kassianos
Would you benefit from seeing a psychosexual therapist?

When discussing fertility, one topic that is very rarely mentioned, yet it seems intrinsically connected to fertility, is sexual dysfunction. The possible reasons why this is a rarely discussed subject, is that very often helping professionals assume that people do have sex because they want to have babies. The other reason is that people are embarrassed to talk about sex.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to deal with a Big Fat Negative

You’ve survived the two-week wait and have officially missed your period (Aunt Flo). Desperate to know whether you’re pregnant or not, you anxiously take a pregnancy test, but it comes back as a Big Fat Negative (BFN). After the initial disappointment sinks in, you start to question the validity of the result. After all, your period still hasn’t come yet, so that’s a good sign… 

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Juliana Kassianos
Four ways to worry less

It’s only natural that if you’re trying to conceive, either naturally or with the help of medical assistance, there will be times when you find yourself worrying more than usual. This is partly due to the fact that you’re dealing with uncertainty, as you have little control over the workings of Mother Nature. It’s not like you can just try harder, annoyingly baby making doesn’t work like that.

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Juliana Kassianos
How to become more resilient

From a young age we hope and expect to live a ‘fairy-tale’ notion of life – one where we live happily ever after. We map out a timeline of our lives, which tends to go something along the lines of that old playground rhyme we used to sing: 'First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage'. But as we grow older, we start to learn the hard truth that life doesn’t always go to plan.

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Juliana Kassianos
Free yourself from the comparison trap

Do you constantly find yourself comparing your life to that of those around you? Perhaps it’s to your pregnant best friend with her ever-growing bump, your work colleague and her adorable new baby boy or your younger brother who recently had twins, without even intentionally trying.

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Juliana Kassianos