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When you need a bit of support - roll in a fertility coach who's walked your path, and understands.



Hi, I’m Nicola and I’m a Fertility Coach. I specialising in supporting women after miscarriage or through fertility treatment to heal from the past and restore hope in the future.

I’ve previously worked as a Midwife and Health Visitor, but most importantly I had my own difficult journey to becoming a mum. Including early miscarriage, missed miscarriage, secondary infertility, what felt like endless waiting, setbacks, disappointment and heartbreak.

I’m now lucky enough to be a mum to my 2 gorgeous boys.





Tell me a bit about yourself and what your journey was to bring you to work in fertility support.


I went into trying for our first baby believing it would be difficult. And it was. It’s without doubt the hardest thing I’ve been though. The years of trying were full of heartache, unanswered questions and uncertainty about the future. I finally had a positive test, only for it to turn negative a few days later. To say I was heartbroken and devastated was an understatement. But at the time I really didn’t feel justified in that feeling. How could I be so upset over something that wasn’t actually real?

The grief was overwhelming and seemed to be getting worse as time went on. I knew things couldn’t carry on the way they were going and something needed to change, but I didn’t know what.

So eventually I decided to get some support with how I was feeling thought hypnotherapy. This was a real turning point for me in no longer feeling consumed and overwhelmed by TTC. So I trained in hypnotherapy tools and became a Fertility Coach while also trying for our second baby (and after a missed miscarriage). I took myself through the process and used all the strategies so I’ve really felt them from that side and how powerful they are at transforming your life, mindset and the positive impact that has on fertility.


How do you use coaching to support fertility?

Coaching is a fantastic way to support your mental health and mindset while dealing with the pain of infertility.

It gives you the chance to talk about what you’re going though in a non-judgmental environment, knowing you don’t have to sensor what you say in case the other person is shocked or upset by it.

Even more than talking though, we explore solutions to what you’re struggling with, like pregnancy announcements, insensitive comments, feeling disconnected from your partner, all consequences of infertility. This empowers you to feel emotionally strong and resilient, knowing you have tools to be able to stay in a positive place and deal with anything that comes your way.

One of the most important parts for me though is sharing better habits of thinking. Moving away from worst case scenarios to actually feeling and thinking positively about yourself, your fertility and your future.


Do you provide support for any particular areas of fertility?


I have come to specialising in supporting women after pregnancy loss. One of the tools I use is really powerful to process and recover from any difficult (even traumatic) memories associated to your loss. So that my clients are able to see the past as the past and really believe that the future gets to be different and better next time. It’s a process I’ve experienced myself and it really feels like you’re detached from the grief of what had happened which was incredibly freeing and I just remember feeling so much lighter afterwards.



How long do you normally work with individuals for, and is it with them as a couple or always individual?

I work predominantly with women and I normally see my clients fortnightly over 3-4 months, that gives us the chance to heal and recover from the past, reignite your inner spark to really enjoy life again and restore hope in the future and in your own path to motherhood.

I’m now also running a group programme which is an amazing and supportive community of people who get it.



What do you think is one of the biggest myths / misconceptions that people have about fertility and coaching?


I think a lot of people wonder how talking about their problems will help them, without realising that it's so much more than talking. It’s recognising challenges, and how to solve them to enable you to feel at your best and imagine the future you truly want.

There are so many physical health related things you can do to improve fertility, I think people often go through those aspects first before coming to the mind. But the mind and body are so connected. You only need to think about how athletes prepare for a race, they are all using their imagination to picture themselves winning, because they know that means that will make it easier for their mind and body to work together towards the same goal.

Mindset relating to fertility is the same. Your mind and body need to work together towards your goal to help you to get there.


What is one of the shifts / changes that you’ve seen when people work with you that may support them in their journey?


When I support clients through fertility treatment/ IVF, particularly after unsuccessful rounds they feel like they’re just on a conveyor belt, feeling like this is the next thing to do even though they’re not expecting it to work and they feel utterly miserable going though it.

I love to support my clients to head into fertility treatment believing it will work! Feeling like an active part of the process, able to make decisions and suggestions to their medical team. It’s even been commented to one of my clients by consultant that she’d never had sometime come into treatment feeling so positive and optimistic about it.

I really belief this has an impact on the outcome. Not every time of course, even when rounds are not successful I find my clients are much more able to pick themselves back up and try again at a time that’s right for them.


If you could give 3 pieces of advice to support someone on their fertility journey, what would they be?



My first piece of advice is to allow yourself to feel the way you’re feeling. So often we push down and suppress our difficult feelings and feel guilty, wrong or bad for feeling the way we feel. Actually if you think about someone else going through what you’re going through, of course they’re going to feel upset, angry, bitter at times. When a difficult feeling comes up remind yourself that you have every right to feel this way and it will pass much more quickly that if you suppress it.


Secondly, ask the people around you for what you need. If you’re not sure what that could be, really think about what other people do or have done that helps you feel supported. Maybe it’s asking your partner to give you a hug when you’re upset, or asking your friend to find out a bit about the IVF process so they understand it more. Or letting your mother in law know you’ll update her when you have new information, otherwise you’d really appreciate talking about other things to help take your mind off it.

Often if people haven’t experienced it, they don’t know what to do or say to show their support. But they want to support you, they just need a bit of direction on how!


And thirdly, prioritise what helps you to feel good every day. That might be getting out for a walk, practicing yoga or other exercises, meditate, journal, read a book, doing something creative. What is that thing you just get lost in? Or that you come out feeling so much lighter than before you started. Create time in your day for this, even if it’s just 10 minutes, set an alarm if you need to. This is how you create better habits to improve how you’re thinking and feeling every day.


 

If you feel a connection to what Nicola has been talking about and would like to find out more, Nicola loves connecting with this community, and you can find her on Instagram @nicola.headley


She also has an amazing free download to help you - It’s called:


5 Things You Can Say When You Want To Talk About Your Fertility (And 5 Things To Say When You Don’t).


It’s a guide to helping people have more open conversations to get better support and to feel confident shutting down conversations they don’t want to have. You can download it on the following link:









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