The Conceiving Mind Program

About the Program

About The Conceiving Mind Program

The Conceiving Mind Program has been specifically tailored to support women experiencing infertility and going through IVF treatment.

What is ‘The Conceiving Mind’ program?

The Conceiving Mind Program is:

  • A mind-body program based on science to help women who are dealing with infertility and trying to stay positive during IVF
  • Held at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond, Melbourne, Australia
  • Presented by Midwife and Registered Nurse, Donna Barnekow who endured seven years of infertility and knows exactly what you’re going through
  • A face-to-face, two-session small group program held over two weeks with women who share similar fertility challenges
  • A short course that teaches you practical tips, skills, techniques and other mind-body strategies to help you stay calm during the prolonged stress of infertility and IVF
  • A program that teaches simple, guided meditation and relaxation techniques specifically for women experiencing infertility and going through IVF
  • A program that aims to help you gain a sense of control over the overwhelming thoughts and feelings associated with infertility and IVF such as sadness, anger, fear, guilt and loneliness.

What can you expect?

You can expect to learn skills and relaxation techniques that will help you keep calm and your stress levels under control during the whole IVF process.

What you learn during The Conceiving Mind Program can be applied to specific stages of IVF, including:

  • blood tests
  • ultrasounds
  • taking medication and self-injecting
  • egg collection
  • the embryo transfer
  • the 2 week wait.

You will also be able to apply what you learn to deal with insensitive people who say ridiculous things such as "Just relax and it will happen!"

The Program can also help alleviate the worries you might have during the early weeks of pregnancy.

Nurture yourself

It is well known that infertility and IVF can carry a huge burden on those involved, so nurturing yourself with mind-body strategies can really help ease that burden while working alongside the medical treatments associated with IVF.

The Conceiving Mind Program involves:

  • A 20-minute phone consultation with Donna before the first group session so you can share relevant information with her
  • Two sessions of 2.5 hours, one week apart
  • Learning about your stress response and how to break that cycle of stress and infertility using practical tips and strategies
  • Learning and practicing deep relaxation through guided imagery, progressive relaxation, mindfulness and other simple techniques to use in preparation for IVF and through each step of an IVF cycle.

Cato Room 2, Level 2 (Bridge Roadd entrance),
Epworth Hospital
Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The benefits of doing the Program


You’ll learn effective coping skills and techniques, helping you to build resilience for specific IVF situations such as going through medical procedures, dealing with friends and family who are pregnant and receiving judgmental, negative or insensitive comments from colleagues, friends and family.


The Program provides emotional support and strategies to help with common feelings associated with infertility such as sadness, fear, anger and loneliness.


You'll gain a greater sense of control over emotions and common challenges during IVF by planning ahead of a cycle.


Going into a cycle feeling calm and prepared, not only makes the treatment more bearable but might increase your chance of success.


You’ll gain a healthy mindset toward fertility and IVF, enabling you to put your best foot forward.


The Program enables a more open-minded and flexible approach throughout your path toward parenthood.


Research shows the main reason people stop fertility treatment is not because of the physical or financial cost, but due to the emotional impact it can have. The Program builds your inner strength and resilience to help you continue treatment or feel empowered to make decisions about alternatives like using a donor and other options such as adopting, fostering or stopping fertility treatment.