The stress of getting pregnant can be overwhelming especially as the days and months go by. To help understand what type of impact stress about getting pregnant can have on someone’s overall life and for tips on managing stress about getting pregnant, I have interviewed psychotherapist c, MA, LPC, LSOTP.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have a Masters degree in Community Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider. I have been a therapist since 1996 and in private practice since 2005. I have worked in the Houston area for the last 10 years. I have worked in the forensic field, pain management and general counseling for anxiety, depression, grief and stress management . Over the last 8 years I have really developed an interest in fertility. Working in this field, I have met so many people struggling to have children and what their lives go through as a result of this experience. So, since about 2004, I have started working with couples going through fertility issues.”
What types of impact can being stressed about getting pregnant have on someone’s overall life?
“The stress can impact one in many ways and it’s usually different for men than women. I typically see more women than men but want to stress that this affects the men as well. Some common affects are change in sleep patterns, moodiness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feelings of disappointment, failure and anger. The stress can overlap into relationships with friends because the person with the fertility issue may feel isolated and not want to overwhelm their friends or may feel ashamed and not want to talk about it with friends. Their romantic relationship may suffer because sex becomes mechanical and loses romance and spontaneity. Sometimes, the partners began to feel resentful towards each other. People in alternative or non-traditional families may face judgment from others about the ‘appropriateness’ of having children in their relationship.
People tend to deal with this stress differently and women may feel that their partner does not understand their feelings and men may feel that their partner is obsessed with getting pregnant. Professionally, people have to miss work for doctor appointments or other physical issues related to infertility treatments . Financially, insurance does not always cover infertility treatments and this creates stress for people. Many times, they end up depleting savings or running up credit card bills. Also, infertility treatments can be time consuming and the women may be on a strict, rigid schedule for their medications and injections and many times have to drop everything when the ‘time is right’ and run to the doctor for a procedure.” What are some tips for managing stress about getting pregnant?
“The following are my tips for managing stress about getting pregnant:
- Have a strong support group. Share your plans with some trusted people who can be supportive and not judgmental.
- Do not blame yourself. Remember getting pregnant has nothing to do with being a good or bad person or whether or not you deserve a child. You are not a failure.
- Spend time with your partner. Make sure you are having ‘date nights’ where you focus on the relationship and not getting pregnant.
- Try to stop and change thoughts that are absolutistic, such as, ‘I must get pregnant’, ‘It better work this time’ or ‘If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what I’ll do.’
- Make time to take care of yourself. With your doctor’s permission, continue your exercise routine or walk and maintain a healthy diet.
- Although money may be tight, do not guilt yourself about the money you are spending on the medical treatments.
- Remind yourself of your long-term goal-a baby. That may make some of the physical changes in your body from hormones easier to handle.
- Follow up with a doctor or therapist if you begin to feel depressed, have difficulty getting out of bed or have thoughts about hurting yourself.”