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I'm Thinking About Having a Baby

 

What changes when you are thinking about/preparing to have a baby?

When a couple makes the decision that it is time to expand their family, they are embarking on a major life transition. If they are able to conceive quickly and easily, it’s a time of celebration! But for many couples, the process of conceiving is filled with challenges, setbacks, disappointment and sometimes loss. Many things may change, including your relationship with your partner, your sex life, your diet, your social life, etc.

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Emotional changes

We are offered a lot of information about the physical aspects of trying to conceive, but not as much information about the emotions we might experience during this process. It is not uncommon for women to feel the following emotions while they are trying to conceive:

  • Excitement
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Disappointment
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Difficulty contentrating
  • Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt or inadequacy
  • Feeling like your body has failed you

Balancing needs

The most common piece of advice given to couples who are trying to conceive is to “relax”. As frustrating as this advice is, self-care is very important during this process, whether you are trying to conceive naturally or pursuing assisted reproduction, surrogacy or adoption.

Image heart icon ACTIVITY

Make a list of activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.

Commit to doing at least one of these activities on a daily basis.

Circle of Support

They say it takes a village to raise a child. The same is true when trying to conceive a child. This can be a very lonely and isolating time for couples who are struggling with infertility and loss, especially when it seems like everyone they know is getting pregnant and having babies. But at least 13% of all couples have difficulty getting pregnant so you are not alone. It is important to find these peers during this time and connect with them — online or in person. It is also important to share what is going on with your close personal relationships.

How To Ask For Help

"I think I want to get pregnant, but I'm scared. I think I need to talk to somebody."

"This is really stressing me out. It seems like everyone in the world can get pregnant except for me. Can you help me find someone that I can talk to?"

Know when to get help

Feeling depressed or anxious while you are trying to conceive can be experienced in different ways, but here are the most common symptoms:

  • Feeling tired for no good reason
  • Feeling irritable or angry
  • Feeling guilty, ashamed or hopeless
  • Feeling so nervous that nothing can calm you down
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling like everything is an effort
  • Feeling so sad that nothing can cheer you up
  • Feeling worthless
  • Big changes in appetite — eating more or less than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling like things that you used to enjoy are no longer interesting
  • Feeling unable to look forward to anything
  • Wanting to blame yourself when things go wrong
  • Feeling scared or panicky for no good reason
  • Feeling so overwhelmed it makes you hopeless
  • Crying almost all the time, or not feeling able to stop crying
  • Thoughts of harming yourself

If you have are feeling down, worried or on edge for most of the day nearly every day for a period of time ...

If your symptoms continue even when you are doing things that used to make you feel better ...

If your symptoms are impacting your life, by creating problems with your partner, your baby, your ability to care for the baby or do your job ...

It is a good idea to get some help. Getting help is important for a quick recovery and a healthy future with your baby.

Take Action

If you have consistently felt any of the other symptoms on this list recently, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Bring this checklist with you.

What does help look like?

Self-care: Making adjustments in your life to reduce stress, such as get exercise, sleep more, or make changes in your diet.

Peer Support: Talk to friends and family members who have had difficulty conceiving, including infertility and/or loss. You will quickly learn that you are not alone.

Groups: These are groups that meet regularly and are facilitated by a licensed clinician and/or a peer. Facilitators bring topics for conversation and participants leave with more information and friendships with other people trying to conceive and/or who have experienced loss.

Individual Psychotherapy: One-on-one therapy with a psychologist, clinical social worker or therapists is a safe place to share all your feelings and thoughts about infertility and/or loss.

Medication: Some people require medication to manage their depression and/or anxiety and feel like themselves again.

There is not one right way. Each person has her own unique needs and circumstances. Some people may need all of help listed; others just a derivative of one. Ask your healthcare professional what treatment options are available and you can decide together what steps you should take. Or, call Postpartum Support International’s Warmline: 1-800-944-4773

Remember — asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or if you feel that you can see and hear things that others can't, reach out for help immediately.
Do not suffer with scary thoughts alone.

Remember ...

You are not alone. Maternal depression can affect any woman regardless of age, income, culture, or education.
It is NOT your fault. You are not a weak or bad person for feeling this. It is a common and treatable condition. There are many factors may impact how you are feeling, including your medical history, how your body processes certain hormones, the level of stress you are experiencing, and how much help you are getting. But what we do know is that this is not your fault.
With the right help, you will get better. The sooner you get treatment and support, the better. There are resources and help available.

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