Deciding to try for a baby is a huge moment for a couple — and there may be months or years of conversations, decisions, and debating before you even decide to give it a go. There can be so much buildup and then…waiting. When we talk about trying to get pregnant, we don’t talk enough about the delay. Sure, some people get pregnant right away — but most aren’t so lucky. In fact, one study showed that in women under the age of 37 with no fertility problems, only 45 percent of couples will conceive within three months.
In fact 60 to 65 percent manage within six months, 85 percent have it happen within a year, and 93 percent within 18 months. That means that 7 percent of women with no fertility problems still haven’t conceived after a year and a half of trying — that’s nearly one in ten. And around one in seven couples struggle with fertility issues. What does this all mean? Most couples have a waiting period when they’re trying to get pregnant — and some couples have a very long wait.
And yet, despite just how normal this is, we don’t talk about it. Couples who struggle to get pregnant can feel impatient, awkward, or even ashamed — and women often feel the burden particularly acutely. So if you’re struggling to get pregnant, please remember that it’s totally normal and that you haven’t done anything wrong. Take a deep breath and take care of yourself. Here are 5 self-care tips is you’re struggling to get pregnant, because it’s important to be gentle with yourself.
Make Time For Yourself, Every Day
When you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s easy to get obsessed. Between tracking your cycle, scheduling in enough time to have sex, and preparing for what pregnancy will be like, you can spend all of your time focused on the fact that you’re trying to get pregnant — and that it hasn’t happened yet. So take a step back. Make time for yourself every day that has nothing to do with getting pregnant, sex, fertility, or even your partner. Maybe it’s getting a massage, maybe it’s going for a walk, maybe it’s just zoning out to Netflix. But give yourself a timeout, even if only have 10 minutes, every day.
Take Breaks When You Need It
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while, sex can become a joyless affair. You might have a rigid schedule, you might have a sense of duty or obligation, and you might even be putting a lot of pressure on yourself — and your partner. But that’s going to wear on you. If it’s feeling like all of the fun has gone out of it and it’s a chore, take a break. It doesn’t make you a bad want-to-be mom if you don’t have sex for a few days — or even a few weeks. Give yourself some time to reset, mentally and physically, and it will help the whole process feel better.
Talk To Your Friends
It’s important that, if you feel comfortable, you’re open with your friends and family about what you’re going through. You don’t need to tell every person, but reach out to someone you trust if you feel like you need support. And if you have friends with kids or friends who are pregnant and you’re struggling to be around them, don’t be afraid to open about why. There’s so much stigma around struggling to conceive, but that stigma only exists because we aren’t being honest with each other. You might even find other women you know who have been through the same thing.
Create A Soothing Environment
Little touches can do wonders for your mental health — and your environment is an often overlooked area of self-care. Plush pillows, cozy blankets, comforting colors, even a few candles — there are so many ways you can improve your living space and make your home feel like a treat. The right environment can help you destress, which isn’t just good for the soul, it’s great for your mental health.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re feeling anxious and stressed about trying to get pregnant, it may be that sleep has stopped coming naturally. So make sure you’re not only giving yourself enough time to get a full eight hours, but also that you do whatever it is that helps you sleep. For some people, exercise makes all the difference to their mental health and sleep schedule. For others, it’s meditation before bed or avoiding technology — or a hot bath with Epsom salts. Find a routine that works for you and make sure to prioritize keeping it.
Trying to get pregnant can be an incredibly stressful time, so it’s important to take care of yourself. And, more than any self-care tip, remember that struggling to get pregnant is not the fault of you as a person, a woman, or as a want-to-be-mother. You have not done anything wrong — and the fact that society paints getting pregnant as a woman’s responsibility is unfair and untrue. So just remember that it takes time — and make yourself a priority during the process.