While most women are fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy, a small percentage experience a high-risk pregnancy, which is defined as “a pregnancy that involves increased health risks for the pregnant person, unborn baby or both.” High-risk pregnancies occur in 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies.
A normal, healthy pregnancy is stressful enough, but if you are dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, it can really take a mental toll on both you and your husband or partner.
You may notice that you become more easily irritated with your spouse, feel like you have a “short fuse,” or fight with your partner more often. You may avoid talking about your pregnancy, or talk about it too much. You may feel anxious or depressed. All of these interactions can increase the tension in your relationship.
When you are going through such a stressful time, it’s important that you focus on strengthening your relationship with your spouse. The stronger your relationship, the more resilience you will have to face the challenges ahead together.
So how do you do this?
Ways to Manage Stress
Consider the following strategies to manage the stress of a high-risk pregnancy on your relationship:
1. Schedule Regular Time Together
One of the best things you can do for your relationship (regardless of if you are under stress or not) is have a regularly-scheduled time together each week. This is an intentional time that you cut out of each of your schedules to just be together, Whatever you decide to do during that time, commit to it on a weekly basis, and you will see your relationship bloom
Always consider your doctor’s recommendations when choosing an activity. If you are bed-bound or can’t do much physical activity, you can consider doing puzzles together, sharing a delicious treat, or going on a scenic drive.
Make sure it is an activity or time that just involves the two of you, so you can have in-depth conversations and share what is going on with each of you without the distraction or interruptions of others.
This is also a time to just have fun together, and forget about your worries for a little bit. Sometimes the best way to ease stress is to get out of our heads and do something we enjoy. So make it enjoyable and light, but also allow for heartfelt conversations.
2. Talk to a Therapist (Alone or Together)
Coping with a high-risk pregnancy may not be something that you can do on your own, especially if it is also causing marital issues. If you feel it is too much to handle mentally, you should reach out to a qualified therapist who can help you work through it.
It may be worthwhile for your partner to invest in therapy with you, so you can process your feelings about the pregnancy together. But if your partner is unwilling or there are things you don’t necessarily want to share with him, it is perfectly fine to go alone as well.
At Florecer Family Therapy we are here to support you through any struggle, including the challenge of a high-risk pregnancy. We make it easy for our clients by offering telehealth sessions to provide support from the comfort of their homes. Our team is well-equipped to give you the care you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
3. Find a Support Group
It may be beneficial to find a group of women who are going through the same thing. It can be very isolating to go through a challenge that not many people understand, so finding people who do can make a huge difference.
Whether it is an anonymous Facebook group or a group that meets in person, find a group that you connect with and listen to others’ stories. You will begin to see you are not alone and that you can get through this.
4. Get Outside Often
One of the best remedies for any internal struggle is getting fresh air. It may seem too simplistic, but it really does make a big difference. Despair entices us to sit inside all day and wallow in our pain, but we have to fight against that urge.
Take frequent walks with your partner, or sit outside together and watch the stars at night. Go to the park with other moms and moms-to-be.
Even if you are bedridden from your pregnancy, you can still crack a window open and listen to the birds singing. The outdoors refreshes and renews us, so do what you can to spend time in it.
5. Get Enough Rest
Finally, it is imperative that you give your body the rest it needs––especially if you are dealing with pregnancy complications. This is not the time to be super productive or check everything off of your to-do list.
Instead of being frustrated by how much you may need to rest, see it as a privilege that you get to slow down and relax for a bit. Let your partner take care of you, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from him.
This is not how things will be forever, so embrace the time you have to rest now. And you know your own unique situation, so be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding rest.
You Will Get Through This
Human beings are resilient. You are resilient. Though going through a high-risk pregnancy is a hardship that no one wants to face, by using the strategies above, you and your partner can get through it together.
Instead of letting this tear you apart, lean into one another for support. You can grow closer through this experience. Your relationship can get stronger and better––but you have to be willing to put in the work for your relationship to grow.