A Common Struggle Pregnant People Face That They Won’t Always Bring Up Or Share
Being a part of pregnancy groups has taught me a lot. Not just about myself, but the common struggles pregnant people face. One of the more common topics that come up is loneliness. Which sounds weird because having a human growing inside you means you’re literally never alone. It’s more common than you’d think though!
What isn’t common knowledge is that it’s not just hormones that affect mental health during pregnancy. It’s actually an outside factor, which is that once you become pregnant, it’s common for some friendships to fade. For your friends to start stepping back out of your life on their own. I only heard that this was common for pregnancy because of these pregnancy groups! Why is this a thing?! The common “reasons” I hear are it’s because they’re at now different stages of life. You’re not interested in the same activities or people think you’re not interested in the same activities as them. People assume you’re too tired or too busy to hangout.
Sure, some of these things are probably true sometimes! However, why does that mean you step away and let your friendship fade with your pregnant friend? Why treat them any differently than you did before? Shouldn’t (my therapist is going to be mad at me for using “should” 🤫) we be there for our friends especially when they’re at different stages in their life? If it’s a new stage for them, it’s probably uncomfortable and challenging! I may be bias, but I feel like pregnant people deal with enough common struggles and losing friendships shouldn’t be one of them!
Check in on your pregnant people as if you would if they weren’t pregnant. Instead of only sticking to the basic questions of ”how many weeks are you?”, “do you still have morning sickness?”, “can you feel the baby move?”, and etc., check in on your pregnant people. Like really check in. More than just a “how are you?” and just looking for a quick reply. Ask them how their mental health is and how you can help them. You’d be surprised how happy and shocked that person will be.
I’m extremely grateful for my people. Especially the ones who check in on me. Each time I have someone check in on my mental health, it shocks me just because I know how uncommon it is. It makes me feel loved and appreciated. This isn’t the case for all pregnant people and that needs to stop. The other day, I was having a lonely moment (because even if you have supportive people, it still happens) and just cried. I remember thinking, whenever one of my people gets pregnant, I want to remember this feeling and know to be there for them. Really be there for them. Because I know how it feels to be in those loved moments, but also those lonely moments as well.
I’m obviously all about being an advocate for peoples mental health who struggle with mental illnesses, but now I want to be an advocate for pregnant peoples mental health as well. Many pregnant people don’t have a blog platform to share this common struggle with the public or don’t want to make it their Facebook status. That’s why they talk about it in pregnancy groups because it’s private and the majority of people in that group understand. It’s easier to bring up the morning sickness struggles to your people than it is to bring up the loneliness struggles. I know it’s hard and awkward for me to bring it up!
This problem isn’t going to be solved without society knowing that pregnant people need their people! Pregnancy is much more than just physical changes. Your mental health can be affected as well!! Not only because of hormones, but because of this common problem of losing friendships. So if you want to really be helpful to your pregnant friends, just be there. You’re not going to be their cure to morning sickness or sleepness nights, but you can help with their loneliness. Don’t fade away; be there.