Are you pregnant and going through a divorce? Have a look at these 8 coping strategies to help you and your child thrive.
A divorce can be devastating for everyone involved and, during pregnancy, the emotional and physical effects of the separation are only heightened. All this additional stress can be damaging for your health and the wellbeing of your unborn baby. But there are ways to manage this strain.
In this article, we will discuss some of the strategies you can use to cope during this difficult time. Professionals like therapists and family lawyers can help build the support system you need during this difficult time. Additionally, getting involved in fun hobbies and making future plans can go a long way to securing peace of mind and improving the health and happiness of you and your unborn baby.
Here are eight effective coping strategies to help you through your divorce during a pregnancy…
1. Avoid Feelings of Guilt
When pregnant and going through a divorce it is common to feel guilty. People worry that separated parents will have a negative impact on the child and as a result may consider staying with their partners for the sake of the child.
These feelings of guilt may be strong but don’t let them overwhelm you, the best way to raise a child is surrounded by happiness, not in an environment overrun with arguments and two people who do not get along.
If a divorce is the right choice for you, then it will also be the right choice for your child, so combat those guilty thoughts and do what you feel is best.
2. Establish an Emotional Support System
Even without the additional strain of a divorce, pregnancy is a hub of mood swings, intense emotions, and lots of worries. Although you can’t avoid the emotional toll of a separation, with a strong support system you will find you are able to handle anything that comes your way.
Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for support during this challenging chapter in your life. In particular, people who have already experienced divorce or pregnancy can offer advice and be a great at listening to, and understanding, your troubles. Keep your friends and family close and let them know how much you value their support is valued.
3. Speak to a Professional
Having a great emotional support system is wonderful, but there are some instances where the opinion and guidance of a professional may be required to easy your concerns.
If you feel comfortable, speak to a therapist about your situation, confide in your gynaecologist, or even talk to a divorce lawyer about your rights. Gaining a better understanding of the processes surrounding divorce and pregnancy, along with the challenges you may face, can help you prepare and cope with the situation.
Make sure you are considering your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical health.
4. Organise your Finances
One of the most stressful parts of a divorce and a pregnancy is adapting your finances. If you are going to be a single parent, then having your finances organised as early as possible is the best way to limit any stress.
To do this, we recommend:
- Making a record of your incomes and savings
- Considering your regular expenses
- Create a budget
- Review your tax returns
- Identifying any additional costs that will occur. For example, buying a crib, or childcare
We recommend speaking to a financial consultant and your divorce solicitor to thoroughly plan your finances.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
5. Find Ways to Express Yourself and De-stress
During this taxing period of your life, it’s important to take some time to de-stress and focus on yourself.
Writing a diary can be a great way to make sense of your emotions and has been known to be very therapeutic. Other hobbies like crafts, photography, or listening to a podcast can provide you with time for quiet reflection and is a respite from legal discussions and baby planning.
Make sure that you are taking the time to regularly do something that brings you joy. This will greatly benefit your mental health. Hobbies can be a valuable tool for helping you cope with divorce during a pregnancy, yet may people fail to take the time they need to express themselves and de-stress.
6. Be Open to Accepting Help
Some people can find it difficult to accept the help of a loved one, especially during a particularly difficult time. However, it is important to remember that it’s not a sign of weakness or failure to allow someone to cook you a meal, do some washing, or even collect some shopping.
Pride and stubbornness are often involved when people refuse help, but it is in both you and your unborn child’s best interest to ask and accept help when needed. Your friends and family will be happy to help, whether it’s driving you to a doctor’s appointment or simply listening to your after a particularly bad day.
There are also many services in place to that can provide help and support during and after a pregnancy.
7. Set Clear Expectations Regarding Co-Parenting
Co-parenting can be difficult, especially when your relationship with your ex-spouse is already strained from a divorce. Clearly communicating your expectations and intentions regarding your unborn child and speaking to your ex-partners about theirs is important if you want to establish open communication going forward.
When discussing plans for co-parenting you should consider things like, child custody, childcare and future school arrangements, paediatricians, and daily routines. Talking honestly about co-parenting will reduce the amount of friction between you and your ex-spouse and set expectations early.
If you and your ex-partner are struggling to agree on certain aspects of co-parenting, you may benefit from the guidance of a family law solicitor who can help to smooth communication. Family law solicitors can also help you navigate through more serious concerns, like an abusive spouse or financial issues.
Photo by Christian Bowen
8. Find a Good Lawyer
One thing that will help you cope with your divorce is having a good lawyer by your side. You will need to find someone who is knowledgeable, an expert in family law, and can offer support and guidance throughout every step of the process.
With the right lawyer, you can reduce the amount of stress and time that your divorce is consuming, giving you more time to focus on yourself and your un-born baby.
Coping with Pregnancy During a Divorce
Pregnancy has many challenges and combine this with the stress of a divorce, and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By taking time to look after your health and emotional well-being, surrounding yourself with loved ones and professionals who can provide support and planning for the future, you can lessen the strain of pregnancy during a divorce. Allowing you and your child to thrive.
For more advice regarding ways to cope with pregnancy during a divorce speak to a family law solicitor and your doctor.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a family lawyer for advice regarding pregnancy during a divorce. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
Disclosure – this is collaborative post.
Featured Image: Photo by Ömürden Cengiz