#3—Having a girlfriend who can relate can be validating and comforting.
Before you started trying to get pregnant, you may have thought it would be super easy to make a baby. And for some lucky couples, it is! But for most couples, it takes time. And patience. And dedication (aka lots of sex ?.) And support.
Experts at the American Psychological Association say that having the support of others can actually help us in dealing with issues independently.
“Almost all of us benefit from social and emotional support. And though it may seem counter-intuitive, having strong social support can actually make you more able to cope with problems on your own, by improving your self-esteem and sense of autonomy."
So whether you want to create a big or small support system while you're trying to conceive is up to you—but it would be beneficial to have some people on your side who know what you're going through. They can be the safe space you'll need throughout the ups and downs of trying to conceive.
We put together a list of your key tribe members.
1. Your partner
This may seem like a given, but as the most important member of your tribe, your partner should be the person you turn to most during this journey. So keep the lines of communication wide open.
According to Mick, a prominent DJ, social influencer, husband to Rana and new dad to Myles he was supportive and helpful however his wife needed him while they were trying to get pregnant, but found that honing in on one specific area was beneficial for them.
“We had a difficult time conceiving so I tried extra hard to be as supportive as possible, whether that was in prayer, nutrition, or even comic relief. One thing I really focused on was our mutual health and fitness. We went to the gym together a lot and got significantly stronger. We figured getting in the best physical condition would help with the body and conception."
2. Your healthcare provider
Risa Klein, CNM says to put your doctor or midwife high on your tribe list. You should be open and honest with your provider, and they should be thorough and patient with you and your partner. Finding a provider who is in tune to your needs can make all the difference in the world.
“I meet with my clients for their conscious conception prenatal visit where we figure out their nutrition, lifestyle, what changes need to be made, understanding their fertility signs, talking about prenatal vitamins, blood work etc. I think every woman should get involved with their provider before she gets pregnant.
When a woman's confidence is raised and she understands her fertility and her husband gets a physical and understands his fertility—that's when I see success. Working one-on-one with your healthcare provider is key."
3. A girlfriend who can relate
Talking about what you're going through with a girlfriend who is also trying to conceive could be a game changer. It's important to talk to your partner about how you're feeling—of course!—but sometimes it's nice to chat with someone who's not directly invested in it to vent or just to relate to. It's always nice to feel like you're not alone.
Lindsay Fischer, author of The Two Week Wait Challenge: A Sassy Girl's Guide to Surviving the TWW and both a domestic violence and IVF advocate says, “Having a core group of women around you who know what you are dealing with is validating and important, especially for those people who are not ready to talk to their friends or family about their journey."
4. A girlfriend who, well, might not be able to relate
Diana Spalding at Gathered Birth agrees that girlfriends can be a huge sense of support throughout your conception journey. Friends who are going through it, and also friends who really may not be able to relate at all.
“While thinking about having a baby is an exciting time, the process of trying to conceive can become a bit stressful. It's easy to get stuck in our owns heads as we think about all the “what ifs." Finding a friend who can help you shift your focus a bit, can be incredibly therapeutic. So go grab a cup of (decaf) coffee and talk about something totally not baby-related."
It might be nice to give your mind, body and soul a break from conception thoughts every once in a while!
5. An online community
There are thousands of women on Instagram and Facebook who connect with other women who are also on their conception journey. The hashtag #TTCCommunity has about 125,000 posts under it, and tons of supportive comments.
Sometimes you may not be ready to talk to your friends or family members about what you're going through—but you need someone other than your partner to vent to. That's where this beautiful online community could really come in handy for you. It's a positive place where you can share your story and know you're not alone—plus, you can pretty much access it at any time, any place.