The pressures put on those trying to get pregnant


It is impossible to fully explain or comprehend the whole idea of conceiving a baby. We know many facts about this process and we can study the biological aspects of making the baby, but there is always an unknown dimension beyond scientific facts. The beauty of this unknown phenomena can be at the same time fascinating, adored and frightening.

The couple attempting to have a baby is therefore in a vulnerable position. There are social pressures, which make this situation even more emotional and problematic for those trying to get pregnant. The stream of narrative from so-called experts in the media and online creates pressures for potential parents.

The process of trying to conceive can involve a lot of stress and anxiety*. In case of a sequence of unsuccessful attempts, many people turn to the online resources in search for advice on how to get pregnant. Whereas some of these articles may contain interesting information, they also stir up emotions which do nothing but harm to the process of conceiving. The reasoning behind articles offering tips on how to get pregnant fast , or behind detailed guide to the biological side of conceiving, is that expert and technical intervention will always improve the chances of getting pregnant. This is clearly not always the case, and the raised expectations can put greater pressure on those trying to conceive.

Why is this message coming from the media and online, so strongly functional? It encourages us to take a scientific/fixed steps approach to the delicate process of conceiving without addressing the emotional or psychological nuances that cannot be explained in a functional or scientific way. It is worth remembering that there is around a 70% failure rate in fertility clinics, and many of those who attend fertility clinics, have no clear diagnosis of why they can’t get pregnant. There are many stories of those who get pregnant through interventions from a fertility clinic, then get a second pregnancy without intervention afterwards. Science takes us only so far.

In the Internet the social narrative that is pushed belongs to the wider culture of entitlement, with the underlying promise that, you have a right to have a baby, when you want it and that biology of the process is totally manageable by experts. Well, it is simply not true. This culture and the fantasy of total control over our bodies can make those trying to get pregnant feel evermore like failures when not conceiving.

This creates a viscous circle of stress and anxiety, that can lead to increasing difficulties in conceiving. Compulsive checking the internet for advice, and being overburdened by social pressure makes us more nervous and anxious (possibly negatively influencing the hormonal system).

Nature has its own path, and it cannot always be mechanically influenced. Science has an important role of course, but so does our emotions and psychological states that need protecting in this process. Our task as a community is to support each other from being overwhelmed by the social pressures that push ‘remedies’ and conflicting advice from every expert, on those trying to conceive.

*I am speaking about those cases where there is no obvious medical obstacle for having a baby. In case of medical condition, the matter becomes even more complex and sensitive.


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