The past two years have changed the world in many ways and there’s no going back from it. The pandemic turned endemic is slowly catching up with the new-age millennial couples, and it’s brought self-doubt about bringing a new life to this world and starting a family.
To have a baby is not an easy decision to make. There’s the question of being mentally and emotionally ready, as well as working out the finances to raise the little one. As a generation that prides its self-indulgence, the realities of having a child can be starkly different. A Forbes report points that women are delaying trying to conceive to focus on their careers. The men are no different either.
But there are millennial mums and dads who want to experience what parenting is. And you absolutely must. Being pregnant after all, is a powerful and life-changing event, which is exactly why it’s stressful, scary and overwhelming. There’s no going back from it and the joy is immeasurable. No indulgence of yours can come close to the feeling of raising a baby and the everyday joys that they bring to your life.
But in the stressful environment that we work and thrive in, conceiving can be difficult. Long work hours, career goals, financial stability, and more contribute to your decision towards having a baby. And for that, you need to make sure you and your partner prepare yourself the right way.
A large part of it is being physically and emotionally fit. Sadly, the anxiety brought upon by the endemic has made nothing simpler. It’s just something we may have to live with. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing things you love. And with conceiving, millennial couples will just have to practice a more stress free life consciously, unlike some of our previous generations.
In fact, here are five self-care tips for millennial couples to have a stress free pregnancy:
Image source: iStock
Do not overload yourself with information
We live in a world today where information is easily accessible at the tip of your fingers. Type a few words and there’s an overload of videos, books, podcasts, articles, opinions and the never-ending Reddit threads to keep you occupied.
Of course, as a young individual, information is key to making any decision regarding pregnancy or anything life. But it’s also vital that you do not overwhelm yourself with it. It’s easier to stray away from what’s necessary and the positive aspect of it and focus only on the negatives. Moreover, it’s easier to draw your own conclusions without a professional guiding light.
Be it a natural pregnancy or an IVF, as much as we recommend reading up on everything there is to know, do make sure you consult professionals and only then come to your own conclusions about things. The last thing you want to do is exhaust yourself with information.
Image source: iStock
Comparisons are inevitable and completely unnecessary
It’s easier to paint a picture or post a photograph that you have complete control over. In today’s times, the want for that picture-perfect life sometimes sets unrealistic standards for many to follow. And in pursuit of that perfection, we tend to miss out on what we have and can achieve on our own.
The last thing you want to do is conceive because it’s what your peers are doing or your favourite influencer is. Comparisons are inevitable. That’s how we measure success and failure as a society. But they are also completely unnecessary. Today’s average millennial couples do not live in the same conditions as their parents did. So, the birthing experience will also be different. And the same goes for your friends and extended family. No two people have the same experiences in the world. So how can the outcome be the same?
Be proud of your own journey and you won’t feel the burden of responsibilities. The earlier you are able to prioritise what you want, the better you will be at living a stress free life.
Image source: iStock
Yes, life is not a paid vacation but it can be little spurts of happiness paid in full. So, instead of planning that one big holiday, try and unwind on a regular basis. This means detaching from work, friends, and maybe even the spouse on occasion.
Your mental well-being is on you. This is particularly necessary before conceiving so that you have a clear thought process about raising a family and its challenges. A stress free .mind only increases your chances when you are trying to conceive and gives a positive outlook towards life at large. Do not make work your priority. There’s more to life and you need to begin balancing it before you expand your family.
Whether you are a millennial couple trying for their first baby or the third, it can get a tumultuous period when things aren’t exactly going your way. And support is what you need during this period.
You may want to reach out to friends or family who would understand your concerns and turmoil. Sometimes all you need is a lending ear or a piece of sound advice. And you must communicate what you are seeking from your support group.
You can even join a support group that can help you find perspective by surrounding yourself with people who’ve had similar experiences. And let’s just say it. There’s absolutely no harm in speaking to a professional psychologist or a counsellor if need be.
Make an alternative plan
If your first plan of having a natural birth isn’t working out, you should consider going back to the drawing board and working on another way to begin your parenting journey. And this is a conversation you need to have with your partner.
This will mean understanding and introspecting what parenthood means to you. Before you begin trying to conceive. Other options like IVF, sperm donation, adoption can also be possibilities.
Image source: iStock
How To Increase Your Fertility
There’s nothing a good night’s sleep can’t solve. It relaxes your body, helps you literally sleep over problems, and brings discipline to your body clock. Research also shows that sleep deprivation has a direct effect on obesity and that can decrease your chances of conception.
While it’s always important to watch your weight and follow a healthy lifestyle in general, it becomes all the more important during pregnancy. Obesity can also negatively impact male fertility, leading to lower sperm counts. Alternately, being underweight can cause amenorrhea, which restricts the menstrual cycle and that in turn means no ovulation. This will only hurt your chances of conceiving.
The millennial lifestyle is often frowned upon and parts of it are indeed bad. The sedentary work cycle has made us lazy and we need to get some exercise into our systems.
In fact, getting your fix of exercise every day can help lower stress and lead to a healthier body. And a major part of exercising is to do so in moderation. A 2018 study concluded that too much exercise can also have negative effects on your body reducing your chances of fertility by 40 per cent. If you are trying to conceive but are also a gym freak, we’d suggest to tone it down a bit.
Go easy on caffeine and alcohol
Too much caffeine and alcohol only lowers your chances of conception and you need to actively avoid them if you are trying to have a baby. Tea, coffee, aerated drinks are a common part of a millennial’s dietary habits and it’s necessary to avoid them at least when you want to get pregnant.
This is particularly the case with those dealing with fertility issues The US FDA suggests that about 400 mg a day of coffee or around five cups per day can significantly lower your chances of conception.
Go easy on the sex too
This may seem counterproductive when you are trying to conceive but there is such a thing as too much sex. While intercourse is a key part of the conception and can also be a stress reliever, it can get difficult to make time for given the hectic schedules.
And that turns sex into a chore rather than something to be happy about. Experts recommend not forcing yourself for intercourse if you or your partner feel tired. At the same time, you can look at changing your schedules, from night to morning for instance, when you’ve had a good night’s rest. Then there’s also the concern of infertility that can lower your libido, which can also create complications.
Do not shy away from speaking to a health professional if you think you need to.
Sleep deprivation: https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/4/1/e000392
Male fertility: https://rep.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/rep/154/4/REP-17-0161.xml
2018 study: https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12958-018-0328-z
FDA coffee intake: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much#:~:text=4.,associated%20with%20dangerous%2C%20negative%20effects.
Miscarriage in women: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/10826084.2014.912228