What Are The Benefits Of Joining A Pregnancy Chat Room?
By Julia Thomas
Updated January 10, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Fawley
Pregnancy always presents physical and emotional challenges. If your pregnancy is high-risk or unplanned, the feelings you are experiencing can be even more complicated. Whatever your situation, one option for dealing with your pregnancy and the worries and stressors that come with it is to join in a pregnancy chat room.
Talk to Someone Who Understands
No one understands pregnancy in the same way someone who is currently pregnant does, and these women are in a unique position to share your joy as well as your concerns. There are so many mixed emotions that go along with pregnancy: from excitement, overwhelming feelings of love, and anticipation; to the discomfort, frustration, worries, and pains that often accompany pregnancy. There are many preparations to be made and new circumstances to be worked out, and sometimes the process can seem overwhelming. It can feel so nice to describe your experiences and get validation in a group that truly understands. Sometimes, a major life change like becoming a mother for the first time can create some distance between you and friends that are not in the same phase of life, and it is harder to find someone to share pregnancy with. It could be that you don't currently know anyone personally who is pregnant, and you would like to talk more about your experiences.
Find Support for Your Specific Pregnancy Issues
While you will find a lot of variation in the types of experiences other women in the chat room are having, it is likely you will also find some that are going through something like what you are or you may find it helpful to provide support to someone that is now in a stage that you have moved out of. Regardless of your relationship status, medical issues, or life situation, you will likely find someone with a similar pregnancy issue. They can provide support to you by validating your feelings and by providing encouragement and commiseration. It is a nice feeling to be able to get connected with the special community of women who are going through what it is like to be carrying a child. This can be even more important for women who are told they have to limit activity on their feet or who may not be even allowed to leave the house for any prolonged period of time. Being on bedrest can be a lonely and anxiety-provoking experience, as it is abnormal to not be doing the normal activities of busy-life and routine and your mind is left with too much time to worry. A chatroom can be a welcome distraction and an opportunity to focus on others for a time too.
Learn from Others in the Chat Room
What often happens in a pregnancy chat room is that women share different ways of handling just about anything related to pregnancy and even the postpartum period. Women who are expecting their second or third child may also be in the chat and can be extremely valuable sources of information. Some groups are professionally associated and have a moderator of the group who may introduce a specific topic for the day's group. Some group topics that you might expect to be covered in a pregnancy support group are: signs and symptoms of pregnancy and how to cope with them, what to expect from your body and your medical care during each trimester, signs of early labor or labor starting, what to expect from labor and delivery, planning the type of birth that you want to have, and expectations for the postpartum period (after delivery). Even taking care of a newborn and breastfeeding support can be included in discussion.
Talk about your fears
It is normal to feel some fear related to the painful experience of giving birth and other unknowns when it comes to giving birth, i.e., "will my baby be healthy", "what if I have complications during labor?", "will I know how to take care of my baby?" , or "what will my body be like after I give birth?". A forum provides an opportunity to be able to express these fears and face them in a supportive environment. You will probably feel surprised at the number of women who can relate to how you are feeling. With the support of others, you will get a greater sense that you were meant for this role, and you are stronger that you realize.
You should never have to divulge your identity in a chat room. You should go by a username that you can make as generic as you like. This gives you the freedom to say things you may be too concerned to say to someone you know. You can openly discuss your fears, doubts, and frustrations without worry that someone you love will take offense or feel like they need to solve your problem for you. In this way, it can help you be more in charge of processing your feelings. Read more about it here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/chat/pros-and-cons-of-an-anonymous-chat-room/
Sometimes pregnancies result in a loss of pregnancy, and losing a pregnancy is an extremely difficult thing to go through, no matter what the circumstances. About one in four women experience a miscarriage, yet due to the way that we have historically treated miscarriage, some women still do not talk about the impact of miscarriage. It is very important to grieve the loss of your pregnancy, whether it was a planned loss or an unplanned one, but a pregnancy support group is not the place to do this. Participating in conversations about pregnancy is likely to be painful for some time. There are separate support groups available for woman experiencing a loss of pregnancy.
When a Pregnancy Chat Room Isn't Enough
Chat rooms offer support for your issues, educational information, suggestions for resources, shared experiences and companionship in times of loneliness. However, sometimes pregnant women experience mental health issues or other more serious situations related to pregnancy that would be best helped by a mental health professional. Sometimes the changes in a woman's body during pregnancy can result in depression or other mental disorders that a woman has never experienced before. An online therapist, such as the ones available through Betterhelp.com, can help you deal with the problems that still feel too difficult to tackle on your own or in a support group setting. They can guide you as you find your own solutions to your unique pregnancy problems. And, if you like the chat room, you can always keep going back there, regardless of whether you spend time with a therapist regularly. There is no such thing as having too much support as you are going through this special, unique, and challenging period of your life.