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You're not alone if you have a high-risk pregnancy and feel resentment toward women who don't. But eventually it's best to let go of those negative feelings. Here are some ways to help you accept, heal, and move on:
- Acknowledge that you can't change the past, and keep in mind that nothing good can come from being bitter.
- Recognize others' struggles. Join a support group or read stories about women in similar situations. Use the experience of having a high-risk pregnancy to empathize and feel a connection to others.
- Realize that your high-risk pregnancy has more to do with chance than fairness.
- Challenge the assumptions you have about others: Just because some pregnant women seem happy and carefree (especially on social media) doesn't mean they really are. Many people choose to keep their health problems or other difficulties private.
- Focus on the positive. Keep a gratitude journal and write down a few things you feel thankful for every day.
- Question whether you'd want someone else to go through what you're going through.
- Remember that every woman hopes for a problem-free pregnancy and birth, but it's never a guarantee.
- Remind yourself that the women you resent didn't cause your situation. You may envy them, but ask yourself if they deserve your ill will.
- Talk about your feelings with a friend or mental health professional. A friend can validate your feelings, and a therapist can empathize and help you heal from disappointment or trauma.
- Recognize that your resentment could be displaced guilt. Women with a difficult pregnancy sometimes feel responsible for their condition or guilty when their baby is born with a medical problem. Resolving this feeling may stop you from feeling so much anger.
- Be patient and know that feelings change. Many women find that with time, life starts to feel more normal and resentment fades.
- Maintain a healthy perspective to create a happier life for you and your family, even if anger, envy, or resentment doesn't completely go away.
Susan LaCroix is a writer, editor, and psychotherapist with a private practice in Berkeley, California. She specializes in providing support to individuals and couples during pregnancy, postpartum adjustment, and the transition to parenthood.