Written by Avvo Staff

Dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce and pregnancy

Bringing a child into the world is one of the most exciting and terrifying things a woman can do. No matter what your circumstances, you worry about the health of the baby and the sort of future you will be able to provide for him or her. If you happen to be filing for divorce while pregnant, these emotions and worries are even greater.

To help you cope with the high emotions of this time, it is wise to make parenting decisions before the baby is born, get a solid support system, and educate yourself about the child, the divorce, and your options.

One of the exciting parts of being pregnant is preparing for the baby, and many parenting decisions will need to be made before the baby is born.

Even though you are going through a divorce, this step can still be exciting, and takes on new importance if you're going through a divorce. You will need to make decisions about child custody, where the child will live, and visitation.

Most courts will want the child to stay with the mother if it is in the child’s best interests. If the father of the child wants to be a part of the child’s life, plan that out now.

In many cases, couple’s counseling is highly recommended. The counselor may even be able to help you plan how to co-parent as a divorced couple.

Also consider a divorce mediator. They cost less than a contested divorce, and help take some of the negative feelings out of the divorce. This can be important because you will need to be able to communicate well to raise the child as a divorced couple.

Creating a solid support system for yourself and the baby is absolutely vital.

It is highly recommended that you go through counseling to help yourself adjust to all these changes. You will likely need help working through the grief of a divorce, and the conflicting emotions of joy in having a child in the midst of it all. A counselor can help you make vital plans about raising a child and protecting yourself in divorce. They can also advise you about the types of people you surround yourself with.

Make sure that the people you surround yourself with are supportive of you and the decisions you are making. You will need help once the baby is born, so have people around you who can help by shopping, cooking, and even watching the baby so you can sleep. You might even consider hiring a home health care professional to help you with the baby for the first few months.

There are many online support systems of mothers who have gone through similar circumstances. These are people who have been where you are, and made it out on the other side. They can encourage you, give you advice, and remind you that you are not alone.

Babies can feel your emotions in the womb, so try to find a support system to help you feel loved and safe.

Know what to expect in raising a baby.

Your first concern is the baby. Read as much information as you can about what having a newborn is like, and find a pediatrician you trust.

Having a doctor for your child will help you immensely once the child is born. Finding a child care center you trust is another good decision. Learning about and planning for the future child will greatly reduce your uncertainty.

In raising a baby on your own, you will need to know what resources are available to help you. If money is an issue, look into your state’s Women Infant and Children (WIC) program. This program can help you pay for healthy food for you and your baby.

Know what to expect during a divorce.

Once you have a workable understanding of what to expect in raising your child, you need to prepare yourself for the upcoming divorce.

Know that your husband may choose to get a court order stating that he is not the father of the baby. This court order is called disestablishment of paternity, and is a long process that is finished 60 days after the baby is born.

Another aspect of divorce to be aware of is financial and insurance matters. If you have a joint bank account, or are on your husband’s insurance policy, these are things you need to learn about and change. You will need to establish your own financial identity separate from your husband’s to support you and the baby.

You will also need to get your own health insurance to make certain your baby is healthy and to pay for the birth of the baby.

Divorce is one of the hardest things a wife can go through, and divorce while pregnant is doubly devastating. Remember that you are not alone, and that you have multiple resources to help you find peace and knowledge in this difficult time.

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