Posts Tagged 'prenatal'

Fears about being a Good Parent

Most people with a baby on the way have fears about being a parent. There are those people who either had younger siblings (alot) or are teachers or work with kids all the time who seem to have less of them. But then there are the rest of us.

I see this come up in my Prenatal Yoga Classes allllll the time. Pregnancy is the time when those fears come to the surface and really rear their heads. Here’s the question . . .

“Will I be a good parent?”

Yes, big one –  big, giant question.

Most of us are decent parents most of the time. Most of us are great parents some of the time (think Christmas morning). And most of us are, well . . . not the best parents some of the time.

We get tired and snap at the kids. We get exhausted and just want to sleep. We run late and have to pick up dinner or throw something together. We get lonely and just want to talk to our friends. We get bored and feel like we’re going to die if we have to play that game or read that book even one more time.

So let’s reframe this question. Let’s ask it a different way.

How about “Can I be a good parent some of the time?”

The answer is probably Yes. Now let’s ask, “When I’m feeling less than about 75-80%, can I get some help, ask for support, take a break, take some time to myself to regenerate?” That’s the way you get back to “good” parenting. Not by pushing through it or working until you snap.

Hopefully your answer is Yes, yes, and yes again. In the meantime, give yourself a break. We’re not perfect all of the time. We’re human. Human parents.

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Acupuncture helps with Prenatal Depression

This is a significant study in terms of treatment options for pregnant women struggling with depression. Most pregnant women are reluctant to take antidepressants during pregnancy for good reason. There are risks associated with them and the health of the mom vs. the risk to the fetus must be considered carefully. If someone is not able to function (i.e., is crying constantly, not able to go to work, can’t pull themselves out of bed, not taking care of already born children), then treatment becomes a necessity, not a consideration.

This study found that acupuncture is as effective as antidepressants or counseling. This is HUGE!!!

Read it here:
http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/health/Acupuncture-Found-Effective-Against-Depression-in-Pregnancy-86238287.html

Some people need counseling, they need to talk about it, to get feedback, to explore what’s going on in order to remedy it and prevent it in the future.

Others prefer not to talk or don’t have room in their schedules for regular counseling sessions. Looks like acupuncture is an excellent treatment alternative for them.

Exercising during Pregnancy can help with depression

Yep, the study is in . . . exercising during pregnancy can help relieve depression both prenatally and postnatally. If it’s too hot to take a walk or you can’t make it to a prenatal yoga class, consider using an exercise ball. Mary Lou’s Get on the Ball video is the perfect way to roll the hips bringing in a good blood supply, to stretch, to relax the back, and to release body tension. It’s extremely affordable and it’s set up in a format where you can download it to your ipod even. It really is exercising made easy and you’ll use that ball during birth and afterwards!

About the Study . . .
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine was conducted on a multi-ethnic group of women during and after their pregnancies. It found that over the course of a pregnancy, there were significant declines in the womens’ health, including a reduction in their ability to perform daily routines and an increase in the incidence of depression.

The researchers found that exercise is an effective way to prevent or mitigate the impact of these changes, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day for pregnant women at least several days a week. The recommendation is particularly important for lower-income women, who are more at risk for depression during pregnancy.

Reference
Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (2005, April 2). Pregnant Women Should Exercise To Keep Depression Away. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2005/03/050326003922.htm

MOTHERS Act

There has been a lot of media attention about the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. John Grohol at PsychCentral does a great job refuting that there are false claims of PPD, complete with a mini-research review to back up what he’s saying. That’s in contrast to most of the mainstream media articles published about this topic. It’s as if the reporters somehow forgot that there’s an incredible amount of research on this topic.

It’s a no-brainer that we need more screening, more education, more awareness about this issue, not less. Imagine more mothers getting the help that they need and being happier during early motherhood (at least).

Transitions


“I discovered that although I was ready and eager to become a mother, I was feeling sad about giving up a lifestyle of freedom that I had cherished and so thoroughly enjoyed. I realized that in leaving the ‘maiden’ phase of my life and by entering the ‘mother’ phase, I would never again be so footloose and fancyfree . . . By going into my feelings, I discovered that I needed to grieve the ending of this phase so that I could fully enter the next, without any resentment. I believe that had I dismissed my vague feelings of sadness or scolded myself for crying ‘for no reason,’ or stopped my crying by arbitrarily deciding that I had cried ‘long enough,’ I would never had reached the level of understanding that I did.” – Anita Johnston, PhD, From “Eating in the Light of the Moon.”

I ran across this passage in a book about eating disorders. Dr. Johnston so clearly addresses the feelings that pregnant women feel but oftentimes try to supress or push away. Afterall, everyone expects you to be happy during pregnancy. It’s sometimes a newsflash to my prenatal students that they are human. They still have all kinds of feelings during pregnancy, including deep sadness.

You’re sitting and watching a commercial for baby diapers and suddenly you’re totally bawling. Yes, it’s hormones! But I also think it speaks to the fact that somehow we find this an acceptable way to be sad during pregnancy. The hormonal waves are tapping into a deep reservoir of feelings, of a woman anticipating the huge shift she will be facing in her life.

Many times we push these feelings aside. Many times a woman will hear, outloud, “But you’re supposed to be happy! You’re pregnant! It’s a wonderful time!” This invalidates what she’s feeling right then and there. It invalidates her as a human being with a range of feelings.

Let me say it loud and clear – YOU COUNT and YOUR FEELINGS COUNT!

I know, I sound like such a therapist, but it’s what I believe. It’s not just all about the baby. It’s not just all about the pregnancy and the fetus growing inside. The woman counts and her feelings count, whatever they happen to be.

I enourage any pregnant woman to listen to those feelings, to not discount them, to sit with them and go inside and discover what they are about for her.