Category: Pregnancy Care

A Beginners Guide To Therapy

There are many misconceptions or errors in thinking when it comes to attending therapy sessions. Most people believe that the moment a person starts seeing a therapist, it is an indication that the latter is troubled or mentally ill. While this could be a fact for some patients, it does not hold true for every person who has decided to hire the services of a counselor. The truth is that therapy can also be a good way for someone to merely de-stress or to talk to an individual who knows how to listen.

 

guide to Therapy – What It is really all about

beginner therapy guide
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“I’m Not Sure If I Want Kids” – I Told My Counselor

When I first found out that I am 6 weeks pregnant, I instantly thought, “this is it. I am now pregnant after seven years of marriage.” At that time, I thought everything is going to be okay. I knew I wanted to get pregnant, and since my husband and I are waiting for this moment to happen for the past years, I thought I should be happy about it. I knew I should be excited to give birth and love something me and my husband have made. But the weird thing is, that was not the case.

I am now in my 2nd trimester, and I still can’t get rid of the confusion in my head. I kept asking myself day and night if my long desire for pregnancy will have something to do with my fear of having a child. I often try and convince myself that “I want this. I want to get pregnant,” but I slowly realized that it is different from eventually getting a baby afterward.  

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So with all this anxiety and stress from overthinking, I went to see my counselor ask for some advice. I was worried that these thoughts could make me feel a little unaware of my surroundings and my actions that could affect my sensitive pregnancy. When I finally met my counselor, I started opening about everything troubling me for the last months.

“Motherhood Is Not For Me”

I told my counselor that “motherhood is not for me.” But that is not because I can’t handle kids’ pressure because I do. I once lived in a house where there are a lot of children around. My family has this close-relationship ties that every sibling lived in one particular ancestral house and their whole family. So, yes, I was certain I could handle the pressure.

However, the idea came from the selfish thought I have about raising children. I think motherhood is not for me because I am not sure if I will be a good mom. I was never an excellent student, and I was a trouble-kid myself back in the days. I have this fear that my childhood would affect my parenting strategies in the future. I am scared for my future children because I might end up controlling their lives up to a damaging extent.

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“Kids Are So Demanding”

When I told my counselor that “kids are so demanding,” I mean it. It was part of the many things I am concerned about in the future. They will want everything globally, and they will never feel satisfied with what you can give. Children are always taking everything, such as your time, energy, and effort. In some instances, they might cause you a lot of emotional and mental problems.

But to straighten things up, I do not hate children. In fact, I love them. It is just that when they become your kids, things are a bit different because of the fewer and fewer restrictions you can do to them, and vice versa.

“I’m Not Ready To Face Some Major Adjustments”

I always believe that I should live life to the fullest. Thus, I told my counselor that “I’m not ready to face some major adjustments in life.” For sure, I knew she understood what I meant. Having a baby is a life-changing phenomenon, and I am still enjoying the best of what life has to offer. That is a problem there because there is a conflict of interest. I am so obsessed with fulfilling my goals and reaching all my desires.

But now that I am pregnant, I realized that the things I once enjoyed doing are almost up. It seems like I was forcing myself to let go of the things I used to love because a baby is coming on the way. It made me feel like my child will make things complicated for me because there are so many things I have to consider once he or she is out.

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“I’m Not Sure If I Want Kids”

I told my counselor that “I’m not sure if I want kids” because that is the truth. I was unsure if I wanted them because I was afraid I might not provide them everything they needed. I don’t want to end up neglecting their feelings and become the reason for their mental and emotional struggle. I was certain of the scared feeling that I might not provide my future children the unconditional love they deserve.

My thoughts exactly run in the idea that I do not want my kids to have a weak and incapable mother. I do not want my children to know that I once thought about not having them for the rest of my life. Because if they do, it might hurt their feelings.

 

 

Infertility Depression – I Need Counseling Right Now

 

People would never realize how pathetic I feel because I can’t seem to get pregnant. I am near 40, and I feel like the time for me is almost up. I am exhausted with all these suggestions and opinions that do nothing but mentally and emotionally torture me. I am struggling. Why can’t people see that?

My anxiety and depression related to infertility are not all everyone can understand. People think that it is something that I should forget about because life is not about having kids. Well, good for them. I am sincerely happy for those individuals who managed to give birth to dozens of children. But them telling me that I should get over the idea of motherhood is insulting. I am full of anguish right now because they do not seem to care about my dream of having a complete family with kids in it.

 

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Overthinking About No Possible Future

It is not easy to put my heart and mind into something I somehow can’t achieve. Despite failing a couple of times, I still want to try harder because someday, everything will be okay. But honestly, the tiring treatment process and lots of medication are only a portion of most of what I am going through. The feeling is different, and no one can tell me that the treatment cycle is going to work or not. There are too many uncertainties that this infertility is causing me, and I can’t help but constantly think about it.

 

My overthinking of infertility becomes a problem as it interferes with my social life daily. It hinders me from finding things to talk about aside from wanting to have kids. When I am out with friends, personal questions, even those unrelated to my condition, get in the table. It often makes me feel uncomfortable. With my thoughts always drifting and finding myself not enjoying the company of people I want to spend time with, it is devastating. I feel like people around me are laughing at me because I can’t get my uterus to form a child. My infertility is everything that I am concern about right now, and I can’t get rid of the negative thoughts.

 

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Getting Racked With Too Much Guilt

The idea of the possibility of not being able to bear a child is what makes me feel guilty. I am guilty in the sense that I once disapproved of having a child. Do not get me wrong. I never went for an abortion. It is just that because I have a lot on my plate, such as my dream of becoming successful, I always intend to postpone having a baby. But now that I wanted it more than anything, the whole world is not cooperating. It feels like everything is preventing me from having even a single child.

 

It makes me feel guilty, like in a sense that I bombarded my thoughts with what-ifs that are currently useless, right now. I have this thought where I ask myself stupid things like why did I not look for a partner in my 20’s so I can get pregnant at an early age. I also have this regret of not starting a family regardless of being in a toxic relationship. Sometimes, the guilt even makes me hate myself that perhaps I can’t get pregnant because of my sexual activities back then. I have this anxious and unrealistic thought that maybe I contracted a sexually transmitted infection that I didn’t know about. Everything in my head is all about the things I should have done when I could. I get frustrated because I am losing all my patience in this waiting game.

 

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Feeling Ashamed And Worthless

Being a woman who cannot bear a child causes me a lot of emotional and mental pain. Sometimes, I am at the point where I allow my infertility to define me. Every time I hear bad results, I can’t help but think maybe I am being punished for everything that I did wrong to others. Maybe God hates me that much that He can no longer listen to my prayers. I feel so sad for sounding so desperate all the time. I don’t entirely understand why I am dealing with this unfortunate situation. I want to isolate myself and be alone.

 

The more I feel unworthy, the more I see myself deserving to live alone. I worry too much that people might forever talk behind my back because I can’t fulfill my duty as a woman. I always feel like my husband will soon love me less because I can’t assure a complete family. It sucks because I always find myself counting the days where he would leave me all by myself. Sadly, I see myself broken and defective.

 

infertility counseling

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Developmental Psychology

As we age, people go through growth and development, including your sexual practices. The frequency of changing IUD can lead to depression. The changes in emotions can be due to hormonal imbalance. 

Mood swings triggered by your birth control can increase the intensity of your depressive symptoms. There are limited studies about how IUD influences affective behavior. However, developmental psychology can offer you biological and psychological explanations. 

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You mature in various aspects–mentally, emotionally, physically, cognitively, and psychologically. Some might even achieve a spiritual heightening. Throughout your lifespan, developmental psychology explains the change and consistency of your feelings, cognition, and behavioral change. 

For instance, some of these changes might predict how you will socially interact with other people. It can also influence how you manage your own emotions and thoughts. Developmental psychology can also look into your traumatic experiences and achievement through the course of your maturation.

In the 1980s, developmental psychologists had three goals to evaluate your growth. Firstly, to describe the development which focuses on the typical patterns of your behavior. Secondly, explain the variations of these patterns. Finally, optimize a strategy to correct non-normative development.

Historically, developmental psychology focuses on childhood development theories. One example is the psychosexual theory of Sigmund Freud. It is one of those researches that show the characterization of sexual stages from puberty to adulthood.

Meanwhile, Erik Erikson’s eight life stages in the 1900s emphasize an individual’s psychosocial development up to the generational level.

The big debate on whether nature or nurture defines human behavior is one of developmental psychology’s cores. Indeed, the biological influences and the external factors affecting how you socialize and interact. In fact, it can also be seen as a dynamic part of behavioral change. 

Another focus of developmental psychology delves into the past and future experiences of an individual. In this case, psychologists would suggest how early childhood experiences can have an enormous impact on future behavioral tendencies, regardless of how traumatic or pleasing they were.

Likewise, motivation and the drive to succeed can also influence the individual’s succeeding actions.

If you are interested in how developmental psychology can predict your future behavior and how it can help you, we’ve listed a series of frequently asked questions below.

What are the three major issues in developmental psychology?

Major issues in the field of developmental psychology include:

  • Nature and nurture: how does genetic inheritance, or our nature, relate to our life experiences, or our nurture, in terms of its influence on our development?
  • Stability and change: which personalities exist throughout our lifetime?
  • Continuity and stages: what areas of development are slow and continuous, like taking the escalator

What is an example of developmental psychology?

Developmental psychologists occasionally use several theories to think about various areas of human development. For example, a psychologist evaluating intellectual development in a child may think of Piaget’s cognitive development theory, which summarized the primary stages kids go through while they are learning.

What are the five major developmental theories?

The five major theories of development are as follows:

  1. Bowlby’s Attachment theory
  2. Erikson’s Psychosocial developmental theory
  3. Piaget’s Cognitive developmental theory
  4. Freud’s Psychosexual Developmental theory
  5. Bandura’s Social Learning theory
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Who is the most famous developmental psychologist?

The most popular developmental psychologist would have to be Jean Piaget. His cognitive development theory had a significant influence on psychology, particularly the concept of intellectual growth.

What are the seven stages of development?

A human being moves through seven stages in his whole life span. Infancy is the first stage, followed by early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. Finally, adulthood is divided into three, which complete the seven stages – early adulthood, middle adulthood, and old age.

What are the four theories of growth and development?

The five theories include psychosexual, cognitive, psychosocial, spiritual, and moral. These all evolve together in the process of learning and maturation. Learning more about growth and development is vital to the medical practitioner to keep track of a child’s developmental behavior. This also assists in planning how to take care of the baby better.

What are the eight stages of human development?

The eight stages of human development are as follows:

  1. Mistrust vs. Trust 
  2. Initiative vs. Guilt
  3. Autonomy vs. Doubt and Shame
  4. Industry vs. Inferiority
  5. Confusion vs. Identity 
  6. Isolation vs. Intimacy
  7. Integrity vs. Despair
  8. Generativity vs. Stagnation

What are the five characteristics of human development?

The significant characteristics of human development are as follows:

  • Development is a constant process.
  • Various areas of growth develop at varied rates.
  • The development follows a structure.
  • Development is an outcome of the interaction of an organism to its environment.
  • The development of an organism progresses from general to specific responses.

What are the six life stages?

The entire life of a human being is composed of six stages. They are the following:

  1. Infancy 0 to 2 years old
  2. Early childhood 3 to 8 years old
  3. Adolescence 9 to 18 years old
  4. Early adulthood 19 to 45 years old
  5. Middle adulthood 46 to 65 years old
  6. Late adulthood – 65 years old and above

What are the 12 stages of life?

Here are the 12 stages of the human life cycle:

  1. Pre-birth: the child has not been born yet
  2. Birth: the child is born
  3. Infancy: the infant is so energetic as if having an unlimited liveliness
  4. Early childhood: this is the playfulness stage
  5. Middle childhood: the child initially develops his or her imagination
  6. Late childhood: at this time, the child has acquired a variety of technical and social skills
  7. Adolescence: changes in the child’s emotional, cultural, spiritual, and sexual points of view
  8. Early adulthood: the adult goes out into the world and practices the principles of enterprise
  9. Midlife: individuals in their midlife typically have a break from their usual responsibilities and reflects on the purpose of their lives
  10. Mature adulthood: here the individual is perhaps raising a family of his own and has established himself in his work and social life
  11. Late adulthood: individuals with long lives have gathered a treasure of experiences that help them avoid past mistakes while taking advantage of the life lessons.
  12. Death and dying: the dying and the dead will have taught us the value of life.

What is the age of early adulthood?

Early adulthood begins at 20 years old and ends at about 40.

Conclusion

The truth about IUDs and depression is quite blurry. Using birth control and your body’s frequent changes can influence your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Some of these can trigger depressive symptoms.

However, it is always advisable to look into both biological and psychological causes. For instance, it might be hormonal or purely caused by unpleasant experiences. 

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You might be excessively thinking about your past experiences as a child and how they contributed to your present actions. You might also be obsessing on your personality changes over the past years. Or you might be wondering if your identity would still exist throughout your lifetime. 

You may also want to pursue spiritual and moral growth in addition to your psychological development. These experiences will explore your social and biological influences. At the same time, you will also discover how cultural development has shaped your behavioral patterns. And which of these external and internal factors influences you the most.

Studying psychological development can help you manage symptoms of neuroticism. Struggling or being stuck in a developmental stage can have a long-lasting negative impact on your psychological growth.

For instance, you can develop neurotic behavioral patterns of behavior, which can leave you socially impaired. However, multiple approaches from theories of developmental psychology can help you.

In therapy sessions, a developmental psychologist can address life stages which you are unable to complete. Some of these problems would include the unhealthy formation of relationships and difficulties in creating identity. They can also help address problems with isolation and the inability to face challenges during old age. 

By better understanding our development stages, you can decide whether you need professional help to fulfill your full potential. It can also help form healthier choices in your lifestyle. Moreover, it can improve your emotions and relationships as well.

When deciding on better psychological treatment, it is essential to consult a mental health professional. Your psychiatrist or psychologist can provide you with a suitable and customized approach to your mental health condition. 

Essentially, therapies using developmental psychology can help you address problems in your growth and maturity. The first step is to seek advice from an expert. You are encouraged to consult your doctor to know if this type of approach can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety

Every one of us goes through stressful life events. Some may experience a sudden change, while others take time with the slow process. There are instances that people deal with the stressors in a very applicable way, while others struggle in keeping their physical, emotional, and mental health in shape. And when there is too much stress, the reaction tends to go stronger and unexpected.

In some life events, people understand the need for adjustment. However, not everyone has the courage and strength to deal with it. Thus, they experienced a mental and emotional breakdown. Sometimes, they begin to feel uncomfortable with their life decisions, making them weak and vulnerable to all sorts of stressors.

In line with the need for adjustment, some people struggle with the anxiety that accompanies it. Let us try and learn how adjustment disorder with anxiety affects life through these frequently asked questions.

 

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How do you treat adjustment disorder with anxiety? 

One way to treat adjustment disorder is through medications. A specific prescription reduces some of the symptoms of adjustment disorders, particularly insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Some of these medications are benzodiazepines or mostly known as Ativan and Xanax.

But note that before taking any of these medications, you need to consult your doctor first. Do not settle on the information you get from other people or the internet. Instead, follow a reliable source of the coping method from an expert or a licensed professional.

 

Is adjustment disorder an anxiety disorder? 

There is a huge difference between adjustment disorder and anxiety disorder. Adjustment disorder often ends up positively as individuals see a large reduction in their mental health issues as they learn to adapt to life changes. On the other hand, anxiety is an ongoing battle of emotional and mental health problems that sometimes lasts for a very long time. Though anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions, one can stay on mild symptoms for an extended period compared to the latter.

But of course, it is vital not to ignore damaging symptoms. If the anxiety from the necessary life adjustment takes a toll on your daily function, you need to work your way by keeping your emotional and mental health stable.

 

What causes adjustment disorder with anxiety? 

Adjustment disorders come from significant stressors in life. Usually, the mental health condition’s common trigger is the sudden or unnecessary change people had to go through without warning. But factors causing adjustment disorder are not limited to that since genetics, stressful life experiences, and temperament can increase the likelihood of developing the disorder.

 

How do you overcome adjustment disorder? 

Some individuals can get a hold of their adjustment disorder and work their way to treating it naturally. However, some need professional treatment. People who can’t handle or manage the disorder require therapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, and trauma-focused therapies. These therapies help them achieve healthy coping strategies that encourage them to make positive lifestyle changes, build self-confidence, and set and achieve goals.

 

If, by chance, therapy cannot seem to work alone in overcoming adjustment disorder, one needs to focus on self-awareness and self-care. There should be an allotted time, energy, and effort to keep one’s mental health in good condition.

 

How serious is an adjustment disorder? 

Adjustment disorder is somehow manageable with the right mindset and proper self-care. However, if the adjustment period becomes less comfortable and convenient and cannot resolve even a simple problem, it can eventually lead to serious mental health issues. It could increase the risk of having depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

 

When this happens, it is most recommended to consult a therapist right away.

 

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 What therapy is best for an adjustment disorder? 

The best and most recommended therapy for adjustment disorder is Psychotherapy or also known as talk therapy. In some instances, a prescribed medication also helps. But note. It is significantly important to talk with your therapist about the options you have to manage your adjustment disorder better.

 

Is adjustment disorder a serious mental illness? 

At some level, chronic adjustment disorder may feature symptoms longer than six months. These symptoms can potentially cause major disruption in a person’s personal life as it affects his ability to create decisions, solve problems, and socially connect with others. Many people mistakenly think that adjustment disorder is caused by stress and is less serious than other psychological disorders. Unfortunately, it is not. Adjustment disorders may be an emotional response. But when not treated, it can quickly lead to depression, substance abuse, and other serious mental health problems.

 

Is adjustment disorder the same as PTSD? 

No. Adjustment disorder is different from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Its response syndrome does not create the same reaction to a life-threatening event compared to PTSD. Adjustment disorder symptoms tend to last shorter periods as they deal with current events or changes in the environment. PTSD, on the other hand, tends to last an extended period as it gets triggered by an overwhelmingly traumatic event.

 

Is adjustment disorder a disability? 

There are lots of people that consider adjustment disorder as a disability. Perhaps that is because the condition makes it difficult for them to cope with a stressful situation, especially after getting exposed to a trigger. 

 

How is an adjustment disorder diagnosed? 

Diagnosing adjustment disorder can be quite hard due to its symptoms associated with other mental health issues. Some Adjustment Disorder/Stress Response Syndrome (AD/SRS) symptoms include excessive worry, palpitations, sadness, hopelessness, headaches, anxiety, and frequent crying.

Note that even if these symptoms are generally present in adjustment disorder cases, you should understand that people deal with stressors differently. They experience triggers differently, so they also require different treatments.

 

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 What is the drug of choice for anxiety? 

The best drug choices for anxiety are antidepressant agents such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It includes the most commonly prescribed medication, Benzodiazepines that are also known as tranquilizers. These are drugs such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium.

Please check with your therapist or doctor before taking any of these medications.

 

What is the disability rating for anxiety? 

A percentage from 0% to 100% can state the rating for anxiety, depression, or adjustment disorder. These ratings focus more on the individual’s self-care ability, occupational and social functioning. A total of 30 percent VA disability rating determines anxiety level through mild and severe symptoms.

 

What does a 70 PTSD rating mean? 

A 70% PTSD rating indicates an occupational and social impairment. It gets categorized with deficiencies in most areas of a person’s life, such as school, work, family relations, romantic relations, judgment, cognitive ability, imagination, creativity, and mood. Sometimes, there is also a build-up of obsessional rituals that somehow interfere with routine activities.

 

Can I get a disability for anxiety and panic attacks? 

In some extreme cases of anxiety disorders, some symptoms can be severely debilitating. That is especially if it involves panic disorders, series of phobias, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

 

Are stress and anxiety considered a disability?

Mental health problems, particularly anxiety, stress, and even depression, will only be considered as disabilities if these conditions adversely impact the performance of an individual’s everyday activities, decision-making ability, problem-solving skills, self-awareness, and social connection.

 

How My Children Contribute To My Mental Health Wellness

As a mom, it is not easy to take care of four children inside the house, especially if that is something that you do not do exclusively. Of course, there are other things you need to do. However, taking care of your children takes the most of your energy. Sometimes, it gives you a lot of stress and anxiety that can somehow make a difference in your overall balance. But not all cases are like that, though. Yes, there are instances that your children can cause a lot of unwanted trouble. Still, they are also the most significant reason you have guaranteed physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional wellness. Here’s why.

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They Make You Happy For No Reason

Just thinking about your kids’ happiness can make you happy for no reason. Their smiles can brighten up your day as they instantly change your mood. Sometimes, even if you are tired of almost doing everything, a warm hug from them can take away all the stress you have. Your children can make you feel loved and appreciated, especially when they often show it. They make you think that you are the most wonderful person in the world by just merely looking into your eyes and saying, “thank you, mommy.”

They Become Your Strength

Motherhood is not an easy task. It requires a lot of patience and tolerance as it demands a lot from you, such as energy, time, effort, and commitment. Unfortunately, there are things you can’t handle. But with your kids by your side, everything can turn out okay. Your children become the source of your strength, which somehow pushes you to do almost everything. The children motivate you to do the things you do not usually do. Your kids are enough reasons for you to find the courage to do something beyond your limits. That even if you feel you are not giving your best, your kids know you are giving more than enough.

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They Make You Feel Safe

As a mom, you know it is your duty to keep your children away from danger. You feel at ease whenever you know they are safe and comfortable with life. It gives you the confidence that you can do anything for them. But don’t know that keeping kids safe from harm can potentially bounce back at you? Yes, the more you keep your children safe and sound, the more it guarantees to give you the emotional and mental relief. Your kids can make you become aware of your surroundings and become more sensitive towards the needs of others. The children take care of you as much as you take care of them.

They Are Better Stress Reliever

Honestly, a lot of people would say that kids can be the number one cause of stress and anxiety of most parents. That is because of the kids’ impulsive, immature, and unpredictable nature. But that is just it. Children are free-spirited individuals who only look forward to happiness. They focus more on emotional and mental wellness. So when you spend more time with them, you get to feel the advantage of their mindfulness. Kids are better stress relievers because they do not try and complicate things around them. Small gifts can make them happy, corny jokes can make them laugh, and a warm hug can make them smile. It is that simple.

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They Give Meaning To Your Life

Understandably, not all individuals picture themselves with kids. We can’t blame them because that is their choice. But for those individuals who have children understand that the kids are the ones that can guarantee a meaning to their lives. Exerting an effort in taking care of them makes a huge difference in how someone views the world. Having children pretty much makes you understand your weaknesses, strengths, and capabilities. They allow you to go deeper into understanding even your own self. Children can make you realize that there is more to life than just responsibilities and daily life goal tasks.

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Insight

Understandably, a lot of moms often complain about their children because of their inability to juggle things such as career, family, friends, and personal stuff. However, when we talk about motherhood, everything is about handling kids. It is the focus of our time, energy, and effort. We are obliged to take care of our children and provide them with all the necessary things they need for their overall emotional and mental development. We shouldn’t be selfish to think that we are only doing our duties for them because we believe we have to. The truth is, we can also benefit from taking care of the children. They can help us stay in line with our emotional and mental capabilities. The kids allow us to gain enough mental strength to battle stress and everything related to it.

How I Told My Family That I Am Pregnant

Pregnancy is something that every woman dreamed of. It is the most special day in every woman’s life because they grow a beautiful creature inside them. Right now, I am one of them. I am seven months pregnant. Though I feel happy and contented these days, the first few months were not that great of an experience. I struggled a lot in keeping everything as a secret. I was having a baby, but I don’t know how to tell my family all about it. Until one day, I just couldn’t hide it anymore.

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How It All Started

I was 14 years old. So understandably, I assumed my parents would feel so devastated once they figured out my pregnancy. In the first month, I managed to hide it from everyone in the house. I never showed them reasons to suspect me of hiding anything. I just went on the usual things I do every day. I hung out with them all the time and even had a family discussion once in a while. It was a bit difficult in my second month because I had to avoid showing them pregnancy symptoms. I was able to deceive my whole family once again by pretending to have my period still. I would fake my cramps, as usual. I tried not to show physical ailments too. And when they asked me why I often sleep in broad daylight, I told them I wasn’t able to get enough sleep at night because I was watching a TV series on Netflix up till morning. Luckily, it was never an unusual activity for them.

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Before my 1st trimester ended, things were a little bit okay. I have not developed a baby bump yet, so I was entirely confident that things were all good. I would even wear fitting clothes and that created a valid alibi, so my family did not think of me being pregnant at all. There was no way they could determine that I was growing a baby in my tummy, just looking at my clothes. However, the fourth month was very challenging. I somehow felt that my body was changing already. My hips grew wider, and my boobs looked like they were going to pop out of my chest. So to hide those slightly noticeable physical changes, I went on a full pumped up eating habit. And since the whole country is on quarantine, I managed to hold up to that excuse. So when my family began noticing how crazy I went with food, they automatically assumed that my body enlargement was due to that eating habit. Again, I felt accomplished in trying to hide everything about my growing baby.

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The Revelation

Soon before my 6th month of pregnancy began, everything started to fall. Every lies I made and every covered up stories I told my family came to an end. It was an unexpected scenario because I was not prepared for that either. No one knows I was pregnant except my boyfriend. We talked about it, and we were still in the middle of figuring out how to tell our parents about the baby. We were both confused as to what decisions to make. Unfortunately, it was a very emotional revelation when I invited my boyfriend over for dinner. That was when he told everyone in the house that I was pregnant. Everyone could not hide their disbelief and disappointment. My mom and dad cried hysterically while shouting, “No,” a couple of times. My siblings just stared at me as if I killed someone. I couldn’t move, and all I can think of that moment was for the Earth to swallow me whole. Then everyone started crying as I said I was sorry.

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All Is Well

After I apologized in front of my parents and told me them the truth, my parents came close to me and hugged me. That was the minute I burst into tears like a baby. I was not expecting that to happen. But those hugs were the most important things at that time. It was as if they were telling me that things were going to be okay. I felt loved, and for the last 2 hours, we all sat there and cried together.

Honestly, teenage pregnancy is not something a kid like me should be proud of. There are a lot of things I know I don’t understand. I admit I am not yet prepared for the consequences of having a baby at a young age. But I don’t try to justify that. I am just so thankful that my family supports me. Despite everything I did wrong, I am happy that my family is more than willing to stand by my side. And right now, they are the best persons I have.

 

 

 

What New Mothers Should Know About COVID-19

Each day brings news on how COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc and how communities are fighting back. However, despite all the attention it receives, there’s still much that we don’t know.

While the illness targets the elderly and the sick, new mothers might wonder if they are at increased risk of being affected by the disease. You need to know how the virus can impact you and how you can protect your family.  

COVID-19 And Pregnancy

On the bright side, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to pose any particular dangers to pregnant women relative to other illnesses. Health authorities haven’t seen any significant rise in pregnancy complications  from COVID-19.

While preterm births might be more common for expectant mothers with other coronavirus infections, the evidence is minimal.

However, any infection, COVID-19 or otherwise, is still harmful. Your body needs to divert resources to stop and recover from illnesses. Given that you’re already supporting a human being growing inside of you, any infections can further increase your body’s strain.

Notably, there is no substantial evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted directly from the mother to the child during pregnancy. However, the baby can catch the illness shortly after birth due to being near people who have the infection. You or the baby’s caregivers may harbor the virus and transmit the disease to newborns. 

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There is also evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk of catching respiratory diseases. Hence, it would be best if you still took extra precautions to prevent the transmission of the virus into your household.

COVID-19 And Children

There is also limited research on how COVID-19 specifically affects infants and children. Most of the documented complications of the illness manifest more commonly in older people.

However, infants younger than one year of age can suffer from more severe cases, given their immature immune systems. Children with preexisting medical conditions may also be at higher risk.

In general, children with COVID-19 show mild symptoms reminiscent of the flu. Common signs include fever, coughing, and runny nose.

Like in adults, children may also catch and spread the coronavirus even while displaying no symptoms. Given that children may be less aware of ways to stop disease transmission, they may be at higher risk of getting the infection if parents leave them unsupervised.

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Protecting Your Family

Regardless of whether COVID-19 poses a particular hazard for newborns and children, it’s essential to learn how to protect your family from it. 

One way is to be aware of the risks. Aside from the physical effects of COVID-19, it can also affect your mental health. Dr. Jason Rafferty, MD, writes that “we’re expecting to see a secondary outbreak of mental health issues related to ongoing stress that people are dealing with.”

Practice proper social distancing. You should avoid being near other people unless it’s for essential reasons. As much as you can, stay indoors and minimize outside trips. Never bring children outside of your home unless it’s for an emergency.

If you do need to go outside, make sure that everyone wears appropriate protective equipment. Note that while protective gear can help reduce your chances of inhaling the virus, its main objective is to prevent you from spreading the virus in case you’re already infected.

However, never give face masks to children younger than two years of age. The risk of accidental suffocation outweighs the risk of contracting COVID-19. Keep children indoors instead.

If you are breastfeeding, know that there is no conclusive evidence that breastmilk can carry the coronavirus. That said, consult with your doctor on whether you should continue breastfeeding. If so, wearing a cloth mask and washing your hands before feeding your baby should remove most of the transmission risk, even if you’re positive for the virus.

As for scheduled medical visits, consult with your physician regarding your plans. Many of these consultations are critical for ensuring the health of you and your baby.

In many cases, health facilities have concrete plans to enable you to visit while minimizing the risk of catching COVID-19. Telemedicine techniques are also suitable for many medical visits.

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To summarize, being pregnant or having young children does not mean that COVID-19 presents a unique hazard to your family. There are a lot of actions that you can take to ensure that your household remains a safe and COVID-free environment for your children.

Reducing The Anxiety Of Pregnant Women During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Every day confirmed cases and death tolls arising from Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 increase. This current situation is not simple times; most people experience anxiety and panic attacks because of the drastic changes.

Pregnant women are one of those vulnerable to the virus. This fact can be a trigger to their anxieties. But because most establishments and clinics are closed, pregnant women must learn how to ease their stress at their homes. Here are some tips from BetterHelp that promise to help you cope up with anxiety during these trying times.

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Find A Support Group

Staying at home and doing nothing for pregnant women can be anxious. Release your woes by talking to someone willing to listen to you, such as your partner. Make the most of your time online by searching for online support groups. In this way, you will hear stories from other pregnant women, and you get enough strength and courage to share your story as well. You’ll realize through having a group that you’re not alone in this struggle. There are also support groups organized by medical professionals who provide emotional support to help ease anxiety. 

Engage In Physical Activities

Try to do some effective workouts to lower the risk of anxiety. Any physical activity tends to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers for the brain. While you cannot go to a gym or to the park to jog, you can improvise your workout routine at home. Several phone apps offer workout sessions for the day. Some activities you can do at home are yoga and aerobics.

Workout Your Mind

You can also do other activities that will keep you productive. Try playing mind games with your family members or read novels. Studies show that reading and playing mind games increases your memory and lowers stress levels. Not only will it keep you from wallowing in anxiety, but also you will train your mind to think and process information more quickly. So if you have the opportunity to work on physical activities, do it.

Eat A Healthy Diet

You are what you eat. Studies show that food affects the mood, ability to handle stress, and focus. During pregnancy, it is for the absolute best to eat healthy and nutritious meals. Too much sodium, carbohydrates, and caffeine can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Cut down processed and junk food and start incorporating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in your meal. You can make meal preparation and cooking more fun by finding recipes online and experimenting!

Meditate

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You can release endorphins without the need for physical activity. Take time to breathe once in a while and try deep breathing exercises or meditation. A 20-30 minute deep abdominal breathing per day will help reduce anxiety, according to the American Institute of Stress. Doing deep breathing exercises help stimulate the brain by providing more oxygen.

Meditation can help increase your focus and clears your mind to be able to cope up with your anxiety issues.

Get Enough Sleep

Resting is excellent for you and your baby. If you lack sleep, your mind will become restless, and it will be more difficult for you to handle stress and cope up with your anxiety. Brandon Peters, MD, adds, “The developing fetus needs a reliable supply of nutrients, including oxygen. When sleep is disrupted, especially when blood flow to the placenta is compromised, there can be significant consequences.” It is essential to see a consistent deep sleeping routine. Doctors recommend getting eight to ten hours of sleep every day so that your mind will be refreshed and energized the following day.

Take Your Medications

If your anxiety is severe and your doctor had prescribed you with medications before the pandemic happened, be sure to include it in your daily routine. Medicines have some advantages and disadvantages, so don’t stop your intake unless your doctor said so. While some medication may cause problems for your baby, stopping them may worsen the situation. 

Write Down Your Thoughts

Some pregnant women cannot compose their thoughts, and they don’t feel like talking. But it’s essential to release your negative thoughts, so try writing down everything you have in mind. Writing your feelings in a journal is one of the best ways to relieve your anxiety without the fear of being judged by other people. 

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If you are pregnant and experiencing anxiety in this unique time, know that you are not alone. You can follow the tips above to help alleviate the worry that’s weighing you down. Do it for your emotional and mental health.

The Best Foods For An Expectant Mother

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Pregnancy comes with various food misconceptions. Some assume that it makes you love weird combinations just like in the movies. Others think that it’s OK to eat as much as you want since you’re supposedly “eating for two.” In truth, it is the period in a woman’s life when you need to be very meticulous with everything you consume. The reason is that your immunity level isn’t as high now as when you’re not expecting. Thus, bacteria and viruses can easily mess up your system if you’re not careful. There are a lot of meals you shouldn’t have as well, especially the ones that use raw meat. If you’re curious about the best foods you can eat, keep on reading below.    

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  Greens Leafy vegetables have plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins, apart from the chlorophyll that provides their green pigmentation. The main idea is that the darker the fresh produces are, the better they will be for your body.

  Salmon In case you are fond of seafood, you may want to concentrate more on fish like salmon. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for the development of the baby’s internal organs. However, make sure to cook it nicely and only eat fish a couple of times a week to avoid the possibility of ingesting hard metals.

  Cheese You may also put your trust on mozzarella or cheddar – the hard type of cheeses – to give you calcium and protein. An ounce of any of these dairy products on a regular basis will suffice, particularly if you can’t drink fresh milk on that day.  

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  Whole Grains Keep in mind that coarse grain can provide more nutrients in comparison with its refined version. Hence, choose whole-wheat over white bread, brown over white rice, and popcorn over chips whenever possible.

“Eating whole grains may help pregnant women meet their increased calorie requirements, especially during the second and third trimesters,” says Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN. She also aded that “whole grains are generally rich in B vitamins, fiber and magnesium.”

  Poultry Meat Your baby requires enough amount of zinc to grow well in your womb. A fantastic source of that mineral is the meat coming from either turkey or chicken. Poultry happens to have protein and iron too – substances that are essential for a healthy pregnancy.

  Oatmeal It’s effortless to avoid being hungry all the time when you make oatmeal for breakfast. The plain variety consists of different carbohydrates, including the oat bran, which can improve both your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

  Citrus Fruits The best features of citrusy products, e.g., orange and pineapple, are fiber and vitamin C. You need to former to efficiently digest all the foods you eat, while the latter is necessary for iron absorption.

According to Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C, “the advice for pregnant women is to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day and to vary these as much as possible. Fruit can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.”

  Berries Pulpy fruits like raspberries, currants, and strawberries are great for you. These goods contain a lot of water, so you won’t worry about dehydration when you’re snacking on them. They also have low caloric levels; that’s why you can still maintain your weight.

  Legumes Lastly, the legume is a food group that can offer great quantities of folic acid. The vitamin is responsible for ensuring your well-being while carrying the child. You may consume various forms of beans, nuts, and peas to receive this nutrient, along with iron, fiber, and protein. Dr. Gareth Forde says that “[potassium] helps to balance fluid levels, regulate blood pressure, and helps muscles perform well.” She also added that “pregnant mothers who experience leg cramps, especially at night, should consider whether or not their potassium intake is adequate.”